Spotlight on our People: Daniel de la Fuente



In a bold stride towards fostering professional and personal growth and enriching the skillsets of of every one at Colart,  we are excited to launch our latest initiative, the Lateral Growth Platform. This innovative platform aims to enable individual growth by offering an inclusive way for people to develop and expand their horizons,  no matter where they currently work.

We interviewed Project Manager,  Daniel de la Fuente who reveals his own lateral growth development at Colart.

In your own words, how would you define “lateral growth”?
To me, lateral growth means tapping into your potential and exploiting your hidden skillset.

Tell us about your career journey at Colart?
I started in May 2021 as a Consumer Care agent, responding to consumer queries. Coming from a Retail background, that was a natural progression in my career. I loved being in contact with our consumers; you realise how knowledgeable and passionate they are about our products. It’s great to be in contact with the end user. After a year, I got myself involved in the development of an internal site – the Knowledge Base – and ventured into Project Management within Technology. I really liked the experience, and it resonated with me. After a while, a new position opened up in the technology team, and I applied. I was really happy when I got the job. Since February 2022, I have been part of the Technology team within the Development Department as a Project Manager.

How has lateral growth impacted your career development at Colart?
It totally impacted my development. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I Colart didn’t give me the opportunity to exploit my interests outside of my role. I am forever thankful to my previous line manager, Stefano Maoirana, and my current line manager, Claire van Blerck for allowing me to tap into Project Management.

What proactive actions did you take to progress your career?
I was always ready to take on a new project. I am not an advocate of overdoing yourself; be honest with yourself about whether you can take on a new challenge. However, if you have an interest, be open and vocal about it. The best way to progress is to communicate with your line manager or HR.

Did you face any challenges – pushback – disappointment? And if so, how did you overcome this?
In all honesty, I didn’t. That doesn’t mean that everything goes according to plan for me. However, from my personal experiences, I learned to adapt. Something good can come from something bad. There is always a lesson, so when something didn’t go my way, I realised that I needed to adapt to the new situation. At the end of the day, nothing is ideal, but at the same time,

nothing is terrible. It’s all about balance and managing expectations

How does your current role support your career development aspirations?
I am where I want to be today. I learn new things every day, and I face challenges that I have never experienced before. I am not sure where I want to be in five years’ time, but surely, I do not want to be static. So, my role, keeping me on my toes, surely supports me in my development aspirations.

What advise would you give to someone who had not considered lateral growth as a benefit to their career development?
If you’ve been doing the same for a long time and you think that it’s time to take a new challenge, go ahead. There’s very little to lose and lots to gain.

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