10 simple rules to help you become a leader before 30

Developing and growing up the career ladder is a completely feasible task, you just need to correctly prioritize and prove yourself in work. This applies to both small start-ups and huge public corporations, which, contrary to stereotypes, have prospects not only for older employees. We spoke with four young executives from Rostelecom and found out what helped them achieve success under 30.

1. Start working as early as possible

At university, and maybe even at school or college, this is an invaluable experience anyway. It will help you assess your strengths, gain useful skills and become more confident. As a bonus – earn some pocket money. And they are also invaluable skills in time management, independent decision-making and prioritization: after all, work must somehow be combined with study.

Pavel Shilyaev

Director of the Project Office for Integration Solutions, Moscow.

I started working at the age of 19. I got a job in a communication salon as a sales consultant: I sold SIM cards and mobile phones. A year later he became the manager of the store. In parallel, he studied at the university. At work there was a shift schedule – because of this, there were difficulties with the schedule. But study has always been a priority, and work is just a way to provide for oneself and make money on various “wishes”: dates, purchases, trips.

In this communication salon, I have developed a “high pain threshold” for communicating with people. When 300-500 people pass through you a day and almost all of them have complaints, you learn to understand how to respond to their requests, even the most inadequate ones. You understand that you need to get to the bottom of the true reasons for discontent. Now this skill helps a lot.

And my work taught me to look for solutions to problems. I was appointed manager of a loss-making store. It was next to a train station, and sales were falling every month. The reason was unexpected: it turned out that Gypsies were constantly standing in front of the entrance and customers simply bypassed the store. I managed to come to an agreement with the elder gypsy – I asked her to change the location. She agreed, and the following month, sales were up 130%.

Ekaterina Sidoryuk

Deputy Director of the Branch – Director of Operations

with a mass segment, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

I started working at 15 when I was in college: I was a promoter, then a taxi dispatcher. This did not interfere with my studies at all: I deliberately chose a job that could be done in my free time. As a result, I graduated from college with honors. Immediately after graduation, I stayed in the taxi service. One of my colleagues worked part-time at Rostelecom and suggested that I try it too. She described a large company with a stable income, which has all the social guarantees. So in 2013 I became a fourth-class telecom operator, or, to put it simply, a hotline operator – my first official job. Over the past seven years, I successfully graduated from the university, changed several positions in the company and grew to a segment director.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

I got my first job at the age of 14, when I just got my passport. He was a uniformist – a stage worker in a circus. The choice is not accidental: I have a circus dynasty, my parents are artists, so I spent my entire childhood behind the scenes. I worked as a uniformist for one summer, earned my first pocket money.

And my first “adult” job appeared at the age of 19, when I entered the third year and my studies began to take less time. Then I got into an IT company that was recruiting a group to learn programming. It turned out to be difficult to combine, but study was more important: I understood that I would always find a new job, but if I graduated from the university, everything would be much more difficult. After graduation, he worked for a consulting firm for four years, four years later he got a job as a developer at Rostelecom, and a year later he became a manager.

I think it was the early start that allowed me to rise so quickly. Many are against combining study with work, but I find it a very rewarding experience: it teaches you how to properly allocate your time.

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2. Ask for advice and learn from your leader

Don’t be afraid to talk to your boss or colleagues and ask them questions. You will not seem incompetent; on the contrary, you will make a good impression. After all, a professional or someone who seeks to become one is always ready to develop and learn from someone else’s experience.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

If I see that someone is doing something better than me, or doing something that I do not understand, I will be interested, ask me to teach and learn from the experience. You can only learn something new from other people and from some specific tasks and problems that they solve. Courses and seminars are also good, but only for theory and reinforcement. And I am sure: if you understand that there is nothing to learn from colleagues at your current place of work, unfortunately, the company needs to be changed.

3. Take the initiative

If your goal is to develop professionally and climb the career ladder, you can’t just calmly do your job. You need to take on new, unfamiliar tasks, express your ideas, argue, if you are sure that you are right and can do better.

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Arthur Baryshev

Director of the Financial Planning Department

and analysis, Yekaterinburg.

If you see any problems in the processes, inconsistencies and imperfections, then report them. Everyone has their own agenda, which they deal with, so problems on their own will not be solved. One should not be afraid to approach and ask. The more often you become part of the leader’s agenda, the easier it will be to prove that solving a particular problem is important for a common cause. And this, in turn, will allow for more effective career advancement.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

It’s great when an employee can offer some cool idea at a general meeting or implement it on their own in their free time, and then show the manager: in a good company they will definitely appreciate it. It was something like that for me and it was at Rostelecom. At first, no one expected that I would be engaged in the development of the direction: at first, I simply performed the tasks assigned to me. At the same time, I immediately realized that the life cycles established in the department were unusual for me, some regulations and processes were incomprehensible. I came up with a number of ideas for how all of this could be improved. And the leader listened to most of my suggestions, he liked it. He gave me full carte blanche to implement ideas, and they often fired. As a result, he began to trust me with more and more tasks, including the most responsible ones. After that, I began to grow rather quickly and confidently in the service.

