According to a recent survey, 58% of workers are likely to leave their company if they don’t have access to professional development or career training. Enterprise Holdings understands this all too well, and believes that career development is critical to attracting and retaining top talent. In this series, three Enterprise employees share how they’ve worked their way up at the company, where internal mobility is embedded in the culture. Read on for part one, and stay tuned for parts two and three.
After three years as a stay-at-home mom, Divya Vijaykumar was ready to get to work. But she didn’t want just any job at any company. Her goal was to find a place that would help her build a meaningful career while also allowing her to focus on her family. Vijaykumar had taken computer science classes before, and her job search led her to Enterprise Holdings, where she was hired in 2012 as a software engineering associate on the rental billing team.
“I had consciously made a decision to not work for a few years, so I was excited to start—and Enterprise was really what I needed,” says Vijaykumar, who is based in St. Louis where the company is headquartered. “The work-life balance is great and that was a big thing for me. They understand that life is not just about work.”
After about a year, Vijaykumar was promoted to software engineer—and then got pregnant with her second child. When she told her managers she wanted to take some extra time off after giving birth, she says, “They told me to do what I needed to do and to give them a call when I was ready. So that’s what I did. I think it says a lot about Enterprise that they allowed me to do that.”
Vijaykumar picked up right where she left off, and today is a software analyst lead. Her long-term goal at Enterprise is to become a people manager—and leadership is helping her get there. Her first step was to pivot to a position where she manages projects as a way to develop new skills.
“When you’re a first or second level software engineer, you don’t get many opportunities to work on management skills,” she says. “I asked to make a change so I can get some of that experience. Anytime I’ve wanted to do something different, I’ve talked to my managers, and they have been great at providing me with those opportunities.”
Here, Vijaykumar shares more about how Enterprise leadership supports employee growth, what she’s currently working on, and tips for pivoting your career within the same company.
What are you responsible for in your current role, and what do you love most about it?
I’m a project manager combined with a software analyst. I figure out what the team needs to work on, assign tasks out, and make sure timelines are being met. Every day is different and I’m always learning something new. I love that I get to interact with so many teams, including people who live in the U.K. and Germany.
How did you navigate pivoting from one team to another at Enterprise?
I started by pivoting within the same department. This allowed me to change roles and still learn new things because the basics—what the team does, the billing part, the car rental portion—were things I already knew.
How does Enterprise leadership support employees when they are interested in changing roles or teams?
They are always willing to listen. Sometimes you know you need to make a change, but you’re not sure what that change should be. At Enterprise, you can do something different, and if you don’t like it, you can come back to your previous role. There are no hard feelings. Leadership doesn’t hold you back and they try to help you as much as they can.
Every time I looked for a change, my managers let me explore things that I wanted to do. I haven’t felt a need to leave Enterprise because the company is able to provide everything I’ve needed by guiding me and giving me opportunities to reach my goals.
How have you benefited from mentorship at Enterprise?
A lot of my mentors have been previous managers and people I’ve worked with or known for a long time. Anytime I need something, I can reach out to them to get their thoughts. My current manager is also incredibly supportive. He gives me opportunities and honest feedback, and will ask me things to push me to learn, such as, “That’s how you did it, but can you think of ways maybe you could have done it differently?”
What advice do you have for others who are hoping to pivot within their company?
If you have thoughts of switching roles or teams, just do it. Maybe you’ll hate it or maybe you love it, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Once you decide to make a change, the first thing you should do is talk to your manager. Ask them for small opportunities that give you some insight into what you’re trying to do next, which can help you figure out if that’s what you really want.