Auto-translation used

Growth within a team in a large IT company. What difficulties can there be and how to smoothly move to a new position. Is "Impostor syndrome” normal?

I am Aigul Bayakhmetova— Head of the Sales Department of the Kolesa Group in Astana. Today I will tell you about my path from the position of an ordinary manager to the head of the sales department. I will tell you what difficulties I faced on the way and what chips I used to overcome them. I'll tell you a little about myself. 

I am originally from Kostanay region. Graduated from the specialty “Information systems in economics". She went to work in her profession, but soon left because she felt out of place. Moved into the HR field. Because I really liked working with people and this area was close to me, because I was always sociable and could find a common language with anyone. Having worked in this field for a sufficient number of years, I realized that I wanted to try myself in a different path. When I found out that there was a vacant sales manager position in the Kolesa Group, I decided that this was a chance and decided to try to get an interview. I came to their office without responding to a vacancy in . At that time, as you can imagine, I had no official sales experience. But at my last job, for about a month I worked in direct sales in parallel: I sold cosmetics around the city, went through every door. 

That's what she said at the interview at the Kolesa Group. In 2019, after passing a 3-stage interview, I passed and learned new skills. At that time, there were only 2 managers in the sales department. I was the 3rd. At the moment, we have 10 managers on staff. After the expiration of 3 years in 2021, we had a grading system, I passed the manager's key account. After a year of working in this position, in 2022, I switched to the team lead grade. There were a lot of challenges that I overcame during all this time. And so, after a year and a half in the position of team leader, by the end of 2023, she was interviewed for the head of the sales department.  

I believe that career growth is not a prize that can be won in the lottery, but a result that needs to be achieved. And for this you need to know your goal clearly. In our company, a person gets a job as an account manager, after passing the probation period, with continuous closure of the plan for 5 months, becomes a key account manager. After that, he can grow to a team leader, or to the head of the sales department. Indicators and initiative in work are important here. 

Growth within a team is a common story. When you grow up with your team, you know the strengths and weaknesses of each manager and can influence these aspects. For example, one manager is strong in pushing a partner, while another lacks this skill. To help the second one develop this skill, thereby improving his professional qualities. Also, one of the managers is very good at working for team cohesion, he is entrusted with additional responsibilities for the introduction of new chips in this direction.

It is also important to take into account the company's willingness to invest resources in employee development and create conditions for professional growth. Our company has followed this tactic. After passing the interview for the head of the sales department, my commercial director adapted me to the new process for the first few months, guiding and teaching me new responsibilities. 

There are 2 factors of manifestation of a specialist's psychological readiness for professional growth: 

  • Proactivity.
  • Willingness to take responsibility.  

Both factors were familiar to me, and as a team leader, I stuck to them. When you become a manager, you have a lot of responsibility for the team and for the performance of the entire department. Thinking is changing, you look at some things from all sides, you set priorities and try to keep everything under control. 

 As for my team, here I tried to smoothly move from the position of team leader to the position of leader, since I understood that the most important thing at this stage was not to lose touch with my team, being in a higher position. Gradually introducing my ideas and updated rules, I tried not to devalue the ideas of the guys and their suggestions. 

When I became the head, I appointed a meeting with the team and honestly said that I needed their support and that we need to work together for the benefit of the common cause. I immediately made it clear that I wanted to benefit and would be open to their ideas. 

I can say with confidence that I was very lucky with my team, they supported me and to this day I feel and appreciate their support very much. We are stubbornly moving towards the same goal and we can achieve it only together through joint efforts. 

After all, the basis of our work is teamwork, consistency and mutual respect. 

A leader who has grown up within a team has its own difficulty: it is necessary to rebuild relationships. A priori, there should be no favorites, everyone should be treated equally. If you had friends and colleagues, then try to convey to them the important point that in your current position you need to build relationships in such a way that there are no controversial issues, such as resentments and so on, in order to prevent conflicts and deterioration of working relations in the team. 

At first, I was worried about the “Impostor Syndrome”, it still happens periodically, but much less often, I consider it a victory. This phenomenon is often encountered by novice specialists who are just entering a new position. 

I don't know if everyone has the phenomenon of impostor syndrome, but according to various estimates, up to 80% of people around the world face impostor syndrome. In literary sources, the impostor syndrome is described as follows: it is not a mental disorder or disease, but rather a set of certain sensations. It seems to a person that he is not in his place, does not correspond to his position, does not put enough effort, and any life and professional successes are rather accidental. 

 It is not so difficult to overcome impostor syndrome (of course, if your condition has not yet developed into depression). I advise you to take three important steps to restore your self-worth:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Compare yourself only with yourself to see your growth. At the same time, try not to make too high demands on yourself.
  2. The human brain is constantly forgetting something. Remind yourself of your merits. Notice everything you do. Write down your daily activities, achievements, and ideas you have implemented. 
  3. Eliminate the root cause. If you don't have enough feedback, go to your colleagues, supervisor, partners, mentor for feedback. Don't be afraid to get a negative assessment. If you were really treated badly, you would have expressed it a long time ago — a person cannot keep anger and rage in himself for a long time. If you haven't been told a clear negative, then it probably isn't there.

What else will help to facilitate the process of dealing with the “impostor”:

  1. Discuss the problem with people you trust. Silencing is a frequent companion of the impostor, which only aggravates the situation.
  2. Don't overestimate the interest in yourself. People are less likely to think about you than it might seem. Everyone is focused on their own affairs, problems and interests. At the moment when it seems to you that a colleague is thinking about your mistakes, he can mentally choose a meal for dinner.
  3. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Take mistakes as a new experience. Negative and positive experiences are constant companions of development. 

Summarizing my article, I would like to end it with my slogan, which I adhere to: “If you are afraid, then you are on the right track! Take all the difficulties that come your way as a challenge!” 

Comments 2

Login to leave a comment

Классный пост! Дочитал до конца , спасибо что поделились с опытом) Начинайте поэтапно писать свою книгу, буду рад купить и прочитать