Millennials in the workplace: what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read this? That they won’t stay there for too long? It’s only natural: young people tend to be bolder, more adventurous. But young people are ambitious, too. Their focus on “going from zero to hero” and building up their careers is perhaps stronger than anyone else’s. There are many ways in which they can develop professionally, and many choose to do so by sticking to one of their first – if not actually their first – employers. At Colliers, we’ve witnessed such accomplishments over the years. Most of our seniors joined the team when the real estate market was only budding, and our professionals grew together with it. Young professionals in a young market, it seemed only fitting. Today, however, is not about them. Even after the Romanian real estate market matured, we continued to attract young talents and established a tradition of nurturing their potential and guide it on the road from good to great.
Today, we take pride in our new generation of Young People in Real Estate.
Meet Diana, our 30-year-old Financial Team Coordinator in the Property Management team at Colliers.
For a person that does so well with numbers, you’d never guess that she is also a very skilled calligrapher – just check her work on her Facebook or Instagram page, @Mignon Calligraphy. Colliers may not have been Diana’s first job nor a first real estate experience; for her, Colliers was a company explicitly targeted as a medium towards the fulfillment of her career goal.
I’ve heard about Colliers years ago, when I was at the beginning of my career in real estate and it was impossible not to hear someone around me talking about Colliers. I was working in Residential Property Management and I was looking to make a shift towards Office Property Management. I started to look for job openings and I found one for a Financial Specialist position, inside Real Estate Management Services (REMS) Department at Colliers. I instantly applied for it and I like to think that it was meant to be.
Nothing compares to good workplace and people vibes when it comes to going to work. Judging by every story we’ve been told so far, it seems that Colliers checks this on the “Must have” list of any company. Even for Diana, we seem to have made quite a good impression at first, and, seeing that she’s still with the team, it looks like it was the right kind of a first impression.
I instantly knew this is the right place for me to grow as a professional. I was surprised by how colorful and friendly the entire office space was and how friendly the people are. I was very nervous at the beginning because I wanted so much to be part of the Colliers team and I was afraid not to jeopardize my chance, but after some minutes, I started to feel relaxed and confident, because Dana, our Senior HR Specialist who interviewed me first, made me feel this way. I even remember that we were talking about hobbies and I showed her some pictures on my phone, and she seemed very interested and appreciative. Two more interviews followed and after each one I thought that this is the place I would like to be, as I completely resonated with the values we shared during the talks. After talking to some of my future colleagues, my first impression was that Colliers has an awesome organizational culture, where positive relationships are encouraged, and people are very friendly and ready to receive you in their team with their arms open.
Diana quickly and easily blended into the Colliers family. Her previous experience helped a little, but here she found the proper environment that she needed to prosper. Her promotion from Financial Specialist to Financial Team Coordinator came, however, in a time of turmoil, not just for the company, but for the entire world. Similar to what the 2008 economic crisis meant to our young professionals back then, COVID-19 was the threat that brought deep uncertainties over Diana’s future.
I began my journey in Colliers 4 years ago, as a Financial Specialist in the REMS department, with little experience in the office sector but with drive to learn as many things as I could. While doing my daily tasks, I started to think about ways that would help me and my colleagues in the financial team to make things easier, faster, and more efficient. I am very grateful that I had the support to put my ideas in practice. In Colliers nobody judges you, on the contrary, you are encouraged to come with new ideas, to innovate and to express your points of views. My promotion as a Financial Team Coordinator came in March 2020, once with the global pandemic of COVID-19, when a lot of things started to change in the company and in the real estate field. Even though it was a difficult moment because of the global context, it was a new beginning and a great opportunity for me to further develop as professional. I consider that progress doesn’t come easy and it takes a lot of work to achieve great results. The goal I had in mind and I still have it, is to be better than yesterday.
The way Diana handled her promotion was gracious, elegant, and firm at the same time: pretty much in the same manner she handles her pen to produce the most wonderful writings – and here you can see the perfect mix between the gentleness of her artsy nature and the spirit of her professionalism. The team, the people around her, saw that perfectly and encouraged it further, and she regards them as main reasons to still stick around.
My promotion coincided with COVID-19 pandemic. March 2020 was my first month in my new role. Things were changing quickly, and I didn’t have much time to think about fears. I felt like as I was in a storm and I had to act rapidly or otherwise I would have been blown away by the wind. It was a difficult period of time, but now, when I look back to last year, I am grateful for everything I’ve learnt and for all of my colleagues who stayed very close one to the other and we grew stronger as a team. People made me stay in Colliers. Companies are made by people and the truth is that Colliers people are great! If I were to mention three things I learned In Colliers, I would say: 1. Time management and discipline are essential. 2. Details matter a lo.t 3. Apart from all, people are the most important for a business to succeed. Compared to the person that first got hired at Colliers years ago, I am the same young spirit, but more experienced, more balanced, and more mature both personally and professionally.
Diana has thrived in the real estate industry so far. She wants to continue doing this and, we do have to admit, we’d like to have her around by our side even longer and contribute to her growth.
The pace makes me stay in the real estate business. It is a dynamic field, with a lot of challenges which doesn’t allow you to get bored. My favorite part of the job is that I can learn new things almost every day. After all these years in office real estate, I cannot say I’ve learnt enough. I wish to keep working in the real estate industry. For now, I don’t see myself working in another field.
Diana has some wise words of advice to anyone who wishes to start a career in real estate. They are meaningful enough to be turned into an ornate inspirational picture in cursive writing – we’re really curious to see how they’d look under Diana’s penmanship – but we’ll leave that for another day.
I would encourage them to be authentic, to have courage to express their ideas, to be curious and eager to learn.
Diana continues to decorate her career with beautiful flourishes and we’re looking forward to seeing how it will look like going further. In the meantime, we’ll be hearing from Andrei, next week. Stay tuned!