By Regina Kelley, Senior Manager, PMO & Quality Assurance
I love what I do here at Moxi! I have been a Moxian for almost five years and have had the opportunity to wear many different hats in that time. My role has morphed and changed, year over year thanks to my amazing and supportive manager, Mark Carlson, who continues to believe in me, challenge me, and give me the opportunity to do what I love – being a leader at Moxi Works.
My proudest moment being a leader here at Moxi has been helping a fellow Moxian grow his own career and watching him become a strong and successful leader. Andy’s journey these past nine months is worth sharing and could perhaps inspire others to grow their own careers as well!
Be an expert or demonstrate knowledge
Andy started his career as a summer intern while he was still in college and rocked the testing world right out of the gate. His performance and attitude earned him a full-time position when he graduated, and over the next six years Andy expanded his knowledge and perfected his craft. He worked hard to grow his testing and technical skills, quickly becoming our team’s go-to-guy!
Find a path, make a plan
In the first quarter of 2017, we were beginning our Quarterly Review Cycle and were talking about his goals and what was next. Our discussion lead me to ask Andy what he enjoyed most about his job and what he does daily here at Moxi. His answer came fast: He enjoyed the technical aspects of testing! He also mentioned enjoying helping his fellow teammates… So we went with it!
I approached our VP of Technology and pitched the idea of this new role on the testing team and after getting the thumbs up we created a new role just for Andy to drive and work toward – a technical lead.
The testing team had never had a lead before, so I asked Andy to do some research and define this new role and with that, a path was created. He created a plan and off he went to work toward achieving this new goal. I am a big believer in employees taking control of their own careers and this is a great example of how to get started. Find a path, and make a plan!
Create opportunities for growth
In order to grow on this new path, to become this new Technical Lead, I had to create new opportunities for him to step up. The more responsibility Andy took on and succeeded at, the more his passion grew for what he was doing, so much so that he even began creating his own opportunities for growth. It didn’t take long for Andy to reach that goal and we had ourselves a Lead.
He was doing so well and gaining so much momentum in his new role, I started asking, what’s next? How do you feel about Leadership and Management? Again, with the quick answer – I’m not interested in that, I like the technical side. But I could see that he did enjoy helping his fellow teammates and mentoring – and he was natural at it! So, I suggested to him a new growth opportunity – to mentor/ manage an intern. Although reluctant at first, he jumped in with both feet.
After that our weekly check-in meeting dynamic began to change. As the weeks went by it shifted from strictly a test status update to more focused conversations about leading and mentoring on the team. We talked about the best ways to get things done, how to grow his mentee and help others on the team continue their growth. Every week Andy walked away with new objectives and opportunities for him to stretch himself in a different way, a non-technical way.
After a couple months went by I asked Andy how he was feeling about his mentorship, and his answer didn’t come quite as quickly as before – surprisingly, he was really enjoying it! I could see the great leadership potential Andy had, he just needed to see it in himself.
Strengthen what you love
Andy and I will continue to rock the testing world here at Moxi together, and we will continue to push him and give him new opportunities to try different things – even things he may not know he will enjoy.
If you take one thing away from this story, know that you can do this too. Start by asking yourself what you love most about what you do every day, and go with it! Share that with your manager or mentor and look for new opportunities to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and take chances. You won’t know until you try, and you may find a new passion you didn’t even know you had!