Jas Johal has enjoyed a really rewarding career with CGI for the last 24 years. There’s never been a moment she wanted to go anywhere else, read why in this new careers article.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career when I was young. Despite having never touched a computer in my life, I selected IT when it was time for university and I found myself one of only two females in a class of 80. Luckily I really enjoyed it and when I graduated, I got my first job as a junior developer in a small pensions company.
I stayed in that role for four years before moving on to a testing role for six months, followed by a role as a business analyst. It was after this that I joined CGI to support the services I had developed.
CGI has been great. I’ve been here for 24 years now and made constant career progress, working with a huge variety of clients and industries. My leaders have always believed in me, helped me get over imposter syndrome (which I now know is very common!) and encouraged me to step up into more senior roles. I’ve been provided with all the resources I needed to do my job well, endless training and upskilling opportunities as well as numerous fantastic mentors, and today I’m a Service Director with my own team, managing service for over 150 clients.
There’s simply never been a reason for me to want to go anywhere else!
Diverse clients leads to diverse skills
Very soon after joining CGI, I was promoted to team lead for a service team. This meant not only managing the team members, but ensuring Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were met and improvements were made to the service. About a year later I was appointed Service Delivery Manager, where I worked closer to the client, managed remote teams, worked with external stakeholders and had the opportunity to manage transitions of new services into my portfolio with the help of the project manager.
Having the chance to move around and work with different clients and CGI teams was invaluable. It made it easier for me to keep progressing into more senior positions and taking on bigger responsibilities. I not only continued to apply everything I’d learned so far, but continued to learn more with each new role. I have worked in many different industries, from Government, to Health, to Telecommunications and the sheer variety of projects was the best training I could have asked for. Each account taught me new skills. The way you resolve a problem in one industry may not be exactly how you resolve it in another, but a mixture of what you’ve experienced is often the answer.
All these experiences gave me the confidence, skills and experience to move into my current role as Service Delivery Director two and a half years ago. Now I’m helping to grow CGI’s business processing capabilities, an extremely rewarding and challenging responsibility.
Believe in a company who believes in you
While tech has changed for the better since I started, 27 years ago I was one of few females in a heavily male-dominated industry. That was probably my biggest challenge, but it only made me stronger and more self-reliant. I was determined that my gender or ethnicity would not be a ‘thing’ and that I would show everyone how well I could do my job and what I bring to the table.
I was fortunate to always feel fully supported at CGI. My first manager was amazing. He understood the challenges of raising a family while working full time in a demanding role and allowed me to work flexibly around my children’s needs. In addition I had a female mentor who believed in me and gave me the confidence, opportunities and the push to do bigger and better things.
Now, many years down the line, many of my colleagues’ children have joined CGI in some capacity, which is proof of how much we like working here - nobody would encourage their child to join if they didn’t! My own daughter loved her experience as a CGI graduate and my son has been here for two years, also as a graduate. The support you get for your career development at CGI, its inclusive culture, the diverse people and projects you’re exposed to - it’s just great to work for a company who truly supports everyone for who they are and who makes you believe that you can achieve everything you want in your career too.
For career opportunities at CGI, head to our careers page.