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5 things I've learned about accelerating professional journeys

During my journey working on people-focused teams, I have faced both hard decisions and enjoyed moments of celebration. The most fulfilling experiences I’ve had are related to career growth, which has cultivated the most sense of purpose in my role.

Currently, I lead a program that helps Thoughtworkers accelerate their professional growth and build their future in tech: Desenvolve, or ‘Develop’ in English.
Desenvolve is an immersive two-year program where new joiners spend the first five weeks at Thoughtworks University (TWU), which takes place at both our India and China offices. During this time, they learn everything about being a consultant, working on real-life client situations within a global community of people from 14 countries. This period of learning is a major milestone in the journey to becoming a consultant at Thoughtworks. 

After returning from TWU, Thoughtworkers are then assigned to a project to apply their learnings and align expectations about their next career steps so we can be intentional about their growth. 
In this context, my role is to cultivate a support network to facilitate learning while creating the structures needed to encourage fast-paced career growth.

See how exciting it is to be part of this program?

Here is what I’ve learned in my role so far:

1. Each journey is unique

It's important to understand that people develop distinct paths during their professional journeys which are influenced by their values, skills, competencies, learnings, and passions. These elements also shape a person’s worldview. So, celebrating these distinctions, embracing subjectivity and paying attention to what each person—with their own complexity—can contribute to a team is to consider each person as a unique being who is motivated by a unique purpose. Thus, people will become engaged in a space of trust in their interactions and will make better and more informed decisions.

2. Connect people to their strengths

Usually, we focus more on what competencies we lack instead of the ones we already have, which is important to remember when building spaces of continuous improvement. However, understanding and embracing our strengths is fundamental in growing a career, taking more assertive actions and building an influential professional network. When we leverage our strengths, we can make better choices that highlight our potential and make more effective decisions when it comes to delivery. 

Another relevant aspect is that we can support others who want to develop the competencies we have and then create an environment of influence and engagement. When we share what we learn, we achieve a position of reference on the team. As someone who keeps track of other people's journeys, this is why it's so important to be an encouraging facilitator in the process of connection.

3. It's all about attitude

It’s important to me that I build and support a structure where people can direct their careers and lead initiatives to be agents of transformation, creating and implementing solutions within their business. Thereby, even though a support network exists, people must understand that they are in charge of their own paths. People must have a sense of commitment and a professional attitude, recognize community spaces and gain autonomy. This is essential when talking about achieving potential. 

It's all about attitude. How do you face opportunities? How do you expose yourself to learnings and challenges? Create your own opportunities!

4. Adopt a "Global Thinking Mindset"

We are a global software consulting company, and the Desenvolve program reaches teammates across 14 countries, allowing us to be involved in an intercultural context. Understanding cultural nuances is always challenging, but it also allows us to rethink our values and how we perceive others. So why is this important? 

Culture shock can lead to anxiety and stress, which may make people less assertive, ultimately impacting efficiency and synergy. Cultivating an intercultural learning environment relies on having a “Global Thinking Mindset” where you embrace different cultures, respect individual subjectivity and appreciate differences in order to acquire more emotional intelligence. 

Thoughtworks University

5. Celebrate diversity

The Desenvolve program strives to change the face of the technology market. We are welcoming and intentional when we recruit candidates who are from historically oppressed and excluded groups. This is why we celebrate diversity: it’s the right thing to do and it's one of the ways we can reduce the impact of social barriers. Besides that, we recognize how diverse journeys enrich and promote a creative environment to qualify our deliveries, since looking at different experiences can help us better understand society. We are in a hurry to create positive social change, and I believe the only way we can evolve as a group is by creating diverse and safe spaces.

In sharing these learnings, there are three main elements that make me happy: passion, learning, and fascination. Currently, I have the privilege of living these while working, which helps me accept people as they are. I embrace complexity and humanity, aligning them with my deliveries so I can create growth spaces along my journey.

Translated from Brazilian Portuguese by Wagner Palacio

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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