Symphony Personas: Gordana Andonovska
- Symphony Personas
Symphony Solutions prides itself on being the company to some fantastic Symphonians who inspire us with their personal values, hardworking nature, and a proactive stance in life. This time we have talked to Gordana Andonovska, Service Delivery Manager from Symphony Solutions Macedonia, who has stories to tell about her work here as well as her own projects that contribute to society and even special education. Gordana also had some insights and tips to share on how to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
1. Gordana, you have been with Symphony Solutions for more than six months now. What did you like about Symphony Solutions that made you want to join?
I have been following Symphony for about two years, and the transparency, the clear messages, articles, the company’s presence in multiple markets, the original ambience, the philosophy that coding can grow into symphony, all these were the reasons for my interest.
2. What are the things you enjoy about working at Symphony Solutions?
The supportive atmosphere, the focus on making processes better, the good treatment of the employees and recognition of results, the implementation of the Anywhere concept because I have previous experience in managing remote and international teams.
3. You are probably already familiar with Symphony Solutions’ core values. Which of these values are important to you? How do you experience them here?
All the values reflect my personal philosophy and work ethics. Probably most of all, Initiative and Inspiration. Firstly, because these two require more energy that I am ready to give. Secondly, because they keep me out of my comfort zone. And thirdly, because these two values require not only responsibility to yourself because of the goals you have set, but also because of the motivation which makes everybody do their best and continually feel good.
4. You hold the position of Service Delivery Manager at Symphony Solution. Tell us more about your responsibilities. What part of the job do you love the most? What would you consider a challenge?
I work on augmentation projects, where a fast response is crucial to the needs of the clients for specific profiles in their existing teams. The challenge consists in good organization from the start with every team included in the identification of the best candidates according to the demands of the clients, quick adaptation (agility) to the changes that occur on both sides, positive and proactive reaction to obtain the deadlines and levels of cooperation.
5. Share with us your top tips for working with a client. What is the most important?
- Always go beyond client expectations
- Clearly defined scope of work
- Be transparent, consistent, and proactive
6. You have 19+ years of experience in Service Delivery, Project Management, Team Leadership, People Management, and Business Client Relationship. That’s quite a list! How did you get started? Why did you choose this profession?
I started my career as a project manager with multiple innovative international products which helped me gain experience in the whole marketing mix, production, sales, and customer care. I have had the chance to gain, but also share my experience at many international conferences, webinars, and trainings where I have had both roles. Then I moved to service delivery where team management is one of the most important assets for achieving great results. I would say that this profession chose me, even in high school I was a natural organizer of serious initiatives and was included in the school committee where I represented the students’ needs. In other words, I can deal with people. In the beginning of the first year of my economy studies, I wanted to focus on macroeconomics, but after the first lesson on management, I knew that was meant for me and from that moment, my focus has been on business and entrepreneurship.
7. What advice would you give yourself when you were starting your career?
Always get your work done, and get it done timely with absolute transparency so that everybody can learn and grow along the way. Consistent good work and trust make for successful cooperation and relations with clients and make you the best partner for the client.
8. As we know, you are the person who is constantly developing yourself (certifications, educational programs, etc.). What motivates you?
Personal growth is one of our deepest human needs. When we commit to a lifetime of learning and being better, we won’t stagnate or become trapped by our limited beliefs. It seems to me that acquiring new skills is inevitable for success. It motivates me when I succeed in converting learning into practice which becomes a benefit to everybody. Rewards come in action, not in discussion.
9. You were the Founder of In Optimum company which has to do with education and even helping people with learning disabilities. Tell us more about the business. How did you come up with the idea?
I have always wanted the day to last 25 hours so I can be more effective, develop a smart approach which will allow me to easily make progress personally and professionally. Reading has always been my passion, so I learnt and certified myself as a coach in speed reading and advanced learning techniques before expanding my expertise in the field of dyslexia. The business idea came from the fact that there wasn’t such an offer in Macedonia, and original ideas have always attracted me. In addition, this was an opportunity to apply much of my gained experience in marketing, sales, and promotion, as well as an outsourced trainer in many companies. I built a train-the-trainee school and more than 3000 students have attended my school. On the other hand, that was, and still is, my way of contributing to society, by helping kids and grown-up people who are facing a difficulty such as dyslexia strengthen their cognitive abilities. Through this extra curriculum, I achieve an energy balance which invokes a special joy in me.
10. You know so many languages: English, German, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian. A legit polyglot! Is this kind of your hobby or more like a professional need? Tell us more.
I believe that a person who speaks multiple languages is a successful person. For me, it is a communicative and reading freedom/liberty. I learnt some of the languages because I had to, but I sincerely enjoy learning languages and I know that I am going to learn some other languages, too.
11. What are your hobbies? How do you keep a work-life balance?
As a person with big awareness of the balance between work and personal life, I have always been involved in additional activities, such as dancing and playing instruments. I love the theater, reading, writing, and traveling to new destinations. During the pandemic I started practicing yoga, walking in nature, and riding a bicycle. Because I have experienced the burn-out syndrome, I am able to say that the frequent stay in nature, the devotion of time for myself, the limitation of the time spent on my laptop, effective time management, the ability to focus on the tasks in the most important time intervals during the day and not just in the standard working hours, frequent and sufficient sleep, are adjustments which help me deal smartly with professional and personal challenges. The feeling of happiness from a productive day with different activities this way is inevitable and grateful. There is no disappointment for me because I believe that with the right focus of energy and time one can find the solution to every problem.
12. If having a plan B is an option, who would you become if you weren’t in IT?
13. Would you mind sharing with us your life motto or principles?
- Learning with purpose.
- No matter your personal growth challenges, there’s a way to achieve your goals.
- Challenge yourself to think of a larger “why” and “how”.
- You don’t have to choose between passion and profitability – when you follow your inner call, you can have both.
- Keep yourself accountable to your personal growth plan.
14. If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?
I would work on raising awareness of the importance of clean environment, I would implement zero-waste, I would work on eliminating consumerism and getting people back to their essential needs, “to be” before “to have”, “to create” before “to spend”, “to be grateful” before “to complain”.
15. Are there any podcasts, books, or inspirations you swear by?
“Awaken the giant within” by Tony Robbins
“Goals” by Brian Tracy
“12 Golden rules” by Jordan Peterson
“If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.”
“Knowing is not enough! You must take action.”
16. What are your productivity hacks?
- Get prepared for the next day
- Regular cleaning of backlog or within 24 hours
- Regular collection of input from relevant stakeholders in order to maintain the delivery deadline of the service to the clients and employees
- Start working on the best ideas immediately instead of waiting for the right time…and do not forget to follow up
- I avoid working with reminders, but I regularly remind others as a part of my proactive approach
- Respect others’ time so that they respect yours, therefore come to the meetings prepared and on time
17. Do you take the world by storm or by plan? What are your plans for the next 3 years?
Initially, I believe in a good plan and in good preparation, but I also manage well in turbulent situations, which require agility, awareness of priority and urgency, taking decisions, mobilizing, and commissioning my abilities, as well as the abilities of others. I would say that that is one of my advantages. In relation to my plans for professional development, I work devotedly to become a technical SDM and progress in the delivery vertical.
We invite you to learn more about Symphonians! Check out some of our previous Symphony Personas interviews.