Stepping Up As a Young Manager – The Power of Willingness
By Carlos Del Cid.
Back in 2013 at the age of 19, when I was applying for a recruitment associate position, the site director of the BPO I used to work for asked me; where did I see myself in the next 5 years? A big question for a 19 years old guy looking for his first career opportunity, it totally took me by surprise specially because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, better yet my career. The first thing I thought of was becoming a department manager, but I had no clue about the complexities and responsibilities this position would require, which fueled my ambition to pursue this career path. Exactly 5 years after that eye opening question, I had my first opportunity as a department manager.
But, before getting into what it is to be a young manager, I would like to reflect upon how I established goals and expectations prior to, without fully understanding the big picture of the position. They say, “a goal without a plan is just a dream”. I couldn’t have ever planned nor have prepared myself for the challenges and unexpected situations that I encountered, however there were three essential things I never gave up on, self-trust, willingness and commitment.
Those three core values aided me in my journey and growth as a young professional. As a kid I was raised with the idea that I could become anything I want in life. That I can do great things by putting effort and passion into it. But no matter how you were raised or what people think you can or can’t do, what really matters is what you are convinced you can accomplish.
This is where self-trust comes, guiding me in convincing myself that I was the right guy for the associate position regardless of my age or lack of experience, but also that I was capable of stepping up for higher positions once an opportunity comes along. Of course, I had and still have my doubts if I’m up for the challenge, if I’m able to control my career path, and able to stay focus; but that’s what self-trust is about. Maintain the same strength and passion, regardless of doubts, hard situations, and not whether people believes in me or not.
And finally, willingness and commitment played a major role in guiding my professional growth. Of the three core values these two require your self-determination in reaching your goals. Understanding that willingness is not only having the desire to achieve your goal, it’s also opening yourself to the fact that you don’t know all the answers. It requires you to surround yourself with other professional that can enhance your knowledge and help you answer the questions you seek. Opening yourself to learn from your mistake and being prepared to accept constructive feedbacks is also a key aspect of professional growth.
Commitment is not a habit, it’s choice which makes it the backbone of your every career decision, which plays a vital role in helping you achieve your goals. Commitment comes with decisions that can affect those you love such as turning down family events or class reunions or hanging out with your friends. Don’t worry! people that really loves you will understand and respect your decisions. So, after all these years of learning, getting to know myself and making a lot of mistakes I finally got my first shot as a Department manager just to find out that I still had a lot to learn.
If you ask me what’s the secret to doing a good job, well there are many, but the most important one is never forgetting that you are there for your team, that you are still in a learning stage. Remember you will always find people that will underestimate you because of your age. Just stick to your beliefs and disregard those naysayers. Since starting this journey 5 years ago though hard work and determination I’ve exceeded all my expectations up until this point. My final take away is that, it’s not only by my efforts that determine my success, it’s the amazing group of people I surround myself with, and in return they seek my guidance, and the cycle begins again.