With six years in the same team, Agnė does not feel bored. Always a go-to person, Agnė Pilžė, Principal Markets Specialist at Danske Bank Lithuania, is currently participating in the Learning & Development programme for which only a few employees have been selected from the Large Corporates & Institutions team. Having purposely chosen project management over leadership at work, Agnė deepens her knowledge and gains experience in this field, participates in developing the organisation's strategy, learns what's behind the scenes of the event, and conducts trainings.
The opposite of what she imagined: the job is dynamic, interesting, and responsible
“More than five years ago, I went for a job interview, encouraged by my friend who was already working at Danske Bank Lithuania. This was the Senior Service Delivery Officer position, and I did not expect much – I already had a job. Although an honest, friendly and warm conversation was both pleasantly surprising and motivating, I left the interview eager to get their call and invitation to start work,” Agnė Pilžė remembered. She also admits that, before joining the Danske Bank Service and Technology Centre, she had imagined her job to be routine and monotonous. Still, in her first days at work, she found out that it was quite the opposite – a dynamic job requiring a lot of engagement and responsibility.
Agnė’s own initiative also makes her work dynamic. "When you are an officer or a senior officer, your main goal is to be able to perform everyday operations well. As you gain experience and it becomes less time-consuming, it is up to you to decide whether to spend your remaining time engaging in less important, extraneous work or investing your time in something more challenging. Of course, I chose the second option: I went to my team leader since I knew I could do more. I was soon assigned to a project developing a centralised payment system," Agnė said. The project went great, and she was soon offered a new position as Chief Officer in the same Foreign Exchange Services team.
The key is to distance yourself from numbers and rely on the team
The increased responsibilities did not stop Agnė from participating in additional activities – she was assigned to a team that had to take over the functions from her colleagues in Denmark. "The task assigned to another colleague and me was to learn and transfer their experience here in Lithuania. Normally, we would have gone to Denmark, worked there for some time, gained knowledge and returned to hand everything over to our colleagues in Lithuania. But this was during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we had to implement the same process remotely. It was quite challenging: we had Teams calls, observed their work, asked questions, and prepared the documentation," Agnė said.
However, Agnė does not consider working during the pandemic or managing important projects as the most extensive professional challenges. For her, it is the stress she must cope with when she needs to make significant financial transactions. “Sometimes, when the system assigns me to make payments manually, I must enter the payment details myself. Then I press the Send button with shaking hands because I see a number with nine zeros or similar. At such moments, it is critical to step back yourself from numbers and rely on the team, which is extremely competent and strong, with everyone having relevant experience. Everyone in the team knows what they have to do and helps when needed,” Agnė, working in a team of 12 people, said.
Prioritisation also helps her manage stress at work. “Some tasks are always more urgent than others and must be handled. You learn to manage it. In the beginning, it was really scary when I needed to make large financial transfers, but when it happens every day and several times a day, the amounts of money become just numbers on a screen.”
New responsibilities came with new opportunities
Although tasks that require constant special attention and responsibility might seem tiring and potentially boring, Agnė realises that there is still a lot she can do while working in the same team. "I always feel better when I can answer questions, and I know everything, and there are still areas for improvement in my work.
New opportunities have opened up for Agnė with her new position. "I am currently working on the bank’s strategy. It has four foundational directions, with various initiatives implemented in each of them. I am involved in several of them. For example, I was selected from the whole Large Corporates & Institutions team to join a small group of employees participating in the Learning & Development programme. It is divided into two parts: those who want to improve their leadership skills and those who want to deepen their knowledge of project management. I am participating in the latter part of the program: we communicate with various project managers, observe their work, listen to their success stories, and learn from their experiences," Agnė said.
She is honest by sharing that she was not fascinated by leadership and people management before and has always been more interested in a specialist position. "I know how the processes work and can notice and suggest areas for improvement. Just give me tools and people who can help me."
She is learning and teaching others
Agnė not only learns and develops professionally but also teaches others. "I am great at entering payments, and it is not just our team that works with them in the organisation. I was offered the opportunity to prepare training materials and help newcomers to various teams get a grasp on this responsible job. We started last year. Other teams really liked this initiative, so we are continuing it this year. Several people from different teams participate in my training. If a team is smaller and all team members participate, there are up to 15 people," Agnė Pilžė said.
As an instructor and presenter, Agnė was noticed by her colleagues who organise events. They invited her to join them in organising events, which she also took up with great enthusiasm. “This is one of the examples of how working in one specific field can give you a chance to try your hand at a completely different one. It is important that even if the additional projects, initiatives, and activities are not related to your direct job, you are valued for them. Managers see and encourage us to try ourselves in different areas,” Agnė said happily.
She would confidently recommend working for Danske Bank Lithuania to others because of the opportunities to grow, develop, and discover oneself in different areas without leaving the organisation. Agnė herself makes extensive use of both these opportunities and the additional benefits this job brings.