Ezinne Kwubiri, the Director of Change Management, Global Business Services at Viacom, shares why she’s been dedicated to the same company for the last decade
Black Enterprise: TEN YEARS! Ten years with the same company. Ten years on the same team. Ten years in Times Square. Ten years of unparalleled experiences. Ten years of growth. Not many people in my generation—’80s babies stand up—can say that they have had a career with the same organization for 10 years. The average length of time that my varying peer groups have been with a company is about three to four years.
Whenever I share with my friends that I’ve been at Viacom Media Networks (VMN) for 10 years, the response I usually get is “Wow! What made you stay?” When I think of the best way to articulate the answer to this, an acronym unveiled itself to explain what TEN means to me.
My tenure at VMN can be summarized in three main buckets – Team, Exposure, Networking.
T – TEAM
I’ve been working with the same core group throughout my entire tenure at VMN. My team has been very supportive in all of my endeavors inside and outside of work. We are a small team that is often pulled in many directions but we collaborate, strategize, and prioritize with each other to get the task completed. There have been plenty of times when I’ve knocked on my boss’ door to discuss my interests in new opportunities, the direction of the department, and how I was performing as a team member. It’s critical in your career that you consistently get feedback; even if your company doesn’t encourage it or provide the platform to receive feedback formally. It’s OK to tactfully and respectfully be the point of change in an organization’s culture.
E – EXPOSURE
A recurring theme you’ll hear from successful professionals is reinventing and marketing yourself. I learned that early on in my career from my mentors and peers. When you have the opportunity to work on various projects, and in different departments, and offices, it is your responsibility to learn and capitalize on that opportunity. From NY to Singapore, from MTV to BET Networks, and everything in between, I’ve had the distinct opportunity to work across brands, departments, offices, and continents. The exposure, especially internationally, has been a vital point in my career. The wealth of knowledge obtained from working on projects that have a direct global impact is incomparable! This exposure, helps to start building your reputation within your department/company. People will recall your experiences and interaction with them, which can lead to new projects. These opportunities should be reflected on your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Your job title is only the header of the experiences that you have.
N – NETWORKING
Whether you are inside or outside of the office, at a social event or the hair salon— network, network, network! I have encountered countless opportunities just by positioning myself to be in a mode of networking. Be prepared to articulate what you do and what it is you want to do in a 60-second elevator pitch. When people know what you do and what you are passionate about, they will call you as opportunities arise. You will become their local resource and expert. I remember pitching an international project to my boss a few years ago. The pitch was great, but the timing wasn’t ideal. However, a few months later, another international project came up and my boss told me she wanted me to support the project. Thus my pitch was met with an opportunity, specially curated just for me, and I got to combine my love for travel with my desire to learn more about our international operations. These networking strategies have led to speaking engagements, partnerships, and even a nonprofit board appointment. What a bonus!
Whether you decide to be at your workplace for two, five, 10, or 15 years, it’s important to reflect, regularly. Reflect on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you are headed. Do these aforementioned reflections directly correlate with the goals you are trying to accomplish? If the road isn’t leading to where you want to go, don’t be afraid to pivot. Do not fear changing course and adjusting whenever it is needed. Keep learning, growing, and knowing your worth!
The above-named content is the personal opinions of the author. Ezinne Kwubiri owns all copyrights & distribution of the content. Viacom & its affiliates have not endorsed this content.