Late 2013 I joined Capgemini, more specifically I joined a business unit called Custom Software Development (CSD). This is a delivery unit within Capgemini which exists to provide clients with the custom applications and integrated systems solutions and services.

During my induction I was approached by my new manager, he informed me that my first chance to shine at Capgemini would be on a bid, a very large scale bid. You may be wondering why I would be working on a bid (which sounds like a salesman’s job), well this is because I had spent some time working on a project for the same client we were bidding for back when I completed a placement at Capgemini in 2012, my reputation and client knowledge had presented me with a fantastic opportunity.

When I joined the rest of the team I soon found out that I would be supporting the “bid manager”, as I am sure you have guessed, his role is to manage the bid. At first I completed basic tasks such as room booking and managing the team’s Sharepoint, but as my team’s confidence in my skills grew so did my responsibilities.

 Soon I was taking on full management responsibility of the bid during some of the key submission points. It was at this point I realised that bid management was a path I wanted to explore and guide my career toward. So I decided to throw the idea out there with the bid manager, he enthusiastically agreed that it seemed my skills matched the those needed to be a bid manager.
This all raised some awkward issues:

  • I wanted to move to a different area of the business, from delivery to sector and sales
  • I had only been with Capgemini for under 6 months at this point 

I decided I needed to have a difficult conversation with my current business unit manager! Thankfully and to my surprise he was very supportive of my decision, he also probed the idea to ensure that it was right for me and I would be getting enough support being a ‘graduate’.

Before I knew it I was only a glide path to joining the bid management area of the business. When I think about it I am not sure why I was worried my manager at the time would not be happy for me to move. Capgemini really is all about forging your own path if you impress the right people and have a good growing network then you can soon go to where you want to be. Although your current manager may dislike losing you, they will also understand that if you have found somewhere you feel you could use your skills better then it is not right to force you to stay.

Obviously I wouldn’t advise you to leap frog around the business, but if you know where you want to go and can justify it, then go for it! It’s your career and you are surrounded by people who want you to succeed.  

Ashley Brown
Graduate Bid Manager, Capgemini UK plc