Get ** It Done: from Customer Service Specialist to Service Operations Manager - Estera’s Kozłowska story

Karolina Kubala

 · 03/24/2022  · 03/24/2022

On 8 March, we joined the world in celebrating International Women’s Day as we recognise and appreciate the achievement that women accomplish every day. This year, the theme is #BreakTheBias, so we talked to a few of our colleagues about what it means to them.

Today we invite you to read the interview with our Service Operations Manager - Estera Kozłowska on her career from Junior to Manager.

How would you describe your role at Revolut?

I’m the Service Operations Manager in the Support department. I’m making sure that we have a well operating team and deliver on our service SLAs for all stakeholder entities. I’m located in Krakow but we have other internal employees located in Vilnius and Porto and many external employees from outside of Europe.

You joined Revolut in 2017 as a Customer Service Specialist. Now you’re a manager to over 300 employees between several regions and jurisdictions. Did you consider becoming a people manager before joining Revolut? What did your career path look like?

I always knew that my career would focus around operations, management, and projects. I was always the type of person taking a lead and sometimes even called “bossy” behind my back.

I got a job in Revolut fresh out of university and it was the first job I was planning to be in long term, after this young adult period of life with a lot of travel and moving from place to place. I wanted to become a team lead and having some brief experience in a corporate setting before, I thought it would be quite a long process. Usually in management positions it takes time to have this first break and get to the position when starting at entry level. But at Revolut, it took less than a year for me to become a team lead, and I did it! Whatever happened next, I had reached my goal!

Revolut was this super crazy place where you could do literally everything so my learning curve was sky high. I didn’t miss any opportunity to be proactive and to do as much as possible outside of core duties.

Around a year after being team lead, I was promoted to Operations Lead and in less than two years to Operations Manager — still, I sometimes think wow, how did it happen so fast! I can say that I’m super proud of myself, it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears sometimes.

Five years at Revolut — can you share some highlights?

When I was promoted to Team Lead, me and my coworker Witold (also freshly promoted) were entrusted with the task of developing a new team — KYC. It was extraordinary to watch how from a team of 20 people we grew to over 200 and had a chance to work on developing so many operational procedures and processes from scratch. This creation process, making sure everything has a place and all gaps are filled was, and I think still is, the most rewarding for me, seeing something growing and always moving forwards, there’s never any time for boredom.

And the people; I experienced my own progress but also the progress of so many people around me, many of which I still have a chance to work with as they are still within my teams. Nothing would be as amazing without them! I admire every single one of them.

What do you consider female attributes as a manager?

I’m not a fan of making any differentiation about men and women doing something better or worse. I think it depends on personality traits and not on gender dichotomy.  And I think that how it works at Revolut — in my Lines of Business the number of men and women in management positions is almost equal.

What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #BreakTheBias mean for you in your work life?

Never in my career have I felt that some things are easier or harder just because I’m a woman. Not always in life overall, but I’m talking strictly about work here. And I would never allow anyone I work with to experience any imbalance simply due to their gender or ethnicity, it’s just silly. People should be always valued based on their personalities, skills and actions.

One of the common biases is ‘Men are better leaders’. Have you ever faced any barriers, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?

To be honest, never. But I would feel empowered enough by my team here at Revolut to call it out, if I ever felt this was the case. Many women are not able to address bias without fear of retribution, and so I feel very lucky to have not experienced this in my role.

How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles in their career?

I think women can underestimate themselves. It happens that men are very forward and vocal about their achievements while women sometimes do not even notice how impactful they are. It sometimes comes from upbringing, in many European countries girls were considered to be always modest and silent.

My advice is be proactive, be proud, don’t be ashamed to speak up and always trust your instincts.

What would you tell your younger self?

Live a life and don’t do anything different.

Inspired? Work with Estera or within any other team at Revolut!
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