43: Careers in Support with Vanessa Subramaniam

43: Careers in Support with Vanessa Subramaniam

Vanessa Subramaniam advises being very solutions-oriented when you try and build your career path. 


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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 43 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is careers in support. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today, I’d like to welcome back Vanessa Subramaniam. So Vanessa, the topic for this week is careers in support. How do you build a career in support intentionally do you think?

Vanessa Subramaniam 0:44
Yeah, so I, I’ve always aimed at being solutions-oriented, and I think whatever role I’ve had, you can identify problems and that’s a large part of showing your ability to innovate and ability to do more than what your core role is. But when you’re identifying those problems coming up with a solution and a plan for other folks in the organisation to work on, has been helpful for me in terms of my own growth. And I find that when people are looking to grow on my teams, I suggest that they do something along those lines, and come up with business cases that have solutions as part of the business case, or recommendations. Because it’s easy to point out the flaws but it makes it seem like you’re very narrow-sighted. For me got moving into leadership was a bit of an accident. I never really meant to be a manager, I always thought that I’d be an individual contributor writing documentation. And I’ve gone the exact opposite direction. And part of it is doing a little bit of introspection, trying out some of those tasks that you think you want to do like documentation, like writing and seeing if you like it and being really honest with yourself. I know a lot of people earlier on in their career, they just want growth. And they don’t know what growth but they want growth. And part of that is experimenting and being honest with yourself of, I don’t like this, this is what I thought was good in my five-year plan, but it’s really not for me. I think being a manager is one of the most common ones that people say that that’s what I want to do. And do a lot of reading on that, look at the emotional impact it’s going to have on you and think about the tasks that you’d be completing on a day to day basis and see if that’s something that you’d like to like to handle. There’re baby steps towards being a manager like being a mentor within the company, seeking out a mentor. And if that gives you energy if that makes you feel good at the end of the day, then it’s probably an okay path to explore further, but if you don’t even like that, then it’s okay. It’s okay not to want that, maybe look elsewhere.

Charlotte Ward 3:02
Yeah, yeah. So it’s, it’s a little bit about picking a few cherries and seeing, seeing how you feel about them. Right when… I was about to go off on some analogy about eating cherries, which I’ll just ignore. Let me just rephrase that entirely. So it’s a little bit like, just picking the bits of the business that you see around you that you find interesting. Right? And, and, and trying it out. It’s, it’s trying out little pieces of the pie and seeing, seeing what it’s like and do you think we’re in a world then where now in support, by and large, maybe not entirely across the industry, but in certain sectors, there is more freedom to do that as an IC because I know back in the day in my frontline support days, it was very rigid. It was very prescriptive, the expectations were laid out. And this was your set of responsibilities. And really, there was not much opportunity. You had to fight hard to do anything outside of your very rigid job description. Do you think times are changing?

Vanessa Subramaniam 4:17
I think it depends on your organisation. So there are times where you have a job to do and your job is just to execute on what your core KPIs are. And if you love your job, that’s great. There are times where that’s just all I have to do and I love doing it.

Charlotte Ward 4:34
And it’s clear, right, it’s clarity?

Vanessa Subramaniam 4:37
Totally clear you probably work, you know, right on the dot at, nine, you can leave right on the dot at five at those times. are less mentally draining in general, if you like your job, but I do think that we’ve seen so many excellent examples of people contributing to the company in that IC role. That isn’t what the traditional support agent has looked like for the last 20 years. And I think that’s very exciting. I think. And to be completely honest, when you can bring revenue into a company in some way, if you can reduce cost or bring in revenue, those results will always encourage a company to be a bit more creative and go with what your idea is. So I encourage people to look at what your core job is, what are they hoping to get from you? give them that and then the extra stuff. You need to prove that you’re either reducing cost or increasing revenue.

Charlotte Ward 5:43
Yeah. So even if you are trying little bits of other roles on to suit, see how they fit then it still has to have an eye on the business as well as an eye on your own personal growth. Yeah, absolutely.

Vanessa Subramaniam 6:00

Charlotte Ward 6:00
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/43 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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