Have you ever considered changing your career from Software Developer to Project Manager? If your answer is yes, we bring you the terrific story of our colleague Zvezdana. Actually, in her opinion, this is a good path for a project manager due to the technical background that makes them strong as a PM so it is quite easy to understand the communication between teams and clients.
Meet Zvezdana Jovanovic Kalajdzic, a Project Manager at NaviPartner! We asked Zvezdana a few questions about her career, what it’s like to be a project manager in our company and her tips for those who would like to join our team. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Can you tell us a little about your background? Can you describe your career path?
I have a master’s degree in engineering, so my first job was in software development, which was a great introduction to the IT world. A year later I realized I wanted to be more people-oriented, so I started working as a Project Manager Assistant. By having a great mentor and putting in a lot of hard work, I became who I am today. My technical knowledge allows me to better understand a client’s needs on one side and the project team on the other.
2. Describe a typical week in your role? What’s it like to be a Project Manager at NaviPartner?
My week is mostly very organized. I like to book timeslots in my calendar for different projects and clients so I can be focused. I have weekly status meetings with all clients, so there is a lot of time spent on preparation and reporting. Of course, like any other job, ad hoc tasks are something I deal with daily. There are no two identical days ever and that’s why this job is never boring. ?
3. What’s the most challenging part of your role?
Empathy. You need to listen and help both the client and the team, and to really be aware of them. Sometimes, some issues seem small to us, but they can be a big problem for the customer and I need to be mindful of that and sympathetic during the process of resolving it.
4. What’s the most rewarding part of your role?
The satisfaction of the client and the team after completing a project. I really enjoy hearing that we have helped someone transform their business and make their lives easier. When people who work with me are happy about the end result, then my job has been done in the right way.
5. What skills are necessary to succeed in your role?
First of all, you need a good educational background and theoretical inputs. After that it’s up to you. Soft skills are something you either have or not, you can learn to be better but you must be a person with good organizational and negotiation skills, as well as being a good listener and problem solver, and you also need to be good in communication and presentation and of course, you need to be empathetic.
6. What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career at NaviPartner?
Go for it! You will have the chance to work with professionals and you’ll be given trust and responsibilities. You will have the chance to work without pressure and you’ll always have someone ready to help you.
7. What’s your favorite thing about working at NaviPartner? How would you describe the company culture of NaviPartner in three words?
My favorite thing is that I don’t feel like my boss is above me. They are the person I can talk to when I have doubts and someone who will guide me. NaviPartner in three words: people, transparency, support.
8. Who is Zvezdana outside of work?
Zvezdana is an extrovert who loves spending time with family and friends, hiking and enjoying nature. I’m also an Aunty, so a huge part of my free time is well spent with my 3-year-old nephew. I love good books and good wine! ?