I am Uday Bhat and I am working in the Intelligent Mechanics group as Manager-Requirements Engineering and Offers at Continental in Germany. In one’s life a decade is truly a milestone and that stands true to his or her tenure in an organization. This day, 10 years ago is still fresh in my mind when I received an invitation for a job interview at Continental.As I approached the interview room, I could feel my heart beat, but soon the interviewer’s panel made me comfortable and my wish to work for continental inched forward. On this day, I met 2 men who remain my mentors to this day. Soon after, 20thJuly 2009 was my first day at Continental in Bangalore-India. Right! This month I have completed 10 fantastic years in Continental!
My journey with Continental turned interesting and challenging. Exciting years just kept passing-in a blink of the eye. Keep in mind, long tenure doesn’t truly mean long time in the same role. Over this decade, professionally, I had 10 different bosses, 2 major locations in different continents, 7 different desks, 5 different job positions, multiple group shuffles, experienced recession, delegation and not to forget, interaction with hundreds and thousands of culturally diverse colleagues across various locations of Continental world. On the personal front my progress was significantly sweet as well. I married my wife and our daughter was born in Regensburg, Germany.
So, what have I learnt in these 10 years at Continental. No, it’s not just how to work and how to fulfil targets. It is about caring for your people, about your attitude, ability to adapt, seek out challenges, work-life balance, problem solving, agility in dynamic environment, being accountable, team work and ability to work in a cultural and gender diverse environment.
Like any other person, life challenged me as well. A new born and a working wife whose profession was equally challenging as mine, challenges kept creeping in and I was confronted with little battles every day. Continental Bangalore again strongly supported me providing a fulltime day care facility within the office premises where I could leave my daughter during office hours. Continental soon became her first school in her early years without having to interrupt mine or my wife’s work life. Initial days were a bit strange to my colleagues that a father was getting his daughter to office as, until then it was only a mother’s territory. However, HR supported fully in this matter and soon it became a routine. While I had only read and seen importance of gender diversity in office space, for the first time, I was experiencing gender pressure. However, thanks to my HR, it all went smooth. Undoubtedly, this is what is called a gender diverse work environment and Continental has demonstrated this in a great way.
When a great opportunity at work knocks your door and work demands a change in location then sometimes it gets harder. At times I questioned myself, will I be able to succeed in a role outside of my comfort zone and doubted my capabilities. Nevertheless, flexible working conditions, challenging role, supportive colleagues and inspiring friends and family have kept me going in this tough time.
Never did I feel that I am stuck in Continental, for the only reason that this company never failed throwing opportunities at me and challenging my abilities, allowing me to tone my career. I don’t say that other jobs never tempted me, or competitor’s convincing bigger package never attracted me. Could have easily done that. Eventually, it was a blend of emotions, feeling of being in a place that never failed to encourage me, challenge me, took care of my family and me, a place driven by culture and innovation that never let you crash into flames, made me stick to Continental.
Today’s market with electrification trends, even OEMs could not confidently say ‘’this is the direction we would go’’. It has been quite dynamic but trust me; with shared values and strong tradition from Continental’s DNA, we will together succeed.
To conclude, I strongly believe that the pride you have in an organization you are with for a longer time is much greater than if you have worked with several organizations for the same period. Short term wins are important but long-term career goal in an organization that is willing to support will offer a sweeter reward. In short, I would like to thank Continental which has helped me shape my career together with family and friends who supported me in coming this far.