Courage and initiative: key skills in an evolving manufacturing sector

Giulia Santarelli, Philip Morris Manufacturing & Technology Bologna Operations Manager, tells how self-awareness and self-confidence have been fundamental transversal skills for her
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There’s no magic formula for how to face the complexities of the job. The only thing that counts is making your talents available to everyone else and become better and better. 
Giulia Santarelli, Manager Operations - Philip Morris Manufacturing & Technology Bologna
Two key skills for coping with work difficulties: determination and fortitude 

“Building self-awareness is the first, fundamental step that allows us to analyze ourselves and discover our strengths and limits. Once you are clear about your perimeter, courage and enterprise are fundamental in developing key skills and creating new ideas. All of this, always with a willingness to improve yourself, to take steps forward, to go beyond your limits. 

In nearly 10 years of professional life as an engineer, I have often faced and managed complicated projects in the manufacturing sector. No matter how technical any given field or task may be, what really matters is to analyze the situation, understand what is required, and consider the context in its entirety. My mindset and experience often bring me to make clear and detailed plans for solving problems, leveraging both my technical skills but also and especially my soft skills and more transversal abilities, such as empathy, negotiation skills, conflict management, and spirit of initiative. 
About a year and a half ago, in my current role as Operations Manager at the Philip Morris Manufacturing & Technology Bologna plant, I was asked to coordinate two very different groups in achieving a common goal. The two groups were integrated but had different priorities, goals and expectations: productivity and efficiency for the Manufacturing team, quality and strict adherence to predefined standards for the Quality Management System team. My tenacity drove me to put aside what made us different and focus solely on what we had in common. We worked this way for months, all together, achieving our objectives even one month early!

This example is important in transmitting a message that means a lor to me. There’s no magic formula for how to face the complexities of the job. Entrepreneurship and initiative are not gendered skills; they don’t belong exclusively to either men or women. Everyone can commit to giving their best on the basis of the skills they possess. It’s the individual contribution that makes the difference

Can you offer some advice to women and men of my generation? Make your talents available to everyone else and just keep getting better. We can and should see the chance for improvement in every area, even in situation that sometimes seem good enough to us as they are. And to do that, as I said at the beginning, self-awareness is one of the key skills."
At Philip Morris we’re committed to developing soft skills and key competencies for the professional growth of even those who are just starting out in the working world: explore our career opportunities.

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