AVR and career – are they compatible?

The next committee elections are due in November 2022 and some of you may have already asked yourself whether it might be something for you. If only it weren’t for this niggling question: if I join the AVR Committee, won't it harm my career?
But is that really the case? I'd like to tell you a little about my own experience.
When I joined the AVR as a committee member a few years ago, I too asked myself how it would affect my future career. What would my line manager say about me devoting 10% of my time to the AVR instead of the job I was hired to do? But that didn't stop me. In fact it motivated me to always do my best in my daily job as well as at the AVR and to develop my skills further. I was appointed to the AVR's Executive Committee, and since March this year I've been serving as a Vice-President. But what happened about my position in the ‘line’? Well, I was still doing the same work there. There were changes in terms of more personal responsibility, self-managed teams and focus on employees' continued development within their career. And I think that's the crux of it. Our company has changed its mindset: in the way they work with their line managers, employees now focus on their professional development instead of merely waiting for instructions.

In the spring of 2022 I was asked whether I would like to support our office in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the know-how I had acquired over the last few years, and whether I could develop the supply chain for Pharma and Diagnostics. It didn't take me long to decide, so I've now been stationed in Kinshasa for six months as of 1 July.

What I can already say about my stint here in Congo: it's expanded my horizon enormously, and I greatly appreciate the work and the team; and this fantastic opportunity is enabling me to understand one of my customers better and take the know-how I've gained back to the headquarters in Basel. Working in the field with my colleagues is giving me a better grasp of the processes in this country. I've been given a different perspective on things, which benefits my work as Order and Distribution Manager (ODM). My line manager has given me wonderful support and encouragement throughout the process.

So to come back to the initial question: no, the AVR is not a career killer. With the transformation within Roche and the support being given to every employee (insomuch as they want it), all avenues are open to us - whether we have a part-time job at the AVR or not.

Written by Justine Frank, AVR Vice-President

Justine Gorilla