Where the impossible becomes possible
- Posted on December 16, 2019
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
I joined Avanade 15 months ago and it’s been quite a journey! But first, a little bit about me and how someone from a small town in Yorkshire got to the big city.
I spent much of my life unsure of myself and my abilities. At university I regularly sat at the back of lectures, saving my questions for emails or small tutorials and generally preferring one-on-one conversations more than group situations. My fear of meeting new people limited my friendship group to the neighbours my brother had introduced me to on Day 1.
But this is a person I barely recognise today.
Entering the “real world” after graduating brought both personal and professional development and during my three post-graduation years I have experienced a lot. In fact, in just one year at Avanade, I’ve grown exponentially more than I did in the first two years of my career and I think that’s due to Avanade’s culture and constant encouragement of learning new skills.
I arrived at Avanade in the Change Enablement team, and within two months I was change management certified in the Prosci Change Management Methodology. Everything we do is change: Just as moving to London was a change for me, any technological transformation is also a change (on a bigger scale of course). My certification has meant that I am now a confident advisor to clients on how they can effectively manage their change programmes. I have been trained in the art of engagement, communication and stakeholder management – which, let me tell you, has been endlessly useful in my time in consulting.
My first consulting assignment with Avanade started a week after I joined, and I was on that project for more than nine months. It was a good challenge and I've made some life-long friends. I was allowed to work on many aspects of the project, learning a bit about each role and each area of delivery, from change and communications to the technology behind a migration or data analysis and business engagement. I was given the opportunity to lead in my own area and, toward the end of the project, I even took over delivery lead responsibilities. Quite a journey for the shy new joiner I was a year ago! I now have responsibility for delivery on my second project, this time working in the fascinating world of data and analytics, and I have once more found myself being challenged in new and motivating ways.
Avanade’s ability to offer variety is one of my favourite things about this company. The variety extends far beyond simply roles and projects; Avanade fully ensures that all employees have access to opportunities that develop us personally, as well. I've been given the opportunity to dive deeply into projects involving technology I previously knew little about, working with teams from across the globe and learning new methodologies for delivering excellence.
I’m frequently asked by my family and friends, “What do you do at work?” or “What is Avanade?” and I say this:
The question should be “Who is Avanade?” It's all of us. Avanade is a culture of innovation, delivery, development and support. The proof is in the pudding: with the support of my personal career manager, mentors and project delivery leads, six months after joining the company, I was promoted. Something I'd been trying to accomplish in the public sector for nearly two years, Avanade enabled in six months.
The people I’ve had the pleasure of working with have collectively helped me build my confidence level to a point where I now successfully manage teams and projects. The reassuring nature of people at Avanade has enabled me to take on new challenges without the fear that I won’t succeed, because there are always people around who seek to help you flourish. The ability to experience variety has empowered me to grow in the various aspects of what we do, and the commitment Avanade makes to delivering meaningful training courses to its people has offered me an array of opportunities to expand my knowledge base.
I summarise the impact Avanade has had on me with the fact that my family regularly remarks on the noticeable difference in my self-confidence, professionalism, the faith I have in myself and the conviction I have to achieve magnificent things in the future.
So, who is Avanade? A company and a job when I started – and, a year later, a family.