A project lottery?
During my first week as an ORMIT’er, I was rather curious about projects that ORMIT could assign me on: would I have many responsibilities? Would it be challenging? Would I have plenty of learning possibilities? I had no clue.
I even once heard: “ORMIT has a great development programme, but the quality of the projects you will be assigned on is a kind of lottery”.
My first experience at GDF SUEZ/ELECTRABEL
Soon my first project came: GDF SUEZ/Electrabel was looking for someone to join their Deal Confirmation team within the Operation department of the Energy Management and Trading branch. “A great learning opportunity for you” said my coach, so I jumped in. Interview went well, and I started a few days later.
The first days were surprising. “Deal Confirmation” was not what I expected it to be. In a nutshell, the job was: you receive some information and you compare it with what you have: If it’s the same you validate and if it’s different you correct it. It didn’t sound exciting.
Afraid of doing the same thing for 13 months, I sent a text to my coach: “I do not see many development possibilities”. She was obviously not happy with this, and asked me to stay open-minded. At least, I said to myself, the working atmosphere is great: colleagues are friendly, and they seem all to be part of a big family.
Stay open minded
Keeping the words of my coach in mind, I stayed open-minded and learned as much as I could. My new colleagues gave me trainings and insights in the business and it appeared that deal confirmation was more complex than I thought. I also realised that some processes were unclear and needed to be reviewed, and some others could be automated easily by improving quality checks. Together with my team, we improved what could be improved. My knowledge of Excel and Visual Basic was of great help (at the end of my project, when we met any kind of problem, some colleagues were even joking: “No problem, Gilles will write a macro to solve it!”).
When a new project came by 3 months after the start of my assignment, this attitude was rewarded: my manager asked me to work on a financial regulation project (“EMIR Reporting”), which meant new learning possibilities, new people to meet and new responsibilities for the next 10 months! Michel – an ORMIT’er – came to replace me within the Deal confirmation Team, and another one – Sébastien – came a few months later to join our brand new EMIR Reporting team.
On this new assignment, Sébastien and I closely worked with the IT team to ensure technical processes were correctly implemented. We made a day to day follow-up, suggested business improvements and designed reporting and monitoring tools. We also had many contacts with legal, regulation and front office departments in order to address reporting issues. A lot of challenges!
Several weeks before the end of my assignment, I documented all processes so that I could step back and go for another assignment. And guess what? Nico – another ORMIT’er – replaced me, meaning that there are now still 3 ORMIT’ers at GDF SUEZ!
Conclusion: It is up to you
So, what’s the key lesson of this experience? There is no “project lottery”, with “bad ones” and “good ones”. Everyone is able to win. Some projects seem more interesting than others, but it is only true in appearance. It is not to say that every task is awesome but it is up to you to stick to it or not. Every team, in every department of every company is looking for people that are willing to move forward. And it is up to you to go that extra mile and make it happen!