Ekaterina Sidoryuk

Deputy Director of the Branch – Director of Operations

with a mass segment, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

When I worked as an operator in the Khabarovsk branch, the company launched a global project “100 days of capturing the broadband market”. I was not afraid and decided to take part in it. In the process of implementing the project, she has established herself as a responsible and competent employee. As a result, I was promoted – made a specialist in the new division “Sales Support Group”. This became a good springboard for my further career growth in the company.

4. Make yourself known

Ambition and desire to grow is normal and is welcomed in most companies. Do not be afraid to say that you are ready for more serious challenges in a higher position – if you can prove that you are really ready. And state your desires correctly.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

Talking to the leader about your desire to rise higher is simply necessary. But it is better to do it not directly on the forehead: not “I want / I am ready”, but “What do you need to know and be able to do to become a leader?”. Listen to your boss’s expectations and match them with your knowledge. When it becomes clear that you really fit, you can already speak more substantively.

Pavel Shilyaev

Director of the Project Office for Integration Solutions, Moscow.

Worst of all, if a person with ambitions is silent about them. The leader may not suspect anything, and a person who has no opportunities for implementation will simply leave for another place. But you need to come to your boss with a ready-made action plan, say: “I want and am ready to do such and such things, I need resources and authority”. So this issue will be resolved at the level of responsibilities and resources, and not at the level of posts.

There are a lot of initiative young employees at Rostelecom. I have been working in the company since 2014, and since then the team has been seriously renewed. When I first came, I saw a team in which there were people both 22 and 60 years old – those who still worked with telephone communications, telephone exchanges and others. And then new young specialists came to their place with new thoughts and ideas. That’s cool.

Ekaterina Sidoryuk

Deputy Director of the Branch – Director of Operations

with a mass segment, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Don’t be afraid of your age. Young leaders have many advantages: they find their bearings faster, adapt to their environment and are ready to constantly change. Aside from your ambitions, your boss may view you as a tough performer and not contribute to your career growth.

5. Make mistakes, but draw conclusions

Only the one who does nothing is not mistaken. It’s okay to make mistakes, and sometimes even instructive, if you can learn from it. But this does not mean that inaccuracies and inattention are trifles that do not affect anything.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

The mistake that affected me the most was the inability to plan my activities. When I worked as a consultant, I conditionally had one project and one customer for two years. And at some point it happened that the product was needed by six more customers and, accordingly, there was more work. At some point, I realized that I had promised more than I could do. This resulted in three or four months of 12-hour work. As a result, it brought me to a nervous breakdown and burnout. I drew conclusions and developed a planning system that I use to this day.

Pavel Shilyaev

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Director of the Project Office for Integration Solutions, Moscow.

There is no need to be afraid of mistakes, the worst thing is to do nothing at all. For example, I didn’t know how to fire people. And he kept several in the company for six months, giving them hope. In general, I wasted my time and theirs. He hired people who did not “shoot”, although there were completely different hopes. This was my mistake. She corrected herself with time and experience.

6. Seek and use the advantages of the company

A company that counts on success and continuous growth will always be interested in capable and hardworking employees. Therefore, it provides resources and opportunities for growth and development.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

When I got a job at Rostelecom, I had a stereotype about state-owned companies: in order to climb the career ladder, you need to wait until your boss does it, vacating your position. That is, I imagined a very rigid and strict hierarchy: you can only go up or down, and right and left – nothing. In fact, everything is different.

Due to the fact that Rostelecom is actively developing and transforming from a classic telecom into a modern IT company, new departments and areas are being opened. In recent years, we have been strengthening our IT cluster. And of course, there are more and more opportunities for development and growth. For example, when I came to the company, there was no direction of interface development at all. At some point, they realized that it could become full-fledged and promising, singled out it in a separate direction, and new steps for a career appeared.

Pavel Shilyaev

Director of the Project Office for Integration Solutions, Moscow.

Rostelecom has development plans and mentoring programs to help employees grow. And because of the huge scale of the company, you can move around the country: for example, I started in Samara, and now – in Moscow. Vacancies regularly appear on our corporate portal. Let’s say an employee of an office in Togliatti can apply for a vacancy with relocation in Primorye in order to try to find himself in the same field in which he worked, or in some other within the company.

Ekaterina Sidoryuk

Deputy Director of the Branch – Director of Operations

with a mass segment, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Previously, Rostelecom was associated with a company that sends telegrams and installs home telephones. Then we moved into the era of the Internet and interactive television. Now we are already a technology company that develops modern IT solutions, provides a lot of cool digital services, smart products. We have a large product portfolio: these are solutions for private users, for small and medium-sized businesses, for large federal corporations, for telecom operators and for the state. It is difficult to find such a variety of services, services and products anywhere else – and due to this, employees have huge opportunities for development, realization of their ambitions and career growth. For job seekers, we are exactly the kind of company that already lives in the future.

