collections team leader. “Suddenly, I wanted to move to the mother hub [Johannesburg], as I felt that there was more room to grow there. I started as a special trip agent in 2008. Shortly afterwards, I was promoted to frontline team leader, and then moved to our commercial department as an internal customer relationship manager,” says Odeliah. She enjoyed the experience and the position in the commercial department. “In between these promotions, I realised that my passion lay with customer services. In 2011, I went back to the Pretoria branch as a customer services supervisor, and, two years later, my dream came true when I was appointed as contact centre manager for Aramex’s biggest branch in South Africa!”
Embracing and Adapting to Change
The devout Christian and mother of one professes that she looks up to her own mother for inspiration and motivation in order to succeed in all her endeavours. “Looking at the obstacles that my mother overcame when raising my siblings and I, motivates me to be the best at everything that I do,” says Odeliah. As a result, she has grown both as an individual and a professional in many respects. “As a contact centre manager, I realised that I needed to be empathetic to others, particularly Aramex clients, when dealing with queries and other requests. On a more personal note, respect for myself and others around me, being determined and deliberate in everything that I do, and being able to adapt to change and embrace it are important values that drive me. However, most importantly, it is having faith in God and understanding that I am what I am because of Him. I believe in leading by example, therefore I apply my values in any environment, be it at home or at work,” she shares.
Having achieved so much in so little time means that Odeilah is agile and able to adapt to change in a dynamic and fast-changing business landscape. “The same agility allows me to make the change I experience a platform for growth." Odeliah says that she strives to achieve the elusive work–life balance. “I maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising a lot and by prioritising the important things. The things that matter most should not be at the mercy of those that matter the least,” she advises. Odeliah further dispenses valuable advice to her peers: “Never take life too seriously; you will never leave it alive! Believe in yourself, surround yourself with positive people, and know what you want to achieve. Set yourself measurable goals, draw up an action plan and, last but not least, commit all you plan to God.”
Looking to the near future, Odeliah stresses that she wants to look back and be able to say, “I have created a legacy. I want to look at the legacies that I have put in place and implemented and learn from successes and failures. I want to look back at the relationships that I have had with my family, my staff, my colleagues and senior management with a sense of fulfilment. I want to see myself grow.” On that note, it should be said that Odeliah is a woman on a mission, a mission to debunk certain assumptions that have come to be accepted as the truth in modern-day South Africa. “I want to debunk the assumption that your background determines your altitude in life. Most times, a lot of young people, particularly women, think that you have to come from a certain background in order to succeed. This is not the case at all. I believe that it all depends on you, the individual. If you have a willing heart and a positive attitude, then you can do anything you set your mind on. God is our strength and He knows the desires of our hearts. You let Him lead you and you are guaranteed success,” she concludes.
Leading by Example
The fact that she could not immediately enter the job market even after completing her studies with flying colours did not deter Odeliah Molai from rising to the top. When she could not get into her chosen field of public relations, she decided to pursue other avenues that many a young graduate would not have considered: looking for a job outside her field of specialisation and starting from the bottom as a night-shift data capturer at the Pretoria branch of what was then Berco Express. Today, Odeliah is the contact centre manager of Aramex South Africa at the Johannesburg branch of the company. This is testimony to the fact that, with enough zeal and determination, one can make their dreams come true, regardless of the obstacles that they face when on the journey to success.
From being a data capture clerk in 2005, Odeliah rapidly climbed the ranks in her organisation and became a customer services agent. Then came a promotion in the form of an appointment as the
WIMVATION | Aramex
by Andrew Ngozo