Becoming a leader: female forces at GetYourGuide
In the second installment of our "Becoming a Leader" series, we sit down with Sara Al-Mukhtar who has been with GetYourGuide since 2012. Starting in our Supply Excellence team, in her time here she has moved to the Sales department and has grown from Destination Manager to Regional Manager. She now leads a team of Destination Managers.
When did you join GetYourGuide and how has your career progressed since then?
I started at GetYourGuide in May 2012 in the Supplier Excellence team checking the quality of our inventory, getting in touch with suppliers to make improvements, and ensuring our online tours were customer-ready. After approximately 1.5 years I realized my passion lay within the Destination Management team.
I already had some of the necessary skill set and wanted to learn the remaining skills fast to contribute to destination growth and the overall customer experience. I was passionate about this role that included phone calls, face to face meetings, negotiations, and gaining buy-in from internal and external stakeholders.
After two years, I was offered the opportunity to lead a team of Destination Managers. The process of learning how to manage and lead teams was new and incredibly exciting. I had the business know-how but needed to develop the skill of leading a team. With the help of my manager as my mentor, my peers, and the GetYourGuide leadership training program, I’ve been able to help other Destination Managers develop and achieve success in their career paths at GetYourGuide, and it’s been very rewarding. There is still much to learn and contribute to GetYourGuide, and I still learn every day from the team.
What advice could give others to progress in GYG or elsewhere?
Don’t hold back.
It’s important to be direct with your manager about your personal development. Don’t hold back. Have regular check-ins so you can get the support you need to develop the skills you need to progress your career in your own department or join another if that’s a better fit for you.
The more feedback you ask for, the more you receive.
The better you develop strategies to grow yourself based on the feedback, the better chance you have at moving forward in your career. Solicit feedback from your peers, your managers, and even people from different teams. Don’t wait for formal review cycles. Schedule short feedback sessions or, for example, after a presentation ask peers what they thought went well and what could have been better. It’s good to talk to several people to get an overall picture of what you do well, and what you can do even better.