Personal Development for the Early Talent Community in the Industries & Customer Advisory (ICA)
As the ICA finds its Early Talent community growing by the year, so is all the talk about personal development. Young professionals in the ICA are constantly seeking opportunities to grow in ways valuable to larger teams moving the needle on Digital Transformation initiatives.
April this year marks my first work anniversary in the ICA. In just a year, I can say that being a part of the ICA has already been quite a journey for me, one filled with many experiences instrumental in my personal development.
In this post, I will be sharing some of those experiences and my thoughts on being future-ready in the ICA.
How the ICA Has Helped Me Grow
I think of the ICA at SAP much like the glue between our customers’ needs and our offerings. We help progress deals by bringing industry and product expertise to organisational challenges. To be effective in our roles is to be relevant to our customers – and this, for me, has meant learning many new skills, both hard and soft. For example, sound product and line-of-business knowledge are needed to propose best-fit ERP solutions to our customers. At the same time, effective communication, both verbal and written, is needed to ensure that our customers fully understand the value of our solutions.
Culture has also been a catalyst for my personal development here. The ICA’s strong-held belief of championing its Early Talent community has translated into various initiatives tailored to our needs. I have found that, beyond just getting the job done, having access to the tools and resources needed at my job level, along with suitable mentors, has helped me build confidence to set stretch targets for myself.
The Future of Work in the ICA
Like many teams and organisations, the ICA has had to adapt to new ways of working since the start of the pandemic.
Since making the shift to virtual engagements, I have seen the need for innovation front and centre in the ICA. Gone are the days where digital tools were just nice to have. To stay impactful in virtual settings, we must keep exploring new technology and engagement methods and be quick to leverage the best ones.
Equally important as innovation, I would say, is diversity. This thought came to me when I observed how those of us in the ICA are now tasked to help our customers tackle unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic. Not having a roadmap to follow makes this challenging. Therefore, to find the best solutions, our teams must have a mix of promoters, passives, and detractors, along with the creative tension that comes with such diversity.
For the ICA Early Talent community, the future of work for the ICA presents us a unique growth opportunity that must be seized. As digital natives and a generation open to new ideas, I believe we are well-positioned to be a force for such change. For example, by leading the way in innovation and diversity, we allow ourselves to tap into our creativity and leadership.
Thriving in the ICA
Apart from leveraging support from the ICA and adapting to new ways of working, how else can we thrive in our roles?
I will not quote clichés like “stay curious” or whatever else bandied around these days. I am sure we know them full well. Instead, I will remind the ICA Early Talent community to simply pause and reflect, even in the thick of things.
While mistakes are inevitable in the early years of our careers, they are not what defines our paths thereafter. How we grow from them does. By setting aside time for inward focus and reflection, we can make meaning of our day-to-day tasks and create a course of action. Growth can only come from positive changes made upon re-evaluating habitual decisions we make.
The next time you do this, ask yourself: “What would I do differently next time and why? How exactly will I do it?”