CGI member Joe Venn shares how she's faced imposter syndrome and struggling to ‘fit in’ in the corporate world. She explains her career journey and how she's now thriving at CGI, recognising and embracing her neurodiversity.
Building a career on my strengths with CGI
My neurodiversity can challenge me with my focus, organisation and time management skills. However, I've learned to put a lot of effort into being that analogy of a graceful swan: gliding through the water while my feet are paddling below.
That’s why, despite those challenges, I’ve worked my way along a 25+ year career journey, starting out as an Administrator, then Consultant, and now, as a Manager in Learning & Development (L&D) at CGI.
In my earlier days, I used to always think that I wasn't built to 'fit in' with a corporate world, but respect for diversity is embedded in the CGI culture and values. Today, thanks to this appreciative company, I’ve come to recognise that my differences are what make me good at what I do.
Working the CGI way
Through thoughtful leadership, great mentors, and the support of the CGI Neuroverse network, I've realised that I can take ownership of, and celebrate, my strengths and my achievements. I don't need to simply fit in - I am, in fact, in a safe place and I belong where I am.
Throughout my adult work life, I've suffered chronic imposter syndrome. That’s probably due to struggling at school as a child with undiagnosed ADHD. There have been many times in my career when I have felt that I don’t deserve to enjoy a management position.
But at CGI, I have always been made to feel that I have opportunities, that my contributions are valued, and my strengths acknowledged. Furthermore, CGI has enabled me to be open and not hide the struggles that my neurodiversity presents.
Just recently, I pursued an ADHD diagnosis and treatment to alleviate some of the struggles I encounter day-to-day. I am now on a journey to what will hopefully be an even more fulfilling work life, with support from CGI's Health & Wellbeing team, my manager, and colleagues from the Neuroverse network.
Mentorship and motivation
I'm thankful to have many inspirational and motivational peers around me in my broader CGI network, and within the CGI Neuroverse group, who always have great advice, stories and information to share.
My current and previous leaders, especially, have been fantastic mentors. They both supported me in developing myself, helped me work to my strengths, and supported me with my ADHD diagnosis.
My key strength is my ability to see the bigger picture - visualising and understanding of how all the pieces fit together. I like to understand and learn about how things work together and the impact they have on each other, which was my key contribution to the implementation of CGI’s global learning platform rollout. I am so proud to have been a core part of delivering this project which simplified access to learning and reskilling for CGI members around the world. It was one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on to date.
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