Step out of your comfort zone

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Janita Sluurman’s (32) ambition is palpable. She says she easily gets bored, so she grabs every opportunity to learn skills and to solve challenges. Janita studied a master’s degree in communication at Utrecht University, but her career took a unique turn when she started at a tech company.

“I did a lot of self-study to get familiar with the field. I also did a lot of training in agile working and product ownership. I learned that if you don’t create opportunities, and you sit back and wait, nothing will happen. You only get stuck in the same-old rhythm every day. So I learned to step out of my comfort zone.” 

As a product owner for data and analytics at Eurofiber, she describes her role as translating the needs of the business to the IT development team. In her previous role as Customer Experience Manager, Janita noticed that their efforts to improve customer experience didn’t get the results they expected. She went searching for the root cause.

“It turned out that we had to focus on the structure of the organisation, which is based on process-management and data quality. So that sparked my interest in data and analytics. I want to guide Eurofiber to become a more data-driven organisation; changing the way we work with data to get optimal results. I’m always thinking about and researching what we can do better and how we can innovate.”

Janita says she was very excited when she found out she is a nominee for the RightBrains Digital Talent award for 2020. But this was not the first time that she heard about RightBrains.

“I read about RightBrains after reading an article on Eurofiber’s COO, Eric Kuisch, who is a member of the RightBrains advisory board. His take on diversity inspired me; the need for it and the benefits of diverse teams. It gave me hope that senior leaders want to drive this change. And RightBrains helps to start these conversations.”

She believes the RightBrains Digital Talent and Leadership awards give women the opportunity to share their stories, be role models and help others. 

“As young professionals, we are shaping the world for the next 20 years. By being a part of this community, you can help make the future better for everyone. Role models show you what you can achieve and inspire you to do more. So I’m proud to be a nominee and to share my story!”

Her advice to young women is not to feel insecure about your capabilities. 

“I know you sometimes feel as though you don’t fit in this field, but being different can be a benefit. And tell the little insecure voice in your head to be quiet! I think we sometimes think others in the field perceive us as less, but that is not true. Another piece of advice I learned from my mother is to find the balance. Work hard and always have fun in your work and personal life.”

And as her mother advised, she found balance through scuba diving.

“I’m a scuba instructor in my free time. Scuba diving has taught me it is liberating to step out of the comfort zone. I mean, it is not natural to breathe underwater! So, sometimes, you should not listen to that inner voice saying no, even when the next step is scary. Dive into this crazy journey called life!” 

Nominate your digital talent or leader for the RightBrains Digital Talent & Leadership awards!