If you work in Customer Success, you probably know the name Anika Zubair. Podcast hostess, keynote speaker, co-founder of CSM LDN, and Top 50 Women Leaders in Customer Success 2022. If there’s a list – she’s on it. Recently, she stepped into her second role as VP of Customer Success at Karbon, a collaborative work management tool for accounting firms.
We reached out to Anika to learn more about her career trajectory and what it takes to carve out a path to get a seat at the table. This is what she had to say.
Faster isn’t always better
We live in a society where we praise people that are billionaires before the age of 30. We live in an age where tech unicorns happen in a matter of months rather than years. Our society will make you think “How do I achieve success as quickly as possible?” The answer is that there’s no overnight success story. It all takes time. The speed you do something or how quickly someone has achieved something isn’t important. It’s important to remember that when your boss or your senior leadership is putting pressure on you to do things faster (this happens daily in a startup), remind yourself that slow and steady wins the race. Thinking things through, spending time fully understanding the problem, and coming up with multiple solutions all takes time. Carve out the time to be intentional in each of your customer calls and remember that whether it takes one year or twenty years to get into a VP of CS position, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you did it.
Believe in your abilities
There will come many moments in your career, especially at a high-growth startup, where your abilities and expertise will be questioned and challenged. Keep your head up and remember to believe in yourself and your abilities. Even in a customer-centric company, the CEO might not fully understand the customer and your tactics, so this is the time to remind yourself – and everyone else – that you’re the expert. When you do become a leader in Customer Success and another leader in the business is constantly challenging you or telling you that you don’t know because you are a first-time leader, remember this: you got the job for a reason.
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