One job promotion calls for celebration. And 150 promotions in a single month at HTEC not only testify to our people’s dedication and the amazing growth opportunities we create together, but also call for sharing some distinguished stories of those behind the number. This time, we present to you our Operations Lead Anđelija Kocić, whose compelling career path, spanning talent acquisition, employee experience, and engineering and delivery operations, illustrates what you can achieve when your mindset is matched with an environment that allows you not only to embrace opportunities but also to create them on your own.
Anđelija’s HTEC story begins in 2017 in Niš, and she vividly remembers the excitement over her job interview for a talent acquisition specialist.
“When I learned about the job opportunity at HTEC, I immediately started researching to find out all I could about the company. I really liked what I saw, and I tried to prepare for the interview the best I could. Funny, I no longer recall the interview itself as much—what I remember more vividly is people being super friendly. I remember a future colleague holding the door for me and asking how my interview went, exchanging pleasantries. And when you feel it, you just want to share it—so I made sure to always have that attitude in mind later when talking to potential candidates as a talent acquisition specialist,“ Anđelija recalls.
Can you tell us something about the main milestones that shaped your role in Talent Acquisition?
“It’s quite hard to pick the main milestones. My role in Talent Acquisition evolved a lot during the more than two years I spent as part of this department. Also, as the company grew, the processes became more elaborate and our approach more mature. This meant a lot of different development phases within the same role, too. But if I had to single out an event that really made a strong impact on me at the time, it would be the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon I attended with my colleagues. It opened some new horizons for me and helped me start thinking in a more ‘out-of-the-box’ manner. iI I had to single out the main accomplishment from this period, it would be a 100% growth in the number of employees in our Niš office.“
Anđelija (first left) at a team building event early in her HTEC journey (2017)
Was the transition to the Employee Experience department an expected next stop? Was there some sort of gap you were offered to fill, or was it you who identified the gap and made the leap?
“Well, I’m not sure how to answer this question (laughs). You see, HTEC makes it possible for you to develop to the extent you are motivated and willing to grasp at opportunities that come your way. There isn’t really a strictly confined framework you must stay within. That is to say, if you identify that something can be improved and decide to act proactively, you will get all the support you need from your managers and mentors to go for it. Whether you are more comfortable with treading a more familiar path or with initiating improvements and acting proactively, you will have a strong support system to lean on both ways. I guess that my transition to Employee Experience was a mixture of the two.“
How was your role in Employee Experience different from the one in Talent Acquisition?
“The employee experience role gave me an opportunity to get acquainted with a plethora of internal processes, to get a more comprehensive overview of the company from within. I started learning about mentorship, employee satisfaction surveys, performance management, etc. I also got to work on company-wide initiatives, and this was a major milestone for me as my impact up to that point was more of a local nature. Working across departments and different geographies, I also learned a lot about HTEC’s culture and values, as well as all the fine nuances that were unique to a certain department or geography. It was an invaluable experience.“
Two years later, you embarked on a new journey along a completely different track, that of Engineering and Delivery Operations. Did it come as a surprise?
“Well, yes, I guess you could say that. I believe the comprehensive overview of the company that I previously mentioned in a way recommended me for my next role and prepared me for a career track switch. I got an offer from my first Direct Manager at HTEC to try something different. When I look back on this, I realize that at that point, the company not only perfectly recognized my skills and efforts but also all my affinities and future potential, basically everything that drives me. It was as if everything I had done in the company up to that point led to that moment.”
How would you describe your new role?
“I feel I’ve already come a long way in Engineering and Delivery operations, transitioning from an Operations Associate to Operations Lead. What I see as the biggest difference from my previous roles is the scope where I operate. Although I participated in company-wide initiatives before, their scope was primarily people-focused. I now operate in a wider niche, entering domains of engineering and delivery, business development, finance, and beyond—so one could say my approach has become more holistic. My business unit’s chief focus is on achieving better operational efficiency across the organization by optimizing the tools and processes that we use, as well as identifying gaps and defining new processes and procedures. I believe it is crucial for the company’s daily operations, and I am glad to be a part of it.”
Anđelija (center) at the E&D Operations team meeting (April 2022)
How did you deal with this change emotionally?
At first, it seemed a bit scary, as I found myself outside my comfort zone. But I soon realized that it was OK to make a mistake, as long as I learn from it—and this gave me the needed peace of mind to overcome that initial anxiety. From my perspective, the exposure I am now getting is mind-blowing, and I am experiencing a whole new level of professional growth. I must admit I am loving it!”
What are the aspects of leading a team that you enjoy most?
“What I enjoy most is being able to propagate the knowledge-sharing culture HTEC has been nurturing for years. Knowing how much I have learned from my mentors at HTEC, I always strive to continue that practice. I see myself as someone who will empower my team members to realize their potential. Not as someone watching over their shoulders, but as someone who is there for them whenever they need my support. Some of my team members have knowledge in certain areas that I lack, so I am learning from them, too. That level of knowledge exchange and shaping the team culture is something I have never experienced before.”
What do you think is the biggest advantage of working in a fast-growing company like HTEC?
“I believe the greatest value of fast dynamics is the opportunity to always shape something new, be it a new process, new role, or new system—and in that way, you can really get creative and make an impact. You are far less likely to get stuck with repetitive tasks. Even if you prefer routine and feel more comfortable holding the same set of responsibilities for a longer time, chances are that as time passes, you will be carrying out your tasks in a more effective and more optimized way. In my opinion, that constant opportunity to learn and grow along with the company is the biggest value HTEC brings to its people.”