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3 Ways to Take Control of Your Professional Development

Publicis Sapient offers learning and upskilling opportunities to unlock your potential and stay ahead of ever-changing technology, no matter what stage of your career you’re in.

One of our core values is having a Learning Mindset, which means taking risks and learning continuously to unlock potential in ourselves and others. No matter what stage of your career you’re in, there is always room for growth – especially within the ever-changing landscape of technology. Here are a few ways to take control of your professional development journey and examples from our people – PSers – who are leading the way.

1. Ask for what you need.

Two Senior Associates in our Toronto office saw a gap in the cross-discipline learning opportunities offered to our junior and mid-level talent. They saw that their peers were interested in learning together and desired the comradery of a group learning program that was not available to them…yet. With the support of senior leadership, these two PSers created an award-winning program to build multidimensional leaders, starting at the junior and mid-level career stages, inclusive of all disciplines and backgrounds that is now rolling out across our organization.

SPEED Academy

SPEED encapsulates Publicis Sapient’s capabilities – Strategy, Product, Experience, Engineering and Data. The curriculum of SPEED Academy is modeled on one of our existing senior-level fellowships and brings these cross-discipline teams together to approach challenges holistically, just as we do for our clients.

“We realized we had learned most ‘on the job’ when pushed to work with other disciplines for projects outside of our learned skillsets,” says Taylor Frey, cofounder of the program. “And the leaders we respect have understanding across all capabilities. Why couldn’t we build the same understanding in our Senior Associates and Managers?”

Taylor talks about the process of creating the program on the Own Your Potential podcast. Play the podcast episode on Spotify.

“In my tenure with Publicis Sapient I have had the privilege of working with some brilliant colleagues from around the world on some of the most complicated and challenging projects. However, I still felt a bit ‘siloed’ not fully having visibility into the full lifecycle of how a program works outside of my delivery. I had always been curious of how a program worked from beginning to end and this seemed to present an opportunity for me to be exposed to that as well as allow me to grow and network professionally. This program definitely empowered me to know that I am not just a low-level engineer in a silo corner; I am a valuable contributor. I have now even more confidence to energetically and vigorously defend and promote quality engineering within my assignments.”

Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders , Engineering, SPEED Academy Graduate

2. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Technical skills and industry knowledge alone do not lead to innovation. Leading teams and clients through transformation requires understanding and empathizing with fears, concerns, motivations and visions. In fact, empathy is arguably the most important leadership skill and studies have shown that self-awareness is foundational to developing empathy. When seeking professional growth, choose learning programs that also focus on personal development and the human and social drivers of business.

Transformational Leadership Accelerator Program

Our Accelerator Program is designed as a “whole-self development” program. Alongside modules dedicated to our organizational approach to digital business transformation and how we partner with clients, participants are challenged to be introspective as they look closely at their personal vulnerabilities and limiting beliefs. The magic happens when these seemingly opposite sides of themselves, the vulnerable and the practical, come together.

“As a senior executive, I’m motivated by driving growth, increasing efficiency and, closest to my heart, creating valuable experiences for our customers. The Accelerator Program promised to expand my approach to these initiatives by presenting modules in communication, influence, leadership and delivering client value. What I didn’t expect was that the most transformational moments would be when people opened themselves up to the rest of the group with full transparency and vulnerability. In fact, the relationships, trust and value that came from these moments and deep conversations was a highlight of my career. It's what has stuck with me from my experience, along with the international leadership standard our company is developing through programs like this.”

Kalle Ulvstig
Kalle Ulvstig , Experience, Accelerator Program Graduate

3. Be specific.

We’re in the business of transformation, and in order to help our clients achieve their “next” we need to train and upskill ourselves to achieve our own. When you’re looking for opportunities to develop new skills (whether they be technical or soft skills), first decide what your goal is and then what skills you need to achieve it.

Top Gun Academy (TGA)

TGA was started in our India offices as a way to nurture budding architects and help them grow into next gen software specialists. Focused on design and architecture principles, it is now executed across crafts including XT, Mobile, Java and .NET. This six-month learning journey includes online workshops, mentoring sessions and deep dives into soft skill enhancement, project planning and project demos.

Ready to find your NEXT?

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