Finding hidden talent through internal mobility

Karolin Williams, Process Optimisation Manager at Resource Solutions

In early 2017, Karolin Williams made a pivot in her career, deciding to switch industries and work in an area she didn't have any experience in. Seeing the change as an opportunity to widen her perspective, Karolin joined Resource Solutions as a Lean Consultant with one of our international banking clients.

Today she's part of our Global Business Transformation team as a Process Optimisation Manager. We sat down with Karolin to better understand her career trajectory and the internal growth she sees and experiences with Resource Solutions today.

Why did you decide to work for Resource Solutions?

I was at a point in my career where I knew I wanted to make a drastic change. I had been working in higher education and conducting training on lean systems and processes and I saw Resource Solutions as an opportunity to develop my professional and personal perspectives. I hadn't worked in recruitment before and knew very little about RPO, plus had never worked in the financial services sector so it was completely new!

I joined as a Lean Consultant and immediately felt welcomed with the support from my Director and Managing Director. My managers - and mentors - have consistently pushed me to think outside the box, nurture my hustle, and to never stop moving.

The highlight has truly been working with so many people and equipping them with the tools to improve their work for their own benefit and their clients'. Plus, I've discovered so much about myself in the process!

What's your motivation that's guided your professional journey?

The art of learning is a transformative journey both professionally and personally, and feedback is a gift. When you're armed with other people's opinions, knowledge and experiences - information becomes clarity. And when you encounter setbacks, they can be deep learning experiences if you allow it. Ultimately, it's okay to not know things, to make mistakes, and to ask questions. All of these experiences put things into perspective and enable us to reflect, so we best know how to improve for next time. Never stop developing! 

What does Lean mean to you and why is it important?

I've always believed that in order to get the best out of people, wherever or whoever you are, you have to show respect - and by that I mean respect their time, their skills and their ideas, and support their development. I think that's why as soon as I learned about lean I could relate to it. 

Lean is a systems thinking; it supports people, processes and technology. It's all-encompassing and focusses on growth by constantly evaluating and improving how we work. It looks at making our people better, allowing them to be creative and to ensure that leaders are working ON the business than rather just IN the business.

In order to keep up with an ever changing world it just makes sense to create a culture where we are all constantly improving our ways of working.

Can you tell us of a time you had a stretch opportunity that challenged and rewarded you?

Learning about an entirely new sector - when I first started - was and is a daily challenge that I still welcome. But another moment comes to mind - in my first month at Resource Solutions - I created a global lean rollout plan for our client, which was a great opportunity for me to learn and demonstrate my skills.

Have you done much travelling for clients with Resource Solutions?

Yes! I've been to Jacksonville, Florida and New York City in the US, and Pune and Hyderabad in India. Meeting colleagues face-to-face after months of email exchange is such a pleasure! Travelling and interacting with colleagues across the globe is one of the things I love about working here.

If you were assigned a Resource Solutions mentee, what advice would you give them?

Always have a plan - but make sure that plan is flexible. Moving upwards - as we're often pressured to do to measure our professional successes against - is not the only way to grow your career!

Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 years. There are plenty of opportunities out there, but you need to hold yourself accountable to learn and develop. Your network can always give you advice and share their experiences with you, but ultimately, it's up to you to do the tough but rewarding work to get there.

As a manager, what do you do to support the hypergrowth of the people you manage?

Over the last 2 years with Resource Solutions, I can confidently say I've become much more strategic. That's in part because of the great managers who've pushed me in environments where I have had the opportunities and freedom to develop and use my skillset.

Like my managers, I trust the people I manage. They're the experts, and I trust them to do the right tasks at the right time. And I'm there as a support and to offer guidance when it's needed. I have to say I'm very lucky though, as my colleagues' passion for their work drives the quality we deliver.

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