Kira Oliver is the head of supply selection at GetYourGuide. She shares how she took on new responsibilities and challenges in her role by leveraging her strengths and talking with her manager.
In this series of growth stories, we’re highlighting the people who paved their own career paths within GetYourGuide.
I’m Kira, I’m a Canadian and lived in Canada until I moved to Berlin to join GetYourGuide. In my free time, I’m into travel (like many of us at GetYourGuide), hiking, and reading fantasy novels.
I joined GetYourGuide in December 2018 as the head of walking tours in Category Management. At the time, GetYourGuide Originals had just been launched. Originals are our best-in-class tours, designed with local partners as the ultimate way to discover the world's top sights and attractions.
Today, we have 100 activities, but at the time the program consisted of six walking tours, and we didn’t yet have a clear idea of how it should evolve. My focus since then had primarily been on defining the strategy and working with our (growing!) team to execute it.
I learned a lot and it had been super fun, but in 2021 I realized that it was time for a new challenge.
After 2 years with Originals, I was ready to take on new topics, and I also wanted the chance to lead a team. My manager and I discussed this and agreed on a timeline for me to look for a new role within the company. And a few months later, an opportunity popped up on Patrick’s team as head of supply selection.
Selection at GetYourGuide means the collection of activities we have online. The team’s mission is to ensure we have the best possible assortment of activities for our customers — from building our brand with tour operators to testing new acquisition tactics, to receiving first bookings from travelers. It’s a brand new team so I knew there would be a lot of opportunities to shape the direction and drive a ton of impact for GetYourGuide.
With my manager’s support, I applied, went through a full interview process, and joined the team on January 1st, 2022! And so far it’s been fantastic. The team is great and we have enormous opportunities in the space, particularly as the COVID recovery takes hold. It’s a very exciting time to work at GetYourGuide.
While my title didn’t change before moving teams, my role evolved a lot as the company has grown. There have been a lot of opportunities to take on new topics & responsibilities.
I’ve also been open with my manager about the skills I wanted to work on — both as part of the performance review cycle and also during periodic informal feedback sessions or over lunch. Throughout my career, open communication and support from my managers have always been key.
I started my career in management consulting. Early on, I received feedback that I needed to speak up more in meetings — most of which were with clients who were older and more experienced in the industry than I was.
This was a big challenge for me. I’ve always been naturally reserved in new or large group situations. I overcame it through a combination of practice, tactical support from mentors and my manager, and learning to leverage my strengths.
The latter was super important. At the time, one of my core strengths was analysis, so my manager helped me orchestrate opportunities to speak up about my analysis specifically. This felt a lot easier and gave me the practice and confidence I needed.
Ever since I’ve been a huge proponent of leveraging your strengths when you want to work on something else.
I have three pieces of advice for someone looking at changing careers.
First, speak to your manager and team about your goals, and the things you want to learn! People are often very happy to share their experiences or give you opportunities if they know that you’re interested.
Second, be patient and grab opportunities when they arise. When I first decided I wanted a new role, there was no business need that matched. However, leadership at GetYourGuide knew what I was looking for, and six months later when the Selection team was formed, I was able to make the jump.
Finally, be open to unexpected opportunities. Sometimes a project or topic you don’t think would interest you ends up being incredibly exciting.
Interested in a career at GetYourGuide? Check out our Careers Page.
The view from San Francisco: How a global team stays together, while apart