IT Group Manager, Callen Cox didn’t have Progressive on his radar for an IT career until he heard about a few people he knew starting jobs at Progressive. He decided to take a chance and interview. At the time, he thought he would probably stay for a few years; 17 years later, he’s still at Progressive.
“Progressive is an amazing company with great leaders across IT and the business,” Callen says. “They make Progressive a great company to grow your career.”
With a technology team of more than 3,000+ that supports all aspects of our business, there are no shortage of opportunities to advance a technology career. “It’s such an amazing space for tech professionals to come learn and grow,” says Savita Pandit, currently a member of our Management Edge (MEDGE) program, an advancement program exclusively for IT.
IT career progression can look different for each person. But Callen and Savita relied on three similar key elements when propelling their careers forward.
Focus on your goals
“It’s important to know what success means to you,” explains Savita. She notes the importance of having a plan because success can mean different things to each person. What really helped her was writing down her goals and sharing them with her manager. She aligned each step with her goals and continued to keep them top of mind throughout her journey.
Callen also let his goals drive him forward. At first, he was focused on trying to reach an architect role. He spent time as both a solution architect and a domain architect, which provided him exposure to leaders and directors within the organization. It wasn’t until after he achieved his goals through a technical career path that he turned his sights to management and successfully completed the MEDGE program and became a Service Desk manager.
Seek out support
At Progressive, there are informal and formal mentorship programs for all employees. And relying on those around you for support within or outside of your work group is encouraged. Callen had many mentors throughout his IT career path, many of which were informal mentors who happened to be his managers.
“Managers help us navigate our IT career paths and reach our goals,” Savita says. She was given a lot of support from her managers to explore different areas within IT to continue her advancement. By joining MEDGE, she had a built-in support system. The program is designed to give professionals experience in leadership and building trust. She also stays in touch with others going through the program alongside her, encouraging each other along the way. “Your cohort becomes your family.”
Take advantage of opportunities
Knowing she wanted to get into management, Savita tried to learn everything she could about Progressive IT. Since joining Progressive in 2007 as a developer, she’s spent time in many other roles such as a process analyst, implementation enabler, and technical solutions owner. Each role was another step toward her long-term goal.
“I’m a people person. I knew right away that I wanted to be a leader,” Savita says. Now a member of MEDGE, she’s managing a team of individual contributors.
Throughout his career, Callen had the opportunity to join a large variety of projects, all of which helped him gain exposure to people across the company. From product model upgrades to our first chat bot at Progressive, Callen’s had the opportunity to be part of projects which connected him with all kinds of people and the chance to work on leading edge technology.
“Opportunities are limitless. They are really based on what you would like to do, along with the effort and time you’re willing to put into your career path,” Callen says.