7. Know how to delegate

If you believe the proverb, if you want to do everything well – do it yourself. The temptation to complete all tasks on your own will always be, but you need to fight it. Otherwise, you will have to work for wear and tear, and your employees will lose motivation and sit on your neck: why try if you will do everything for them?

Arthur Baryshev

Director of the Financial Planning Department

and analysis, Yekaterinburg.

When you get promoted, you have the credit of trust and top-level managers want you to do the most important work. It was so with me.

The heads of other divisions said: “Can you deal with this issue yourself? He is critical for us, and in this we can only rely on you. ” At first it seemed to me that in no case should I refuse. After all, then they will think that I considered it unimportant, which means that further relationships may deteriorate. Therefore, I solved many problems only on my own. But over time, I realized that it was wrong. Yes, I can do it, but at the same time there is no growth for my team and it will not work to find a successor if I want to move on myself.

At first, I partially connected the guys, and over time I began to delegate more and more tasks, just controlling the process. Little by little I created a habit among the customers so that later they would not turn to me, but to my employees.

8. Learn nonstop

Lack of progress is regression. You cannot do the same thing year after year, with the same tools, and achieve growth. Without constant self-development, you can stay in one place.

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Check with the HR department, on the company portal or directly with your manager if there are corporate training programs, internships, opportunities to participate in conferences and master classes.

Arthur Baryshev

Director of the Financial Planning Department

and analysis, Yekaterinburg.

Learning and self-development increases your value as an employee. I was pleasantly surprised that Rostelecom devotes a lot of time to this. We have a talent development team. We have our own electronic library with more than 2 books, an online university with more than 500 video courses – they are high-quality, beautifully and simply filmed with the involvement of external experts and our top managers.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

Rostelecom has an excellent employee development system. In particular, we have a quota for external training. Once a year, a certain amount is allocated to an employee, for which he can choose, in fact, any courses he likes related to his professional activity, and the acquired skills will be needed in his work. For example, I attended Product-manager courses this year. This direction is indirectly related to my current tasks, but the acquired knowledge can greatly help me in the future in this work.

Plus, the company has an internal online university with a huge number of various free courses for employees: in soft skills, programming, digital skills, and so on. The company also provides employees with the opportunity to study at HSE for free – we have a joint program called “iMBA: Skills of a Digital Company Leader”. To become a student, you need to pass the selection, not skip webinars and take homework on time – everything is like at a university.

Ekaterina Sidoryuk

Deputy Director of the Branch – Director of Operations

with a mass segment, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

It is very important for me to constantly develop and gain knowledge. I always find time to read books and participate in training webinars. For example, I recently completed a Data Science course at our in-house corporate university. I also try to direct my team into the channel of self-development.

9. Control the time

Nowhere without competent time management. The first few days you can work 20 hours a day and even achieve some results. And then the quality of work will plummet. You can get so mired in tasks that there will be no time for self-development or for rest.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

It is necessary to prepare for the fact that there will be no time for the usual and favorite tasks. When you lead, you think not only for your own hands, but also for the hands of your subordinates. The work schedule will become tighter, there will be no time for tea with colleagues. But in reality, the workload depends on the company. Here I was very lucky with Rostelecom: overwork is not welcome here.

Pavel Shilyaev

Director of the Project Office for Integration Solutions, Moscow.

There are various tools that you definitely need to use: planners, calendars. You need to try as much as possible to delegate operational work – there is always a lot of it, and it eats up a lot of time.

Arthur Baryshev

Director of the Financial Planning Department

and analysis, Yekaterinburg.

There is a simple rule: you need to evaluate the value of the task and the effectiveness of investing time – what gives the maximum result, on which you need to concentrate.

10. Look for contact with people

The work of the leader is directly related to the management of the team. If you do not know how to competently build relationships with people, you will not achieve success.

Alexander Davygora

Head of the interface development department, Moscow.

If someone uses swearing or banging on the table as arguments, it means that this person is not ready to be a leader or simply does not understand what he should do.

In my opinion, the relationship “manager – subordinates” is a symbiosis. An employee is not just a resource that can be used. I learn from him, and he learns from me. My task is simply to make his work more comfortable and to help him control those aspects that he cannot manage.

Ekaterina Sidoryuk

Deputy Director of the Branch – Director of Operations

with a mass segment, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

It is not easy to be a young leader: the team you come to may already be established and mature. So it was with me when I became the head of the installation group at Rostelecom. I was only 21 years old, and I had people over 70 under my supervision. Just think: they have already celebrated 50 years of work in the company, and a young girl was brought to them with the words: “This is Ekaterina Alekseevna, now you must listen to her.” Can you imagine their surprise? I earned authority by deed, showing that I had come for a reason and that I was also worth something: I had to take a stepladder in my hands and go with them to the installations. So we developed a trusting relationship with the “guys” and we became an excellent team.

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