Hi-tech & high heels – Olga Gaworek

Olga Gaworek - People Manager
9 minutes read

Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Olga Gaworek, who bridges the worlds of... hi-tech and heels.

In this insightful interview, we learn more about Olga's career path. It will be an opportunity to gain valuable insight, perspectives, and advice. Along with Olga's advice on essential tools for the workplace, we'll also explore her best practices and lessons learned throughout her career.

Ready to get inspired?

Olga, looking back on your career journey, what advice would you give to your younger self?

If I were to ask myself for advice? I would have told myself that I am my truest and greatest value, I do not have to prove anything to anyone, and everything is right just as it is. And that I can handle any challenge. I would have also patted myself on the shoulder and given myself lots of love and understanding. This is where it all starts. 😉

How does staying updated on technological advancements impact industry growth?

I have this feeling that every industry has its own rules. But still, some universal qualities make all of us grow. One of them is being up to date. As the pace of development in the technology industry is so rapid, it's good not to fall too far behind.

How has mentorship within Polcode’s People Operations shaped your career development?

I have had the immense fortune to work with people in my department who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but also open minds and hearts. I feel that I have been and still am mentored by each wonderful woman who works in the People Operations department at Polcode. The people I come in contact with every day mentor me as well.

How do diverse interactions contribute to professional and personal growth?

We all learn from each other and give ourselves a lot of value – even if a situation or relationship seems difficult and hopeless at first glance. All we need to do is to only (or fully) NOTICE it, draw conclusions, and do our homework. 😉

What I recommend is to learn from the people we meet, see their perspective, and open ourselves to what is different and unknown. And it does not apply only to the technological industry but life in general. We do not always have to agree with each other, but we can talk and exchange experiences and approaches. Also, you never know who will become your mentor, support, friend, or lesson. That is why it is good to open our eyes and hearts.

What do you believe has the greatest impact on fostering diversity and inclusion in the IT industry?

I cannot distinguish what is particularly characteristic of the IT industry in this specific aspect because I believe certain key universal values and qualities bind a company and its employees, regardless of the industry.

In my opinion, the primary value of any organization is the people who create the company and its culture. From my perspective, the most important thing is to match the employee to the organizational culture – and to build this culture together with each person who creates the unique atmosphere of the company.

What is more, I think honest and genuine communication between departments and people in the company is a must. I find that talking about emotions, discussing topics that are not always easy, pleasant, or that hurt us, sharing things that don't resonate with us, and giving honest feedback are probably the most challenging aspects of communication. After all, it is not difficult to talk about successes and speak in superlatives about cooperation.

I also have a very specific and grounded opinion that Managers have an absolute and full right to express emotions and talk about what is difficult and not always comfortable for them. We have a bright side but inner shadows as well. We are not perfect, and we never will be.

Authenticity. Truth. Love.

Since authenticity has settled in my life – I do not change masks before going to work. And I have never been better than I am now. I feel that I am simply needed at Polcode (and Polcode is needed by me) and that I still have a few tasks to accomplish here. But only with my truth, authenticity, and my love for people.

So, in summary – for me, putting on more facades and hiding behind them is unnecessary.

I feel that the future of companies and us – people – will be truth and authenticity. And you can start implementing it today. First in your own life and then directly into the organization.

Can you share some of the most valuable best practices or lessons you've learned throughout your career?

  • I am absolutely enough, just as I am.

  • Development is very important, but remember that you do not have to know everything. Sometimes it is better to put ambitions aside and look at yourself from the outside.

  • Emotions are good. All of them.

  • The truth will always lead us to where we need to be, regardless of the consequences we face at the beginning as a result of choosing it.

  • I always have a choice.

Could you recommend one tool that you find extremely useful in your role (or you can not do without in your work) and that, in your opinion, many more people still do not know?

In my work, task management systems – like, e.g. Trello, are essential. In the whirlwind of duties, I would not have been able to handle it all if I had relied solely on my memory. Nevertheless, I think these are already well-known and popular systems for making life easier, so I do not need to recommend or promote them even more.

A tool that has recently proven to be wonderful for managing dispersed teams and communicating is Miro. It is the perfect solution for companies and organizations that want everything in one place – from ideas and concepts to plans and project implementation.

However, I cannot imagine my work without the most enjoyable tool I have ever worked with – and that is Kudos. ❤️

Every member of our team can give kudos to anyone they want. It is something like a recognition, a praise for one’s work. Kudos are divided into categories according to Polcode's values: people, flexibility, and development. Each value is further divided into four more specific qualities for which we want to thank each other.

At the end of the month, Polcode announces the Kudos Champion – the person who has received the most kudos. I am a big fan and advocate of appreciating each other even in the smallest details.

We should say a lot of good things and appreciate each other. It absolutely always works. ❤️

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