Career

Challenges, Changes and Success

Ćuković Stefan 08 August 2019 • 4 min

Very often, we want to associate our career success with all those elements attributable to harsh and unambiguous achievements – ambition, constant progress, continual growth of investment and wins without compromise.

I do not want to talk about that today, which will be welcomed with a smile by my colleagues, bearing in mind that, apart from controlling, economic efficiency and planning, I also deal with performance management at NIS, i.e. with defining and monitoring the Company’s and the management’s goals.

I will talk about conclusions that I have defined for myself, today when I mark 10 years of work experience in Serbia, and I want to believe that those will be useful to young people at the beginning of their career.

Mentors and Team

As any other advent, achievement of goals and improvement are the mix of different factors. Sometimes they are envisaged and prepared in advance, but they are often a set of coincidence, and even luck. For me, some managers have represented such lucky coincidence, since they were undertaking the role of mentor in a leader way and followed my steps through career and guided my growth.

Even when youthful enthusiasm and ambition cannot find sufficiently strong source of inspiration and leadership, we have to aspire to be in such environment and with such managers who will selflessly share leadership values, energy and knowledge with us. Such people are rare, but I have had that privilege to enjoy mentorship and leadership support in almost every career stage. At the beginning, it was quite intuitively, but with the passing of time, and consciously learned to find the path to people who possess potential and the aspiration to help me in defining my goals, in overcoming crises and in making optimal business decisions that are of crucial importance for the future.
I do not doubt that all of them will recognize themselves in this description and I would like to use this opportunity to thank them sincerely, from my heart.

As the years were passing by, I used the mentorship base to form for myself a concept of partnership with those people that I can learn new things from, but also to offer them support in business spheres that are of relevance for them. I consider it my privilege to be able, even with 10 years of work experience, to learn every day from my colleagues in different business areas.

To be ready for changes is crucial for each young man, and it is a big privilege to be able to initiate them, not only to be led by circumstances.

Stefan Ćuković
Director of Sector for MBO and Controlling at NIS Head office

International Experience and Wide Cycle of Social Interaction

Thanks to my parents, I have spent 15 years abroad, I grew up and acquired education in multinational environment. Despite general opinion that the value of education at foreign universities is of formal nature, after which highly appreciated diplomas open all business doors, it is very important to talk about essential value of time that we spend studying beyond the borders of our usual setting. Life abroad gives us something that is much bigger than diplomas, and titles, as oppose to frequent, but very superficial paradigm that everything is “better” some place over the border. We get the possibility to enrich ourselves through wide circle of acquaintances, different cultures, social interactions, and tendencies, invisible to naked eye. One of main things that the life in multinational atmosphere has presented me is the skill to find common ground with fundamentally different people; to understand their motives, values and drives. I sincerely believe that social and cultural diversification are extremely important for through maturing and for forming a visionary breadth in young people.

Challenges, changes and errors have followed every advancement in my life, and it took me many years to learn that they are inevitable and then to accept them. To be ready for changes is crucial for each young man, and it is a big privilege to be able to initiate them, not only to be led by circumstances. During my career, I initiated several times some changes, painful for myself, but necessary, and I am aware of the courage that was needed to do that. And while the fear from change is natural for every human being, fear from making mistakes is mainly imposed by the society. Reading modern leaders’ and visionaries’ biographies, it seemed to me that we intentionally exempt their life defeats, failed endeavors, misunderstanding on the part of the society that they used to face on the path to the realization of their ideas.  I sincerely believe that mistakes are inescapable and their existence only confirms that we are ambitious and optimistic in creation of our goals, and such goals are worthy of our fight and all the invested efforts.

At the end, I would like to wish to all young people to build courage at the beginning of their career path, since it is necessary to accept both life and business challenges, to start changes themselves, and most important of all to allow themselves to make mistakes.

*Text originally published in BIZLife magazine.