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From the inside

Career Development: Shaping new opportunities

Posted by Michi Takeuchi |

Offering diverse career development opportunities is essential to provide a work environment where people can see themselves grow and thrive. Today, we’ll zoom on the Voyager; our internal mobility program which allows some adventurous Criteos to switch teams for a few months, test a new role and explore different areas of the business to build the career path they want, as Michi did. Here’s her story!

Can you tell us more about your professional journey since starting at Criteo?

Sure! I joined Criteo Singapore in September 2019 as Sales Effectiveness Manager for the APAC region. My role then was to improve internal processes and systems through Salesforce so we could optimize the client solutions we deliver. We work hand in hand with the global team to implement these new processes and drive change management through the APAC region.

What made you want to enroll in the Voyager Program and try internal mobility?

Project management, ideally focusing on the product side, has always been something I enjoy, so I started my Voyager program in January 2022 as Project Manager in the Global Process Excellence Team. Switching teams led me to work with my original external stakeholders. For three months, I dedicated 80% of my time to my Voyager role and 20% supporting tasks from my original position. Once the program was completed, I officially transitioned 100% to the Global Process Excellence Program Manager, and I now manage a team of three people. I am grateful my managers were open to discussing my career goals and allowed me to hop on this exploratory journey. It has been a wonderful experience!

How did you hear about the Voyager program?

I learned about the Voyager program when discussing my career goals with my teammates and managers. In this case, I knew the hiring manager as we worked together, and she supported me from the start. Initially, it was supposed to be a full-time position. Though I wanted to explore new opportunities, I was not 100% sure I should leap into a global role. I expressed my doubts, which were very well-received, and suggested starting with a Voyager role. She gladly accepted and started my Voyager journey for three months.

Could you share a few more details about your experience as a Voyager?

I dove into a new team and a global role which allowed me to get more visibility on how we carry projects globally and how the different departments like IT, R&D, and Product teams operate. I admit this used to be kind of a “grey area” for me. There, I could voice out unique regional needs from APAC, for instance, and work on how to incorporate them in global projects. It is essential to bridge what happens globally with the reality of the field. I loved experiencing new things and learning on-the-job. The hiring manager was very supportive, and I learned a lot from her. My counterparts were also very patient in the ramp-up process, helping me along the way.

What main challenge did you face?

It was hard to juggle two roles (80% Voyager + 20% original role). If you ever found yourself in this situation, here are a few things that helped me to overcome this challenge. First, you need to align with your former manager and have the support of your team members. Second, share with different stakeholders some backup plans. And lastly, learn to prioritize your own tasks so you do not get swamped. I am not going to lie, these were some busy months, but it was all worth it, considering the benefits and learning experience I gained.

Looking back, would you say what you have learned in your Voyager experience has helped you in your current role?

It definitely gave me a realistic sneak peek at what my current role and stakeholders would be. My biggest concern was how it would go working in a global team while being the only one based in APAC. But everything worked out well! My teammates during the Voyager were deeply considerate and flexible regarding global time zones, and they offered equitable growth opportunities regardless. Beyond the learning opportunities, this experience also allowed me to build a broad social network. Not only did the Voyager help me transition to a new role, but it also made my subsequent onboarding experience much smoother.

In your opinion, what are the must-haves for a Voyager experience to be successful?

First, a clear goal alignment; It is essential to communicate and set expectations with both your managers and teams to ensure you have adequate support before and during the Voyager Program. Then, optimizing time management; Remember to prioritize tasks and focus on Voyager tasks if you need to juggle between roles and responsibilities. And lastly, an appetence for self-discovery; Be prepared to take on new challenges with a growth mindset, knowing that the Voyager is a safe space to try. It is, above all, a learning experience for and about yourself, regardless of what comes out of it.

Would you recommend Voyager program to your peers? Why?

Definitely! It is a great opportunity to learn something different and challenge yourself!

In general, what would your advice Criteos in relation to career development?

In general, I believe our leaders to be open-minded and growth oriented at Criteo. You will get career growth opportunities, but perhaps the hardest thing to do here is to set clear career goals sustained by a mid/long-term plan to achieve them. Ultimately, there is no “right or wrong way” so feel free to speak up and be clear about your career ambitions. Ask around and see how unexpected encounters can sometimes lead to new discoveries. If you are proactive, greater opportunities will come in the future. A positive reminder I have always told myself is: "Be open to share your interest, and the opportunities will find you. Stay curious and take time to enjoy the process!"

Michi Takeuchi

Global Process Excellence Program Manager

The Future is Yours.

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