With over two decades of industry experience in infrastructure and engineering roles, Senior Delivery Manager John Milner joined Informed having not worked in a digital consultancy before.
Here, John talks about his transition into client-facing roles, how he recognised the value in his experience, and provides some tips for experienced professionals wanting to integrate into a new role.
I was invited to join Informed as a Senior Delivery Manager in November 2021. Moving to a digital consultancy in a client-facing position and working on the latest technologies was a shift from my previous roles, which were primarily based within large internal IT departments.
My attraction to Informed revolved around the ability to directly influence and contribute to the success and benefit of high profile, varied and important tech4good projects, and in doing so, work alongside multi-discipline teams and clients. This would build a new layer on top on my previous experiences working with technical delivery teams. A decision that has been more than vindicated!
The Value in Experience
Despite having not worked in digital consultancy before, transitioning into Informed with many years of industry experience allowed me to reflect on the knowledge and experience I had already gained, and alongside learning about a new environment and ways of working, understand where I could add both immediate and long-lasting value.
I have found that working with clients is very similar to working in an internal-facing environment, where understanding the business, and the different challenges, perspectives, and visions of a variety of stakeholders is so important. Moreover, the value of building and fostering collaborative relationships can be the key to sustained and successful delivery of desired outcomes for colleagues, partners, and clients.
Team working skills have been invaluable to me since I joined Informed, where we have such a positive onus on collaboration. Previous experience in line management and coaching, and working with multiple teams and colleagues, has helped me foster team spirit, positivity, resilience, and help on-board new team members, whilst encouraging an open, innovate culture. I am also able to call on the management and coaching training that I was fortunate enough to receive in previous roles and now at Informed – integrating that learning into day-to-day interactions.
Having a technology background helped my transition into digital transformation. Previous experience as an infrastructure engineer provided me with a grounding in IT technology, and a genuine interest and appreciation as to how practices have evolved and improved over time. In short – a lot! Despite significant advances, IT technology is still built on the same core principles, such as security best practices, scalability, sound processes, and continuous improvement, and therefore has given me a great base to build from.
Integrating Into a New Organisation as an Experienced Professional
For somebody who has already forged a successful career, joining a new business where the working practices, environment, sector, or specialisms are different to where they have been previously can be challenging and success will always be based on having an open mindset and being prepared to listen and reflect. Relating to my own experiences, here are some tips to help ease that transition:
- Don’t worry, it can take a little time to integrate – As an experienced employee, it takes time to understand the values and culture of an organisation and the contrasts with previous roles and different ways of working. It was great to reflect and validate for myself that the values discussed prior to joining Informed were absolutely in practice on my arrival.
- Be confident in your experience – While the majority of my experiences and career highlights occurred prior to joining Informed, it has been important for me to reflect that they are still valuable personally and professionally and that experiences gained in different environments and contexts enables me to provide useful alternative perspectives to support the goals and aspirations of my colleagues and the business.
- Rely on core principles and approaches – Relying on things that have served me well in the past such as building trust, developing relationships, supporting colleagues, actively listening, and providing clear communication are transferable and have helped me integrate into internal and client teams.
- Embrace learning opportunities – Having worked in different sectors and transitioned into consultancy, it has been extremely beneficial for me to have an internal mentor at Informed to support my career development, offering expert advice and guidance. They have also helped me identify how I can continue to build skills and capabilities through InformedACADEMY©, which in conjunction with clear career development paths, has helped me to understand my own career pathway, whilst also allowing me to help shape the development for those starting out in their career.
- Engage with Disciplines and forums – Engaging with the Delivery Management Discipline has enabled me to discuss best practices, recent industry developments and share what is working well and challenges faced across projects with Delivery Managers operating across various projects and engagements of different sizes and complexity. Through participation in Leadership forums, I have also been able to interact with leaders in different roles across the organisation to discuss different perspectives and experiences relating to common topics of interest, such as thought leadership, team motivation and exerting influence.
- Attend internal courses and social events – Courses and social events have helped me to integrate with team members working across different projects and to share experiences and knowledge and provided me with an opportunity to show the younger generation how to play football! Getting to know people in different environments away from your desk will always make your transition easier – it’s certainly helped me to feel more settled.
Being welcomed at Informed has provided me with a great opportunity to work alongside talented colleagues and clients on prestigious national-scale projects that help make our world safer, cleaner, healthier, and smarter. Over time I have found it easier to understand how to use over two decades of experience and new learnings since joining to support and lead such challenging and important projects.
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