Learn IT career tips from Beata Bartos, Junior Delivery Manager at GFT Poland
Could you please share with us the career path that led you to IT?
Strong Women in IT report highlights the fact that IT industry is open to people with no tech background. Many of my colleagues (mostly women) working in this sector graduated from humanities, law or philology faculties and were able to successfully work their way up in IT.
And also I am proud representative of this group and the best example that if you work really hard you can achieve everything you want in life.
But coming back to your question – what path led me to IT? Well as it happens very often in life – pure accident 😊
In 2010 I came back to Poland after completing part of my studies at University of Milan and I completely didn’t know what to do next. My dream was to continue to study abroad, become a simultaneous interpreter and work in EU Parliament. Instead I applied for an internship at GFT Group (at that time Rule Financial company) and surprisingly to me I was offered a job.
And basically that’s how my adventure with IT started.
Then for the next 7 years I supported IT Delivery Teams working first in Administration, then in Finance and HR. I was given a chance to look at IT market and industry from different prospectives, understand better how company processes work, what are people’s expectations, problems, ecc.
I must admit that these experiences shaped me the most and equipped me with some kind of ‘sensibility’ that I consider crucial while managing company and working with people on daily basis.
By the way one of my favorite quote says: ‘business is about people, if you’re good at people, you’re good at business’.
How did you make the jump into IT, what was the most important skill that helped you?
In 2017 GFT Poland started Nearshore cooperation with GFT Italy. Due to the fact that I knew Italian I was asked to support this cooperation initially on operational level. I started as Delivery Coordinator and then was promoted to Junior Deliver Manager. Under supervision of a great Senior Manager that happens to be my mentor too (Paweł Cebula) on daily basis I’m developing my IT and management skills.
What skill helped me?
Well, I never gave up on learning foreign languages ( which by the way I really love) and as you can see on my example it paid off 😊 Since I was a kid I knew that many skills can be developed and acquired during some short courses but languages were not one of them. So, while I was gaining my professional experiences at GFT, at the same time was completing my education in Italian philology and Translations and attending Greek, Latin or Spanish classes (and I still do 😊).
But a part form languages, in a word changing so fast (especially in IT) I think that flexibility, willingness to learn new things and ability to adapt to those changes are the most important and required skills.
Also careers paths in the past used to be about climbing the ladder. They were predictable and linear. Now work environments are squiggly with five generations of people working side by side on daily basis. You need to be flexible and openminded. You need to be learn how to combine many skills and be interdisciplinary in order to offer a unique skillset that will differentiate you from the market.
What tips you would give to other women?
If you want something in life work hard for it. Stay focused, work hard. Be resilient and perservant. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Find yourself a mentor, person who inspires you and believes in you.
We women tend to be perfectionists. Please remember: done is better than perfect and progress over perfection. Learn how to delegate!
Always follow your intuition, speak out loud and don’t believe in ceilings. If you are really good at something it doesn’t matter if you are man or a woman.
And once you find yourself on the top remember to become a mentor to someone who may need your support.
Could you please share with us your favorite IT books, courses, etc. for individual upskilling?
I could provide you here with standard list of upskilling courses, certifications and books in IT project Management (which I of course took) but I don’t want to. I believe that everybody who wants to prepare career development plan perfectly knows where to look for them. Not to mention the fact that my whole education and upskilling process I owe to GFT that has great internal programs and trainings.
Instead I would like to share with your community a list of books which helped me as woman to change my way of thinking and become more ‘bulletproof’.
Classics that in my opinion no women should miss are ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead’ by Sheryl Sandberg, ‘Mrs Moneypenny’s Career Advice for Ambitious Women’ by Heather McGregor , ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Woman Make That Sabotage Their Careers’ by Lois P.Frankel and ‘Nevertheless, She Persisted: True Stories of Woman Leaders in Tech’ by Pratima Rao Gluckman.
In addition I would recommend: ‘The Squiggly Carrer: Dith the ladder. Discover opportunity, Design your career by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis and ‘The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping your Business Win’.
In my private time I love to read biographies of famous individuals.
Every morning, before I start to work I have a habit to dedicate some time to read newspapers in foreign languages (e.g.: El Pai’s, Il Sole 24 ore, The New York Times, ForbesWoman). It allows me to stay updated, compare how news are presented in different countries and of course upgrade on daily basis my language competencies.
Thank you for your attention!