Job Title: VP Of Operations
Type of Company: We do interactive Internet marketing and specialize in the digital production of banner ads, websites and promotional sitelets.
Education: BS, Industrial Engineering, Latin American University of Science and Technology (San Jose, Costa Rica)
Previous Experience: I started working in the services industry approximately 10 years ago and developed my main competencies working in contact centers. The positions I held ran the gamut: clerk (6 months), technical lead (1 year), supervisor (1 year), floor manager (2 years) and, finally, operations manager (3 years). Over time I developed skills in training, recruiting, management and, most important, leadership. After 7 years in contact centers, I started working for my current company as a recruiting manager. Two and a half years later I was promoted to the position I hold now managing a center with 400+ employees.
Job Tasks: My primary responsibility as VP of Operations is to maintain harmony between the different departments inside the administrative side of business (Facilities, HR, Finance, and IT) in order to give the necessary support to Production so we can grow in the right direction.
On any given day I have several meetings with the person in charge of each department to help them with the decision-making and insure that we are aligned with the corporate business goals. I may have a meeting with Human Resources in the morning to review attrition and our current plans to minimize it. Then I will have a meeting with the Facilities Manager to review our expansion plans and what we're going to do to meet our projections. After that, I may have a meeting with IT to review our hardware and software needs and make sure they're adequate to maintaining our growth and stability. And finally, I will have a meeting with Finance to see how we can better accommodate all our needs and still stay within budget.
After planning, forecasting and executing things throughout the week, I have to report our progress to the company's Chief Financial Officer. There are times when I need to make several calls a week, since much of our work force is in Costa Rica and it's very important to keep channels of communication open when you're working with a group overseas.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is helping my teammates to make decisions. We take meetings as a group and try to make the decisions together, but there are times when I have to impose my own views.
The worst part of the job is when you need to do 20 tasks at the same time and everybody is expecting your answers or guidance. This is when you need to delegate responsibility and trust to your team.
1. Focus on long-term goals. Sometimes you will have to do difficult tasks or ones that you don't like, but it's important to understand that they will help you to grow.
2. Be content where you are; it's better to stay three or more years in each job rather than always looking for a better alternatives.
3. Take leadership courses. Regardless if you're working as a clerk, you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a leader so you can improve. Someday you will have your chance to apply them!
Additional Thoughts: Never stop learning! Believe in yourself and your potential. You will find down the road that there are always going to be people smarter and dumber than you! But take the very best from everyone around you and make it part of your tool kit. And be humble enough to recognize your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
In my own opinion, the most important qualities you need to become a vice-president are honesty, integrity, solicitude for your colleagues, negotiation skills, and responsiveness.
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