Changing Career Course: One Millennial’s Journey
Story originally authored by Lineke Stolker and Danni Qin, SAP Career & Talent Management, Human Resources
Shipra Chaudhary has had an unusual career, even though she is still an early talent. She started in July 2011 as an associate developer at SAP in Predictive Analysis, Technology & Innovation. After two years of a successful technical career, she was ready to take up bigger responsibilities. Becoming interested in management, she decided to pursue her MBA and then returned to SAP because of the brand reputation and culture. “SAP is the number 1 enterprise,” Shipra says, noting in particular that SAP is innovative and profit-driven, with a stable set of cultural values to boot. “I really appreciate the flat structure, flexibility, open transparent communication with leaders, and the concept of learning anywhere and anytime!” Add to this, a diverse workforce, the attitude of helping each other, and the innovation mindset, and you have the basis for developing a career within a great working culture, she explains.
What has had the greatest impact on your career development so far? When asked to describe her career journey in one word Shipra says “rewarding”. She counts herself lucky to have been influenced by two great managers: one taught her the functional skills to become a good developer, while the other was more of a coach, who developed her people skills. Changing her career path from developer to HR has offered her new insights. “Where you have something to show as a quantitative result in Development, this content knowledge is harder to acquire in HR, which is usually measured on qualitative results (soft),” Shipra says. “Now we [HR] are moving more towards metrics and the impact of HR becomes more tangible.” And, as a participant in the Global HR Early Talent Program, she is now getting more involved in decision-making, is able to take ownership and realizes that challenging work is a motivator for her.
The rotations as part of the program are a great way to experience and learn different cultures, people and topics.
Tapping into people to support career and personal development Continuous support during her career has raised her motivation to learn. She likes to explore new things and go to a subject matter expert when she has questions. “Insights from executives are very helpful and managers should always share relevant information,” Shipra suggests.
“My peer coach really helps me to look at things from a different perspective and enables me to come up with solutions.” Shipra finds that job shadowing is another way of helping her grow by meeting people with different expertise. “They bring experiential knowledge by sharing their real life examples, instead of just the theory itself.”
A mentor is more for technical support on content knowledge in your field of work, according to Shipra, and she considers herself privileged to have so many HR colleagues as mentors.
All these different kinds of support stimulate self-reflection, allowing her to focus on where she need to change. Shipra concludes, “It is important to stay relevant in your career and this means to stay curious and hungry for the next learning opportunity!”
Update: Shipra has completed her rotations with Talent Acquisition and HR Operations (India), and is now in her third role with Coaching, Peer to Peer learning- COE, enjoying an international experience in Germany!
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