My Years at Insentra – An Open Letter

To Ronnie, Steve, Itzik and Albert,

It’s unbelievable but it’s been almost 5 years already.  On joining Insentra in November 2014, I didn’t really know how long I’d stay.  What you did not know at the time was that there was a very highly paid contract PM role on the table at the same time as you offered me the Resource Management role.  I clearly remember tearing myself up in knots over it.  How could I possibly turn down the money?  Why was I even considering working at Insentra in a role I was “overqualified” for?  Was I completely nuts?  Shouldn’t I put my family first and take the high pressure, highly paid job, and to hell with my own personal fear of failure?

But, you know, I look back at my decision to join Insentra with zero regrets.  And here’s why.

Before my first child, I had a lot of experience and proven success at managing high profile projects and programs with large budgets reporting to C level stakeholders.  But after being off work for so long (18 months) I felt a little rusty.  I had brain-fog and the thought of jumping back into a role where the pressure was high from the get-go was not appealing; in fact, it made me quite anxious.  I was a first-time mum with no idea how I’d cope with a full-time job and what’s more, I had guilt before I’d even started a job for leaving my baby in the hands of day care.  I worried I wouldn’t cope. I worried I would fail at being a good parent to my child AND I worried I would fail at being an effective and useful member of the team at my new job.  No way was I putting myself in that situation.  Me?  “Mrs Do It Perfectly or don’t do it at all”???  The job at Insentra suited me perfectly, it was part time, it wasn’t too demanding of my shrunken brain, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, the team was small so I didn’t need to remember hundreds of names right off the bat and to top it off you also once told me “as long as you get your work done, it doesn’t matter where you do it”, which, to a new mum who has no idea how she’s going to balance being a parent and a new job, was music to my ears.  And whilst I secretly feared I would let you (and myself) down, I also knew you well enough to know that finger pointing wasn’t your game.  One Team, One Dream WAS (and still IS) your game and the very sentiment made me feel confident that any mistake I made wasn’t going to be used as a stick to beat me with.

Another reason for the “no regrets” is because you helped me ease myself back into my career path when I was ready.  By the time I was due to go on maternity leave with my second child, I felt ready to get back into Project Management.  I approached you about it and asked you to consider me for a PM role when I returned from maternity leave.  You listened to my request, considered it carefully, took a chance on me to do the job (without really knowing my abilities) and then carved a path for me.  In most places, you must leave the company to move into a new role, probably because you’re too valuable where you are.  For an employer to move you requires investment. It costs to fill the role, it costs to develop the person who’s moving, it costs because these things take time.  I knew you weren’t really looking to hire another PM when I was due to come back from maternity leave, but I can only assume you saw my potential and hence created the PM role for me.  Believe me, it didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated that you did that for me.

And thirdly, the family atmosphere you created at Insentra is also very special.  Being a migrant to Australia, I have little family here and you became that family for me.  You have celebrated my children’s’ birthdays with me plenty of times as though I am one of your own family, and that means more to me than I can put in words.

There are plenty of other reasons I don’t regret my decision, but this isn’t “War and Peace” so I’ll get to the point.  Firstly, I wanted to say a long overdue thank you for the opportunity and for becoming my extended family here in Australia.  Secondly, I want to send some encouragement back your way.  I want to tell you that Insentra truly is the best place to work in Australia, regardless of what a poll says.   

Insentra is set apart by the team spirit and our deep understanding of the importance of collaboration.  You have created and maintained a family atmosphere that makes everyone feel like they belong.  You give people the opportunity to explore their thoughts and ideas; you embrace thought leadership and being presented with new ideas.  You understand what motivates us – and what doesn’t; you leverage our strengths and skills and provide opportunities to develop and grow; you are flexible and trust us to get the job done which fosters so much loyalty.  These things are the reason I stick around.

You have managed to select people with integrity, and you trust every team member to do their best work and be the best version of themselves.  You have enabled us to trust in the leadership to steer the train in the right direction with your updates. We all learn from failure; we view it as an opportunity and to learn and grow rather than something negative to shy away from. 

I am honoured and grateful to have been included on this journey with you and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years has in store.

Much love.

Penny

xxx