Now Reading
How I got here: Arda Atalay, head of MENA private sector, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

How I got here: Arda Atalay, head of MENA private sector, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

“Some of my biggest highs at the workplace have come when I achieved a major milestone with a client”

Education

I graduated from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey as an industrial engineer. I was a curious engineering student and spent a lot of time as an intern at manufacturing plants, as I was always keen to know how these plants operated and how they go about optimising resources to their fullest.

My start

Despite graduating in engineering, I decided to experiment outside my comfort zone and took the interesting decision to join as a financial auditor at Coopers & Lybrand. Learning the nitty-gritties of finance, it felt like I almost did a master’s in finance as the experience and teachings were so comprehensive. My decision to focus on auditing rewarded me fruitfully as in 1997 I got to combine my audit experience in a multinational software company where I was an enterprise resource planning (ERP) consultant. This extensive learning is something I use even today in my client meetings. My leadership transformation started in 2006 where I had the chance to build my own sales team and be part of their transformation. I joined LinkedIn in 2014 and since then my career has only sky-rocketed. Every job came with its own set of challenges but that’s what makes them a lot more enjoyable.

Approach

My attitude is ‘focus on the things that you do best’. As a leader, I have always tried to inspire my team members to focus on their strengths, rather than continuously trying to spot and fix their weaknesses. A lesson that I have learned over the past few years when managing teams is to be curious about the people in the team – try to find out what drives them to go to the office every day, what drives their passion and what they enjoy doing most at work. It is so important to create that purpose and meaning for their job beyond just the pay cheque.

Dos and don’ts

Always stay true to your commitments, as people value the words and time. Balance your work and personal life as it is important to have fun given the stress we are surrounded with. Avoid getting too comfortable with your job – change and experimentation is key to growth even if you encounter failure. Stay curious about your clients’ challenges and their business plans, and always be mindful of your team’s personal drivers – their aspirations and passions. Lastly, always remember that nothing lasts forever, not even your problems. It is important to stop worrying and stay positive.

Highs and lows

Some of my biggest highs at the workplace have come when I achieved a major milestone with a client and looked back to see the ups and downs in that journey. Also, it feels good when an old client references you and helps you secure new business. Also, I have one of the best teams – they are a passionate, enthusiastic bunch who always keep me spirited through the day. My ambition at LinkedIn has always been to help people connect to opportunities, so one of the biggest lows for me is when things don’t go as planned. But these are things out of our control – what we can only do is never stop trying and stay focused on our ambitions.

© 2020 MOTIVATE MEDIA GROUP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Scroll To Top