I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to lead the Change Management of TMX’s migration to Google for Work as an office tool suite – it was an unforgettable experience with lessons that will stay with me for life. Now that the 6 months are over, and I have just completed my 3rd rotation (as part of TMX’s Associate Program), I am writing this article to share with you some of those lessons.
Always Deliver Your Best
Let’s back track to the time the Associates were giving a lunch & learn to the organization on the topic of leveraging mobile apps for corporate use & the importance of social media. The first presentation went very well, so we decided to host another session for those who were interested and missed the first one. At this second presentation, the crowd was much smaller, with about 40 people in attendance – of which, included the Director of IT Corporate Services. The presentation was a success. Shortly after the session had ended, the Director called me for a meeting to discuss the possibility of doing my 3rd rotation with IT Strategy as part of the Google project. It was this presentation that sold him on the capabilities I could bring if I worked for him.
Lesson: this experience taught me to always deliver your best, regardless of how big or small the task. I understood the importance of not underestimating the power one opportunity can have in creating another. Despite having already done the presentation once, and having to do it again to a smaller audience, I was determined to deliver a strong performance because I knew that in preparing to secure my 3rd rotation, I would have to prove to stakeholders of TMX what I was capable of.
If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Won’t Change You
To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure what to expect from working in IT. I mean, I had a finance degree with all previous work experience in finance-related roles. To make matters more interesting is the fact that I had no Change Management experience, but I knew that my boss believed in me and wouldn’t have extended the opportunity if he didn’t think I can measure up to it. I was now energized with over-inflated self-confidence, a healthy positive mindset, and an unlimited pool of motivation – what I wasn’t ready for was the amount of uphill battles I would eventually face in being part of the single largest IT transformation initiative at TMX. The Google project team was no bigger than a 10-person team, servicing approximately 1,200 clients (or internal employees), so as you can imagine, we had our work cut out for us.
Lesson: stepping outside of my comfort zone, and doing something totally different, something that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for, pushed me to new heights and growth areas. I learned the importance of always believing in yourself, no matter what anyone says, and having the confidence that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you work hard and never give up. Knowing that pressure creates diamonds reassured me of the fact that if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
Expect Nothing, but Accept Everything
Before my official start date, I had a meeting with the Google Team to better understand what my role entailed, what the expectations would be, and what I was going to be evaluated on (with respect to deliverables). I came out of that meeting feeling excited, but also a little nervous. The description of the role was a little vague, and the forecasted evolution of my role was very ambiguous. This was mainly because the role was new in nature, the project was just getting off of its feet, and the Team itself was newly assembled. In brief, I was told that I would be in charge of most change management activities, user adoption & training, and communication & marketing of the project (the creative, user-facing arm). Being an optimistic opportunist, I focused only on the upside and began figuring things out as the days unfolded. I was grateful to have a very supportive, knowledgeable, and experienced team that played a huge role in making my transition smooth. What I thought would be 6 months of sitting behind a computer screen, answering phone calls, and working with people through their issues, turned out to be one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had. In these 6 months, I was able to travel across all our offices in Canada and some in the U.S., was privileged to meet many TMX colleagues in different regions, and was given huge responsibilities that provided priceless learnings.
Lesson: this was one of those life experiences that really made me understand the concept of not judging a book by its cover. The big takeaway here is to aim high, to reach for the stars, but to not have very rigid expectations that would leave you disappointed if they don’t pan out. People in the team recognized my contributions, the work we did was meaningful and challenging, and the opportunities were limitless. Once I learned to expect nothing, but accept everything, was the moment where doors began to open.
I’m excited to move on to my 4th and final rotation, where I’ll be working with the Global Sales Team for TMX’s Equity Capital Markets division. Notwithstanding the 3rd lesson I just mentioned above, you can definitely expect an article on the many lessons I am looking forward to learning in the coming 6 months!