Author: Lauren Davis
Just over two years ago, I contributed to an article that explored my career journey. So it seems fitting to review this journey and share a little about how things have progressed since then. I have transitioned from being a Project Manager to becoming a Director, Consulting Delivery but this article also serves to share the various opportunities available here at CGI.
What led me to CGI
I joined Logica as a graduate in 2002 because they (and the company they had acquired shortly prior) were business sponsors of my university degree. My plan was to stay for five years - I wanted to make a meaningful contribution and simultaneously, I wanted to build my skills.
However, I was also under the impression that I would need to job-hop in order to experience a diversity of roles and responsibilities and continue to learn. How wrong I was!
As it turns out, the variety of roles and challenges that I needed in order to grow my career has always been available to me within CGI.
When I wrote the last piece, I had just commenced our local Key Achievers Program. When that was completed, I progressed to our Developing Future Directors program. This ran across Australia and the UK. Then, in May this year, the opportunity arose for me to lead my very own team when CGI acquired Unico and I was promoted to Director, Consulting Delivery.
A day in the life of
There are three main components to my role, and they are aligned with the equilibrium we seek for our three stakeholders: our clients, members, and shareholders. I am accountable for our delivery to our clients within my sector.
I am also responsible for the 21 members of my team. This involves supporting their growth, career progression, well-being, and individual and team challenges and triumphs along the way. I also maintain a duty to our shareholders to help grow our business.
By supporting my team members and understanding what they need to be the best version of themselves, we maintain a high level of quality in our delivery and trust from our clients that we can help them achieve their business goals.
I work to continuously improve myself, my team, and our delivery so that all our stakeholders benefit.
So what does a day in my work life look like? It can vary significantly but it typically starts with a team meeting with my members, followed by back-to-back client calls and meetings, where I get to understand their challenges and discuss potential solutions.
I also take part in external events, such as industry conferences and seminars, to stay up to date with the latest trends. During the day, I'm available to support my team, and I often have one-on-one meetings to review performance, discuss career opportunities, and provide feedback. In the evening, I look ahead and plan for the next day.
Learning opportunities and growing my skill set
I’ve been fortunate to benefit from strong mentors right from the start, and in particular, strong female leaders during my first role as a Spatial Support Analyst and during my early project management roles.
I have also been supported through opportunities for formal learning, with our internal development programs such as the Developing Future Directors program.
However, I’d say that the greatest influence has been from my mentors, both through the people I work with on a daily basis who have coached me along the way, and through other formally-assigned mentors.
I am very appreciative of my previous manager, Paul Englund, who patiently coached me over the last four years, increasing my responsibilities and providing practical experience that ultimately led to my being promoted to my current role. He also helped me feel ready for a logical progressive step, rather than a career leap. In my new role, I continue to be supported by our team including my current manager, John Connaughton, as well as HR, business development, and many other subject matter experts.
My current role has seen me move from the Energy and Utilities domain to a focus on the Telecommunications sector. My prior work with our Real-Time SCADA/IoT teams and our SensorInsights360 IP is a great example of where these two sectors converge.
The industries also face similar challenges and business problems including with workflows, simplifying the user experience, reducing operating expense budgets, business intelligence, digitisation, and cloud adoption.
For the last six months, I have been leaning into the wealth of knowledge held by our Technical Subject Matter Experts, both local and global. I am also developing an understanding of our IP in this space. This includes things such as our local IP, uPair Entitlement Server, which provides the smarts to enable my watch to be connected to my phone on a single number, and how we can explore extending those smarts to different devices such as vehicles. I also recently completed Shipley training for Capture Planning and Proposal Writing which allows me to remain client-focused and really understand and communicate benefits to our clients.
Advice for anyone who is looking to join CGI
Whilst initially you’ll likely be attracted to a specific advertised role at CGI, that role will become part of your career story. Your journey can start and progress within your chosen career stream, but there are vast and varied opportunities to switch between streams as you shape your career.
My advice would be to take the time to understand and appreciate the broader, end-to-end service value CGI delivers and the diversity of roles that makes it possible. The more you can appreciate the bigger picture, the more you’ll be able to shape and progress your career.
If your curiosity has been piqued and you’re open to discovering more about CGI, head over to our Career Page.