Gabriel Jurj, R&D Product Development – Software, at Waters Romania since 2018
How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
I started my career as a programmer and system admin, I’ve never liked to envision or plan it. From my perspective career and life are to be explored not planned, which is what I did since day one, more or less conscious until later. By planning such complex endeavour, we’re consciously limiting our options. If you go the planning way, your brain will zero in on that plan ignoring many important and interesting things along the way.
What were your key career moments (those that had an impact on your professional journey)?
My management/leadership career was defined by the McKinsey experience where, in almost 3 years, I learned and achieved what I would had done anywhere else in 10 – 15 years’ time. Whatever followed afterwards was heavily influenced by the time spend with this company. The other important event was when I fired myself quite early in my career, since doing the right thing not just the things right became my compass in both personal and business life (which are anyway intermingled).
What is the best three most valuable career lessons you have learned?
Performance is driven by the “way we do things around here”, so it’s about people, people, people. People drive your employee engagement, they driver you customer engagement which in the end leads to high performing teams and organisations.
Why did you choose Business Service Industry? What were top 3 reasons for choosing Waters Romania?
In both personal and professional realms, life is about serving, that’s why we are here on this planet or employed by X, Y, Z. Our human condition is social, being social means doing acts of serving to each other, we do it every day more or less consciuos. With our family, with our friends, with our colleagues, the more you become aware of this and work consciously on improving yourself in that space, the better. And “the better” will be felt in all aspects and dimensions of what makes us humans.
What are your/your company’s plans for 2020?
Continue to deliver benefit to customers, employees, shareholders, and society through advanced science and analytical measurement technology that enhances human health and well-being. And we are proud of working in an environment that allows as to have such impact in society.
What do you think would be the keywords of the year for managers in the Business Services industry? Automation? Cutting costs?
Serve your people, they will serve your business – it doesn’t mean pampering, it is all about challenging the status quo, old beliefs, complacency, hiding behind processes and procedures, settling for sub-par quality and the list could go on and on. Your job defines you and you define your job, if you take it lightly your performance will be light, if you pay attention without becoming also obsessed with it, you might be among the fortunate ones that find the flux state where true performance happens.
Tell us a little bit about your private life. Tell us about your passions, family. What do you do to relax?
I have a beautiful and caring wife that caters for all my crazy endeavours, and a charming daughter which is a loving heart with legs. Among my many passions, considering I have an explorer type personality the following come to mind: flying airplanes when I have time, learning to play piano, debate, walk in nature, read a lot, travel, meet people. Last but not least just be, whenever I am given the opportunity, I enjoy the solitude you can find only in nature.
If you were starting now your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do? What career would you pursue?
I would choose a generalist role, machines will do more and more specialized work for us, we will stay relevant at integrating, understanding the big picture, the abstract domain were machines won’t be anyway near soon. As plan B, I’ll do space exploration most probably.
What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?
In no particular order as all are important, I will get better in Complexity and Critical thinking, Emotional intelligence and Problem solving.
What would you do and what would you avoid doing? – practical advice to young professionals.
I will always look to move laterally as often as I can, and upwards not as much, only when I had enough accumulation from the lateral moves. What will keep any professional competitive in the already technology dominated world, are the skills that make us human, we won’t be able to compete in the machines’ area, because they are faster and more accurate. It will be important to understand the big picture at all levels, that we are able to integrate, connect the dots, think in abstract terms etc. With such skills you gain faster when you get to know and understand more than one area.