Innovecs provides truly unforgettable experiences. I had the pleasure of inviting Oleksandr to the InFocus series and meeting a thoughtful, wise, and warm individual. It may seem like a simple conversation, but it prompted numerous reflections. During our half-hour interview, I once again realized that innovecsers are incredible people from whom one can learn a great deal.
Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
I would describe myself using a few words: deliberate, composed, and balanced. In other words, I am not easily swayed, approach tasks gradually, and tend not to worry excessively about problems.
Do you have any traits that hinder you from achieving your goals? If so, what are they, and how do you deal with them?
Perhaps there is a trait in me that may be one of the reasons why I didn’t become the president of a company. I don’t like to talk much. Successful individuals often interact with a broad smile and are open to everyone. It is quite challenging for me to make immediate connections with people. However, it doesn’t mean I’m a total hermit, isolated from society. I am capable of communicating, but I don’t rush into it frantically. I prefer to focus on doing my job well, and I believe that speaks for itself. While active self-promotion can often be helpful, I prefer to let my actions speak louder than words.
What do you like most about yourself?
I appreciate my ability to organize my inner chaos that may arise due to unforeseen situations. Whether it’s in work or everyday life, a multitude of significant problems can arise, demanding urgent solutions. I know how to prioritize and organize everything without negatively affecting my mental well-being.
Since the beginning of your career, have you had any fears you’ve overcome?
I believe I’ve always had a fear of starting something new, such as a task that involves dealing with the unknown. Usually, at such moments, people who share this fear with me don’t know where to start, where to turn, or whom to ask for help. However, I gradually begin to formulate a plan in my head, study relevant materials, seek answers to my questions, and explore new territories through trial and error.
Was there a turning point in your life that marked a new phase?
If we’re talking about work, then I’m one of those who made a transition to tech. Until the age of 35, I worked as an engineer in a company that supplied and installed electrical equipment. I traveled on business trips, engaged in repairs, and handled contract signing – essentially, I was an electronic engineer in the broadest sense. However, at the age of 35, I made a radical career change.
There were several triggers. I became interested in testing a year prior when I learned it was a distinct profession. I found an open-source project where I had to test a forum. While it wasn’t a paid opportunity, I had an excellent lead who constantly guided and taught me. Shifting from wires to computers intrigued me. Additionally, my previous employer refused to review my compensation. It was my lead who played a decisive role, as she believed in me before I believed in myself, and that inspired me. So, I pursued a job in testing and was pleasantly surprised when my training term earned me twice as much money as I had made in nearly a decade.
On a personal level, having my first child motivated me to make significant changes in my life. Prior to that, I lived primarily for myself, but with the birth of my child, my world completely transformed.
Have you made any difficult decisions that had a significant impact on your professional development?
It was a difficult decision for me to leave my previous job. After working there for ten years, I became deeply attached to my colleagues. We traveled on business trips together all over the world, and they became like family to me. It was quite challenging to leave that behind. During my career as a tester, I’ve been a part of four teams, and I’ve felt extremely comfortable with three of them. I am particularly close to my current team at Innovecs; they are my people. They provide constant feedback, have a strong desire to help, and we share a sense of camaraderie on a daily basis.
Regarding your journey at Innovecs, how have you changed as a person? Do you see any notable changes in your character?
I have developed a deeper understanding and empathy towards people, learning to discern their true nature. Innovecs is home to many remarkable personalities that leave a positive impression on me. My first PM was someone who brought to life the concepts I had only read about in books. Prior to that, I had a skewed understanding of how things worked in practice, but he showed me the reality. Perhaps I have become more open as a result, influenced by the people around me.
Has the company influenced your life in any significant way? Have there been any qualitative changes?
Firstly, in less than six years with the company, I have experienced significant financial growth. Secondly, I appreciate the various programs that prioritize my emotional well-being and treat me as an individual. I have the opportunity to access insurance coverage and participate in various courses, fostering continuous learning.
What is your attitude toward constructive criticism? How do you believe feedback should be received?
I value constructive criticism immensely. Often, people simply mention that I’m doing something wrong without providing any context. I find it difficult to grasp such feedback. I need a comprehensive explanation, suggestions for improvement, and clear instructions on what not to do and why. I want to understand precisely what aspects need improvement, whether the form or the substance. For me, “constructive” implies specificity.
You’ve been with Innovecs for five years. What motivates you to stay with the company?
People are my top motivation. Throughout my tenure at the company, it is my colleagues who have inspired me the most and made me want to stay. They are not only highly skilled professionals, but they are also a pleasure to work with.
What inspires you in life? What brings you joy and happiness?
My family is my happiness. Witnessing the joy of my children gives meaning to everything I do. I dream of building my own house. It was nearly complete when it was destroyed by war. It was heartbreaking to see the comfort we had invested our souls in being destroyed. However, dreams cannot be destroyed. I find inspiration in the gradual reconstruction of our house, brick by brick, and the restoration of a new life and shape.
Let’s flashback to the past. You encounter your younger self, an 18-year-old student. What advice would you give yourself, or what warnings would you offer?
Since turning 18, nearly 25 years have passed. I’ve experienced various moments in life, both positive and less favorable. However, I can’t say that I regret anything. Every experience has been invaluable, and I’ve learned from my mistakes. Perhaps I would advise myself to dedicate more time to exploring new things because the world of innovation offers endless opportunities for discovery.
That’s Oleksandr for you. I’m certain he has many more facets, but time didn’t allow us to explore them all. Cheers to my guest for such a delightful conversation. As always, I eagerly look forward to future guests for sincere dialogs. Perhaps it could be you?