Becoming a Leader – from Front Office to Junior Operations Manager

Posted on 25/11/2022, Kamila Shodieva

An interview with our Junior Operations Manager, Lukáš Hanulík

Read Lukáš’s success story, our Junior Operations Managers, on what motivates him to move forward, what he loves about his job and what advice he gives to those who aim high.

Hi Lukáš, would you like to tell us how you ended up in your current role as Junior Operations Manager?

Through hard work and dedication! (laugh). But really. I started my journey as a Front Office Agent, then became a Guarantee Agent, an agent that deals with passengers at the airport. During that time, I was volunteering as a Subject  Matter Expert supporting our Learning & Development team. I took on some daily routines as a stand-in Team Manager, and later with more experience, I got the official Team Manager position. From there, I moved into the position I’m in at the moment, a Junior Operations Manager.

Generally, I always try to go the extra mile, take on additional responsibilities, look for ways that I can improve. Of course I have made mistakes but I have attempted to learn from them. Looking back, I can see how much I have grown at I’m very grateful for the continuous support and feedback I have received from my managers and colleagues – especially Daniel Horak and Ondrej Sedlak. They saw potential in me and helped me to become who I am today.

This is a very inspiring story! Looking at your role today, what do you love most about it?

It’s the fact that I can help improve things globally, for example, customer satisfaction, the agents’ quality of life, our internal processes and much more. My new role allows me to grow further personally. There are many new challenges for me but I am surrounded by amazing people and I am learning a lot. This is what drives me day-to-day.

I need to add that, as a former Team Manager, I used to work with people and have my daily routine. Now the biggest challenge is that I’m being hit with things left, right and centre. I can only dream about a regular routine (laugh).

Let’s look at your regular workdays. What do they look like?

I begin my morning checking reports and studying how we performed the previous day. This is the time I address anything urgent that requires my attention. After that, it is meetings with operations and catch-up huddles with team managers.

To give you an insight, currently, I’m working with several Brno teams to revamp updating passenger details processes. We are aiming to optimize the entire system to boost agents’ and customers’ experience. We are also continuously shaping and improving our guidelines related to the Tone of Voice of the company. Soon we will start with CSAT reviews which will be another huge release for our customer-facing teams.

What kind of skills do you think are crucial for your role?

Well, stress resistance is a must. Also, good time management and task prioritization. The difference between a Team Manager and Junior Operations Manager is significant. I was warned in advance but it still came as a shock when I started.

What advice would you offer someone who wants to be a Junior Operations Manager?

Be careful what you wish for as you can get it and end up like me. (laughs)

Maybe it will sound like a cliche but keep following your dreams and keep trying. Don’t be disappointed if you are not successful in the round. Ask for feedback and learn from it. Always have something (or someone) that motivates you and keeps you going. Three years ago I was in such a situation – I applied for two different positions. I was overconfident as I thought I was a good fit. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it. Of course, I was upset but I didn’t let this feeling stay with me. Instead, I accepted the feedback, worked on myself and narrowed my focus down to one specific goal which I then achieved.

Do your parents understand what you do?

My parents have a vague idea of what I do. It’s quite difficult to explain to people these areas of work. (laugh) They never specifically ask for details; they are just happy that I’m independent.

Imagine you have a few minutes to explain your job to a taxi driver – how would you do it?

I would use a metaphor for him, that it’s like driving through a city I don’t know without GPS relying on a map. Eventually, I will arrive at the right place but it takes me a little longer. On the bright side, over time I get familiar with that place and drive like a pro. I’m looking forward to that and of course any new challenges that may arise.

Such a nice comparison. Thank you for this inspiring talk Lukáš. Anything else you’d like to add before we end?

Hm, yes. I’ll be brief. Be nice to each other! 🙂


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