Career Adviser Spotlight: Trust from advisees is the most rewarding thing for Louise Walsh
- Posted on August 18, 2021
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
As part of Avanade’s culture of mentorship and learning, every employee is assigned a career adviser (CA) who guides them through their career, helping everyone at Avanade grow professionally and feel inspired, confident and cared for. Career Adviser Spotlights shine a light on Avanade CAs who go above and beyond for their advisees.
This post features Louise Walsh, Global Marketing Campaigns and Events Director based in London, United Kingdom.
How long have you been a CA at Avanade?
I have been at Avanade for 6 years now and a career adviser for around 4 years.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a CA?
I love everything about being a career adviser. I’m a real people person, but the most rewarding thing for me is when I feel I have gained enough trust for my team to really open up to me and be honest about how they are feeling. Their transparency with me allows me to make better decisions about our team strategy, how to help influence their wellbeing and so much more.
What’s the most challenging thing about being a CA?
The inability to control aspects external to our team from creating frustration or upset. As a career adviser, I would love everything to be smooth sailing with a happy team 100% of the time, meaning that creativity, energy and morale is at its peak. The reality is that challenges do arise that we cannot control and we just have to ride the wave and do our best to reassure and provide guidance. COVID hit my team quite badly, for example, with personal challenges, resources being cut and roles within the team changing. As a team we got through it, with full transparency about how we were feeling, some little surprise acts of kindness and forging great friendships. It was amazing to watch how my team rallied together.
What technology (apps or programs) help you manage your relationships with advisees?
On a work level, we love to collaborate and have a good brainstorm, so Mural really helps that. Mentimeter enables us to get feedback, and VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services) is a tool that helps the team work within an agile framework. Sometimes it is important to have fun with the team though, and for that we love a good game of Skribbl.io, its essentially a virtual Pictionary with someone drawing and the others guessing. Every time we have used it people get pretty competitive!
Can you briefly describe something new you learned about yourself that resulted from interactions with advisees?
Last year an advisee gave me some feedback that sometimes I will ask the team to do something, but then I would step in. She was right, I used to try to jump into situations to protect or ‘save’ my team when I felt like they might be getting frustrated. I have learnt not to react immediately, no matter how tempting, and instead I ask my advisee how it is going and let them know I am there if they need me.
What advice would you give to fellow CAs?
Listen to your advisees and understand their perspective. Avanade is full of smart people with amazing ideas. If we constantly talk and tell people what to do instead of listening to their ideas then we will never reach the potential of our team.
Thanks Louise for sharing your experience, your perspective...and great tools you use to balance all aspects of your work!
When we asked about what makes Louise a great career adviser, this is what we heard:
"I have yet to meet a CA and Leader who is so personally involved in my well-being and experience as an employee. Lou checks all of the boxes regarding talent and performance management and plays a crucial role in advocating and influencing decisions about my career progression at Avanade.
Her work with implementing Scrum for Marketing, her leadership role in the Global Campaigns Marketing team and her authentic passion for innovation, creativity and inclusion make her an essential team member. She ensures my priorities and those of our team connect directly to Avanade's strategic goals. She positions people to achieve aspirational goals and is genuinely excited when I succeed. The best thing about Lou is she is more of a partner than a "boss" - she has an authentic, honest and warm approach that aligns perfectly with how I communicate, what inspires me, and what doesn't. I know I am not alone in this opinion. Lou is one of the primary reasons why I thrive at Avanade, and frankly, why I stay here."