I’ve been with Xero for two-and-a-half years. I started out on our Core Accounting Support Team – helping Xero users with everything from resetting their password to correcting an account balance that might be off. This role helped me learn the product inside and out and think like our customers.
I had my sights set on moving up the ranks. I applied for a few different roles within the company and was eventually offered the position of Partner Development Representative for Colorado and the Midwest. In this new role, I help accountants and bookkeepers when they’re getting started with Xero – helping them become certified and being there to answer any questions they might have.
Throughout my time at Xero, I’ve discovered a few things that have made me a good candidate for upward mobility.
Volunteer for new opportunities
Putting your hand up for new roles can mark you as someone who is willing to take on new challenges and help you become a subject matter expert. While on the Core Team, I was offered the option to learn new specializations in Report Templates and Inventory.
I enjoyed these specialized pieces of training because they enabled me to work directly with accountants and bookkeepers to help solve more complex problems. I was able to get a better understanding of the accounting workflow and become the ambassador for the inventory product on the US Customer Experience team. I even earned myself the nickname of ‘The Reporting Guru’.
Colleagues from the Sales and Core Support Teams would consistently reach out to me for advice on solving reporting and inventory problems. In volunteering to learn these new skills I was also able to learn more about our Product and Partner Sales Teams.
Be open to feedback
In my first role at Xero, I learned to not only be creative and receptive to new ideas or tasks but also be open to feedback. My Team Leader, Karl, was great at providing relevant, constructive feedback that helped me get better at my role and pinpoint areas where I could improve.
I like that at Xero the feedback process isn’t a one-way street – we are given the opportunity to discuss professional feedback in an open forum with our managers. Consistent and clear communication between you and your leaders ensures that:
- You’re all on the same page;
- Your leaders are aware of variables that might not be obvious to someone not in your role every day (and vice versa);
- In the end, you and your team are more efficient; and
- You relay helpful feedback to other teammates to promote consistency and efficient behaviors.
Clear communication opens up areas for improvement while making you and others aware of talents and assets that you bring to a team that could be useful for other tasks and roles.
Networking is another way to keep you top of mind for new roles at any company. When given the opportunity, I make sure to chat with colleagues from other teams to understand their roles and responsibilities and put names to faces.
Too often, we let deadlines, goals and projects get in the way of meeting new faces at work, so I try to remind myself to make the effort. This is especially important outside of day-to-day work at things like trade shows, office parties and off-site events. It’s easy to hang out with people that you already know and work with on a daily basis but more valuable to reach out to folks on other teams. It’s rare to find someone who is opposed to meeting a new face!
Finding what you are skilled at and like to do isn’t always the easiest process, but the right company will help you find your place in this ever-changing global market. Keep clear communication with your team leaders, be willing to learn new skills and network with people from other teams in order to prepare yourself for your next move.