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If you were to map the typical career path of a graphic designer, there wouldn’t be many examples that lead to operational planning and resource management. However, for Dimi Rodopis, this is precisely where 15 years in creative content production has landed her.
“If you asked me what I would be doing a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you,” says Dimi.
Having joined KONE over 12 months ago, Dimi is our Sales and Operations Planning and Resource Manager for Australia and New Zealand. For the uninitiated, this means overseeing the planning and delivery of key projects.
“The 30-second-elevator-pitch is we identify gaps and issues in our project planning and resourcing to support on-time project delivery. We essentially make sure we’re supporting the delivery of what we promised our customers.”
The role involves collaborating across the full breadth of the business, bringing together engineering, logistics, sales and finance to make data-driven decisions.
“KONE as a business is quite complex. We’re manufacturing, we’re engineering, we’re construction and we’re service. Just learning the business and understanding everyone’s needs has been a unique challenge in itself.”
It’s certainly not the kind of role an associate diploma in Graphic Design would typically lead to. However, for Dimi, her career journey has been driven by realising where her skills can be best utilised, rather than taking the next obvious step.
“When I was a graphic designer, I was really interested in understanding how the business runs, what the customer needs and what solution I'm providing. At the end of the day, being a graphic designer means creating an aesthetic solution to a marketing problem.
“I think that’s where my journey started, I always felt like I was a bit more than just a graphic designer.”
As Dimi began to take on more senior design roles, she found herself becoming more interested in managing her team’s workflow and their ability to deliver work more efficiently while maintaining a high quality.
This led Dimi to move into Marketing Operations where she oversaw a large change project that streamlined ways of working for marketing and creative teams. She later moved into Project & Program Management where she was a part of a transformation team that built and simplified the organisation’s brand architecture, involving a huge change to teams and their working culture.
“That definitely set me up for my role now. Cross collaborating with my team, operations, external agencies and communications, I learnt how to bring multiple groups together to work towards a common goal.”
Dimi joined KONE on the recommendation of a past work colleague who thought her skill set would be a great fit for operational planning.
“I was very fortunate to have a great relationship with a talent acquisition manager at KONE who reached out to me about the role. It’s definitely not something I would have found on SEEK and thought to go for.”
For those looking to follow the career path less travelled, Dimi thinks it’s important to set goals, be strategic about where you want to take your career and to have the right networks in place who understand where your transferable skills can be applied.
“I’ve always ensured my resume was never specific to an industry, but more focused on my skills and the value I can provide. And then it’s about realising that anything’s possible.
“Often women won’t apply for a role unless we tick all the boxes, so for me it’s been a real mindset change. Just because you don’t tick the boxes doesn’t mean you can’t apply for something different. Regardless of the job, you’re always learning and having that real learning and growth mindset makes all the difference.”
Since joining KONE, Dimi hasn’t looked back. She sees that the breadth of KONE will mean her next big career change won’t also mean having to find a new company.
“I understand now why there’s such long tenure at KONE. People are able to shift, change, grow, develop and move into different roles within the business. That was probably the biggest deciding factor when taking this job.
“I know that I've always got the opportunity to move into something different, to constantly keep pushing myself and challenging myself.”
At KONE, our people are on the move. Like our elevators, escalators and doors, we move up, down and in between, through the office, out on the road and onsite
The movement in our work extends to our careers too. To see how our opportunities could take you in different directions, search our current roles today.