Image of Khaled Yaghi standing in front of a red background with a pink overlayImage of Khaled Yaghi standing in front of a red background with a pink overlay

Careers

Embracing a squiggly career

Khaled Yaghi

Regional Coordinator

October 12, 2022

How my squiggly career started

I’ve never been known as someone who’s comfortable sitting still. Embracing an unconventional career path I like to call, a ‘squiggly career’ fits right in with me being a risk taker. It’s one of the main reasons I decided to join Virgin Media O2.

I know I’m lucky enough to achieve the career highlights some people would dream of at 30 years old. I’ve managed multi-function teams of over 100 people based both in the UK & internationally for a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) television channel based in London. I’ve opened a restaurant and had a great stint being self-employed – supporting SMEs in implementing and streamlining processes. All of this has allowed me to get a jump start on the property investment ladder.

My restaurant opened just before the pandemic arrived. I had dreams of opening and managing it and pursuing other self-employed goals from a place I could call mine and share with the community. However, if there’s one thing that experience taught me, it’s that you can plan as much as you like but the plan is only 15% of what your reality will be.  The beauty of this is that you are granted new experiences, new acquaintances and new opportunities, that are beyond expectations.

Growing into Virgin Media O2

This squiggly career mentality allowed me to rethink what I wanted to achieve. I realised I wanted to progress into a commercial role responsible for a Profit & Loss or KPI adopting bold ideas through data-led insights into action resulting in margin growth. And further on in my career, I would love to become a strategist, turning my experience from driving growth within one area of the business to the whole corporation & achieve industry recognition.

I knew my CV might not be what employers were looking for in a post-pandemic world. Although I loved taking risks, many didn’t. It took six months of applying before I could get my foot back in the corporate door. Now I work as a Regional Coordinator within the Network Expansion team – ensuring projects are managed and completed on time. To many people (including my current manager) this move seemed like a step in a different direction from what I had been doing previously. I wasn’t convinced. – I have a vision.

I knew this squiggly direction could help me achieve my goal. I take bold risks, but I don’t do it lightly. I realised I wasn’t just joining one of the biggest and leading telecommunications companies in the UK. I was also joining a company that had a spirit to encourage taking risks and with it, help promote internal career development. I’d seen their commitment to areas such as DE&I, carbon footprint initiatives and their commitment to providing internet to low-income families to name a few displayed Virgin Media O2 as a forward-thinking company. These are some of the things that drew me to the role.

What’s next?

Learning and development is something I’ve already experienced in the role. My manager has instilled in me from the beginning to “own what I do”, and “be brave and take risks”. On top of this, I am also a Virgin Media Employee Ambassador. The programme is about visiting schools and communities to give talks about Virgin Media’s schemes for young talent. It’s the perfect platform to share my “squiggly career” insights with young people.

This means a lot to me because alongside leading a successful corporate career and being industry recognised, my goal is to help people on a large scale, to use my experience and recognition to give back by coaching, mentoring, providing guidance or just helping open doors for people of any age or background.

Given the career I’ve had so far, it’s been great to work with a company that supports and works with who I am. I’ve gone from starting out as a contractor to already being given a permanent role within the three months of my six-month contract, I get to build meaningful relationships with our partners and colleagues across the business and I’m able to develop my leadership skills through our internal learning and development platform. It’s the freedom that makes the journey a lot more exciting and I can’t wait to see what I’ll achieve.

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