“6 Years and counting! It has been and still is one amazing adventure, with limitless growth, learning to be resilient, open communication to talk freely and customers who make you innovate. This invaluable experience is what I value at JIT.”
Meet Our Group Manager PR and Corporate Communications
We’re are excited to feature a live wire, Dhanya Gunawardana from our company who has been with us for 6+ years.
Dhanya is our Group Manager -Public relations and Corporate Communication, who has worked across many industries, before she settled in with JIT. Her colleague and friend, Dilshani (Group Manager HR) had a quick Q&A with her, so read on to hear what she has to say.
What excites you about working at JIT?
For me personally, I always need to be fulfilled in whatever I do, whether it’s my workout, making a favourite dish, helping someone, or performing in my job role – I need to have meaning in what I’m doing with the ability to use skills to its fullest. This stimulates my confidence, and when I am confident, I am better geared to rise above challenges. This why the mantra #WeDontDoAverage resonates with me, as this for me means – we need to keep pushing forward to not just survive but to have purpose.
This is JIT through and through, which can be only experienced by meeting people behind the scenes. It’s people, Team JIT, who is the core, that teaches you to push past your fears to create your own success. Take it or Leave it mentality which I love – Honest and Direct!
Being a live wire, it’s just how I am wired. I take every experience I encounter, as a learning for my own growth mindset.
A PR & Corporate Communications role needs a combination of multiple skills, with a strong multi-tasking ability, because you need to be very Creative, well versed at Presentations and public speaking, Communicating using Data, Research and Analytical thinking, Technical skills and effective Writing skills to be effective in the role, so that the communication is clear, to varied audiences across many demographics.
The objective of my job role is to create comprehensive solutions that strengthen messages, engage audiences, and inspire a call to action. You’ve got to nail every word, make the message clear, capture the interest of the audience and get a call to action for every output. I love all of it.
Key Take Away
1# Take Time to get to know each of your co-workers personally; they all have really interesting stories to tell.
It dawned on me that perhaps, there was a disconnect between how my co-workers saw me and expected me to act, which came down to understanding who I was, where I came from. Recognizing this, I made a conscious effort from the word go, in order to fit into the JIT Culture, I needed to make and create a meaningful impact, with my co-workers, as well just in my work.
One day, when team members came into my office and wanted to chat about their stories, I jumped in an interrupted before they could finish. This was a bad habit had, which has vastly improved. But soon, I got their candid feedback saying, ‘Dhans just let me finish’.
Following my team mate’s advice, I began putting more time, energy, and effort improving this weakness – because I needed to improveme this to inculcate meaningful relationships. I made the effort, stepped back to give full attention truly listen to understand – not just to reply.
Trusting team mates, and vice versa, takes time. In fact, if I had not taken the time to get to know my co-workers, the people – who the most important part of the company, I would have not been able to build or form any meaningful relationships, friendships, nor progress as an individual on a personal or professional level.
But you know what happened? Being genuinely interested in them, helping them when I could and building relationships eased the stress of work, and the strain of challenging tasks. Being a true people-person felt good!
So, through this I learned that work relationships are essential in helping you succeed. People respond well to those they know and those who treat them right.
Once I realized this, three notable things happened:
- I was given more responsibility – new job role areas
- My ideas were heard (and very often approved)
- Additional support from Teams
What personality characteristics are most important to be successful in a team environment?
Empathy, Kindness and Respect 100% – without a doubt!
When you have strong relationships with your team mates, we will be respected more. And when we’re respected, more, you can speak and expect people to listen to what you’re saying. Even if your team mates don’t agree with you 100% with your ideas or comments, they’re likely to take a chance and offer support if they value you as a person and as a professional. Having your Team Mates on your side means that if you make the infrequent last-minute request, ask for a favor, or even miss a deadline, you’re not going to be punished for it.
To have strong relationships, you need to have Empathy, kindness and respect, which all results in your personal growth, success and happiness. Is that what we all want – to be happy?
What is something people should know about you?
- I am an extrovert and an introvert – an ambivert! Also, that I am Loyal to a fault. I have never been a fan of hidden agendas, but I do respect and value discretion, with trust being the most important. This is probably why am very direct or brutally honest as I’m told – but not judgmental
- I’m a complete makeup, food and skincare junkie. I started making my own organic skin care products for myself and for a few friends of mine, which I started in my early 20’s. (Gosh, which makes it over a decade with this obsession). I use to watch Youtube videos daily, taking down notes, to meticulously test and create my own products. Even perfume!
What sources of social media do you follow regularly, and why those ones?
Linkedin and Pinterest.
I love Pinterest, because it stimulates my idea generation when exploring, images and videos on virtual bulletin boards. Whether you want ideas to revamp your boardroom, to getting lead generation tips for your social media posts – You have it all.
Linkedin. This is another fantastic platform which I personally use it for my continuous learning to develop my skills, to validate your skills, learn from your peers, leaders and to networking. And, the more you use it, the more you learn and connect with other people in and outside your niche. A key aspect which I like, is that, it lets others speak for you. Personal branding is not all about you telling the world how great you are – it confirms the truth when others help you confirm your accomplishments or skills.
We all know you have a lot of Energy. But tell me What do you do like doing most outside of work?
I was definitely born with excess amounts of energy, but I do love to relax. But my definition of relaxing is a combination of things, from a good workout, cooking something delicious to eat, spending time with family and friends, giving my dog a bath, watching true crime documentaries on Netflix, creating homemade organic body packs and scrubs, strolling around supermarkets to see what’s new, and so much more – The list goes on! Saying it all, seems a bit overloaded to be relaxing, but strangely it isn’t for me. Call it a blessing or a curse, it keeps me stress-free.
Being part of this JIT is also being part it’s exciting 25-year journey, which you are intrinsically part of, end to end.
There you go folks. Hope you got to know Dhanya a little bit better. She’s an integral part of Team JIT and we are excited to witness her journey going forward.