Like most new joiners at Capgemini Consulting UK (CCUK), I was excited at the prospect of joining a company like CCUK with ‘fun’ as one of the official core values, and ‘Be the YOU want to be’ as one of the recruitment tag lines. The wanna-be-hippy in me was pretty happy about this, with only slight reservations about what it would actually mean in practise. “Be the YOU want to be” is CCUKs tag line come call to action that I want to focus on. I’ll talk about how it took me six months to work out what it means for someone with no idea about what/ who they want to be eventually.
‘Internal work’ is work focussed on developing CCUK, extra-curricular to work with clients. Whilst client work will be the main focus of our careers and our company, internal work is what will accelerate our skills development, enable us to really shape CCUK as a company and to create a lot of close friendships and extended networks. During induction lots of people spoke to my intake about the different internal work we could get involved with. I still didn’t know exactly what the ‘me I wanted to be’ would look like but I knew what was out there and who to speak to. Within a few weeks of my delivery from the warmth and safety of the Consultant Development Community (CDC) induction, I’d caught up with those I met in induction and those in my Capability Team (CT), who I met soon after. They brought me into a few pieces of internal work going on already, which would show me the variety of what goes on at CCUK.
All internal work will have teams and networks associated; so that with anything you get involved with, there will always be somebody else you can learn from. No internal work is directly presented to clients. Therefore it’s a safe place to push yourself and to make mistakes, of which I have made many. Explicitly tearing my dress at my interview set a pattern of situations I’ve got into since which have been highly entertaining for those around me. Not only is learning through internal work immensely helpful in building a set of transferrable skills, it has also taught me the structure of CCUK and where there are opportunities to develop the company. Not only can you ‘become the YOU want to be’, you can make CCUK the CCUK you want to be.
One of the teams I have become involved with is the CDC recruitment team which focuses on attracting the best graduates from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of approaches to work. The branch I have been focussing on is targeting female graduates and working to close the gender gap amongst applicants. This started with making sure that women are active in representing CCUK at graduate events and that online, the achievements and experiences of women at the highest levels of CCUK are highlighted. This has since grown to link up with women’s groups both inside and outside of the wider Capgemini Group, develop a ‘women focussed’ mentoring scheme and to make plans for keeping the long-term discussion of women’s places in the workplace at the top of CCUKs priority list. On a personal level it has enabled me to speak to and learn about women in CCUK who are real role models. They have become the person they wanted to be and are challenging attitudes about what the profile of a consultant working in digital looks like.
Internal work has given me a number of networks, both formal and informal inside the CDC and across the wider CCUK. These are firstly through the CDC which is a very sociable community in itself, and also sets up informal contact points known as ‘buddies’ who we can go to for advice or a rant over a coffee (or cocktail). Secondly, across CCUK at large, where I’m in teams aligned with my CT and with my client project specialism currently ‘Smart’ technology. All of these networks give opportunities to work with people from multiple backgrounds and levels in the company.
Like most CDCers, I started with lots of energy and a desire to learn about everything I physically could. One of the best pieces of advice I received when I started doing internal work was to resist this and be selective about what I will really enjoy and learn from. I have now realised that it is by doing this, and working to do the best job I can in the areas I have chosen, that I will actually do what I thought was impossible at the beginning. I will work out what the ‘me I want to be’ could eventually look like.
Client work is, and always will be the priority at Capgemini. But to make our offerings as high quality and effective as possible we have to focus on internal development of the company, our colleagues and ourselves. Internal work is where you have the flexibility and variety to really shape your time at CCUK, shape your skill set and shape the networks and friendships that will be an anchor throughout your career. It’s through internal work that you will work out ‘The YOU want to be’ and then go about becoming it.