National Finance Director SOS Children's Villages in Georgia
My story is related to the experience which I have acquired during 15 years working for SOS Children’s Villages Georgia. I started my career in SOS as an accountant in the Children’s Village Tbilisi. After two months I was promoted to the position of chief accountant and moved to the national office. On the one hand it was an incredible opportunity for my professional development but on the other I felt a great responsibility
towards the people who trusted me.
Onboarding to SOS Children’s Villages
I understood that if I wanted to succeed and meet the expectations I had to adapt quickly. The first big challenge I faced was during my first months of employment. It was very stressful because it was my first serious job and moreover there was no one who would provide me with professional support and mentoring in financing. At that time there was no proper onboarding programme for finance positions as there is today. It is worth mentioning that I managed to overcome these difficulties with the support of co-workers who encouraged me not to get frustrated and not to be demotivated.
In order to get a clear picture of my field I assumed that I needed a specific action plan to follow. I started my work with a self-initiative approach. I challenged myself to find information on my own, going through written papers belonging to the organisation. Step by step I became familiar not only with my area of work but I also got an overall picture of SOS Children’s Villages. The knowledge I gained gave me an opportunity to see all the strong and weak points of my field. So the next step was to keep the best experiences and reduce the gaps.
Listening and linking topics
In order to fill the gaps and ensure successful implementation of the financial work, I realised that I needed closer cooperation and open communication with the other structural units and fields. I started asking questions and listening to my colleagues at each level. This gave me the opportunity to see how different departments are interlinked. I took into consideration their needs and requirements in order to deliver better financial support and simplify the various procedures. This improved communication and had a positive effect on our overall performance. It took a certain amount of time to earn the respect and trust of the others.
To achieve the goals of the department and ensure the high quality of the work I needed a strong, dedicated and engaged team. Several activities were done in order to ensure the team’s cohesion and engagement as follows:
- team building activities
- experience in sharing between locations
- development of different procedures and guidelines
- organising professional training
When you realise the effort was worth it
It took several years to realise that our effort was not in vain and worth it. The real flow moment for me was when our team started getting positive feedback from our co-workers and stakeholders.
Overall what I learned from my experience working for SOS Georgia is that mutual support, enthusiasm, patience, respect, proactive vision, team work and commitment are the basis of success.
is National Finance Director SOS Children's Villages in Georgia in Tbilisi.
Eka has been working for SOS Children’s Villages Georgia since 2002. Tackling challenges and building new skills is what drives her in her work. She strives to improve herself to serve the organisation more effectively.
Eka describes her family as the people she can always count on, the people she trusts and loves. When she talks about family, she also thinks of grandparents, uncles, cousins – a big family whose members feel a responsibility to support each other.
Discovering new places is Eka’s passion. She loves to explore the different corners of Georgia and to go hiking in the mountains and forests.
Eka was born in the beautiful seaside town of Gagra in the west of Georgia. She grew up in a multicultural and multilingual society. Her peaceful childhood was disrupted by war. After everything that happened to her family and her country, she knows what it means to live in peace and safety and how it feels to have support from others.