We have posted their messages for aspiring leaders on our LinkedIn page and published their “This or That” video on our YouTube page. Those were just the tip of the iceberg! Are you curious about how exactly these inspiring women reached their success? In this article, we will dive deep into the career journey of Simran Soni (Chief Excellence Officer) and Sylvia Lazuarni (Chief Financial Officer)!
1. How did you first decide to pursue your career?
Sylvia: Growing up with both parents working and laser focusing on education played a key factor in throwing myself into corporate life years ago. And it’s always the philosophy of my father that keeps me going no matter how many times I fall, even until now. These are the words he said when I was in high school, anxious for the University entrance test in a few days: “Do everything wholeheartedly as best as you can, then pray, and let God do the rest – As whatever is yours, will be yours, as long as you try.”
Simran: It May sound very insignificant and funny but back in the day when I was in university, owning a mobile phone was a big deal. So I asked my parents for it, stating I needed one. Which, as any good parent would do, they refused and said there was no need. However, that is something I wanted, so I convinced my parents to let me work for six months and save enough money to buy a phone which they agreed to. There was no looking back after that. Those 6 months turned to 20 years as of today.
2. What was the challenges you faced on your journey to success?
Sylvia: There are mountains of challenges, for sure. One of the hardest is when I was around 27 years old and blessed with a handsome baby boy, Alvaro — juggling between my career, the new world of motherhood, and that guilty feeling of not focusing on one nor the other is not easy at all. But I guess it’s also the moment when I learned about tough love and switched my mindset: being a working mom does not mean I don’t love my son as much — it means my son deserved the best of me, and I’m at my best when I’m content and productive. Ever since then, the vibes are different. I want to be the best version of myself, not only for me but also to make Alvaro proud. I want him to grow up to be a fine gentleman who understands that women should not choose, they can be both the best mom and best in everything else they’re passionate about.
Simran: I would not say challenges—but I would say changes. Over the course of your career growth, there are changes needed on how you handle different situations, people is one of them. I have worked through various roles over 20 years and with every role, there is a change needed. One of the biggest change I experienced was moving to another country and being on my own away from friends and family.
3. What kind of support system do you have on your journey and how did they support you?
Sylvia: I am forever grateful for having tremendous support from my parents, who have always been my biggest supporters in life. On top of that, I have a few inspiring mentors whom I not only learned technical and leadership skills from but also grit, humility, the importance of maintaining networks, and being courageous. It’s priceless, as all from their real-life experiences, not theories.
Simran: My family is the cornerstone of my journey, I am who I am today because of the freedom and support they have provided me all my life and continue to do so. I have taken some decisions in my life which are not conventional, and I would not have been able to do them without the support of my family. My close friends make sure I stay grounded and humble. My mentors at different stages of my career have helped me make decisions, identified my strengths, provided me opportunities to grow, and worked with me on my blind spots.
4. What activities do you do when overwhelmed?
Sylvia: Work SMART and Play HARD always! Knowing when you need a break is key, either a short one or even a longer one. For me, a short one could be as simple as 15 minutes of me-time in my office room, enjoying Cold Play while sipping a good coffee, TGIF girls’ night full of laughs, or a simple Saturdate with Alvaro over a movie. But here and there, a longer one is needed, a self-reward to re-energize: What works best for me is to go deep into the sea or experiencing new places with my favourite people. The most important part is to PAUSE when needed, WALK if running is impossible, but never QUIT and GIVE UP.
Simran: At times, switching off my phone and taking a long nap or playing with my dogs is the best way to unwind. I read a lot and at times binge-watch on Netflix as well.
5. Message and word of encouragement to those on their own journey to achieve success!
Sylvia: Success is such a big word, it could have different meanings/standards for different people. So my encouragement instead is for you to focus on growing yourself. Keep embracing new challenges, as it will force you to learn many new things, meet new people, and be a COURAGEOUS YOU. Then repeat that cycle over and over again, hence you will always stay relevant and if I quote Henry Ford, hopefully be forever young, too.
“Henry Ford: Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty; Anyone who keeps learning, stays young.“
Simran: There are times you will fall. Just get up, make mistakes, learn from them, and be yourself. You must understand that you do not control everything – you must do your best with every opportunity. Don’t have any regrets in life.
What do you guys think. are you inspired? May your path to success be smooth and bright. Stay tuned for the journey of Epivania Galag (Chief Legal & Compliance Officer) and Wiwik Wahyuni (Human Resources Director)!