If you have drive and grit you will succeed: Vanja Prokic talks success

We sat down again with Vanja Prokic — Head of Communications at Mozilla — to talk about her role, her skills and what she looks for when hiring.

“ I'm actually far more resilient than I thought.”

Outdoor portrait of Vanja Prokic

So what does success look like to you?


Success is when I am happy in the morning, when I wake up, when I have to do my job, and when I actually start seeing results of some ideas that some other people might have thought too risky to do.


What have you discovered about yourself through your work? 


I discovered that I'm actually far more resilient than I thought, and that I can do pretty much seven things at the same time (not for long, though, that's not healthy!). So if a no sleep, no eat situation arises I know now it is possible for this human body of mine to tackle it.


I also learnt that I can understand different people whose characters I might have previously thought did not fit. I now realise that was ridiculous, and that you can fix that as long as you want to see in people what you like.


But really here at Mozilla I've been discovering new skills every single day: because I’m lucky enough to be in touch with so many different people and so many intelligent people who always keep you on your toes — which means you always have to be alert and pull things out of yourself that you didn't even know were there.


When looking to hire new people into your team, what are the main qualities you look for?


So if I'm looking to hire someone: first and foremost they need drive and dedication. I mean, if you're hiring communication specialists there are only so many basic qualities that that person needs to have professionally. But I feel that drive and dedication are characteristics that are crucial in making people successful. If you have drive and you have grit you will succeed. 


What's something that people might not imagine is involved in your work?


 I don't think people actually imagine how much administrative work there is involved in my job. I think everybody thinks that I go to parties, get to talk to people and get paid to have a good time. Which to be honest it — among other things —  is, and that’s why I wanted to do it as it fits me perfectly.


But there's a lot of administration and legal stuff and forms and documents and financial tickets that you need to fill out. So it’s not all roses.


How do you bring creativity into the role?


As a communication specialist your job is to see things differently, and see things that people inside or outside of your company might not see. So I try to bring an element of surprise into everything I do — which really is what creativity is all about.


What’s important also is that you need to understand that people consider you a challenger most of the time — which means that you're gonna have to bring sort of a creative perspective to what has been done so far. 


Otherwise, you can't change anything, and you can't really accomplish anything new. So it’s a daily activity to push those boundaries, creativity, and understanding how much can people take at once and how much are they willing to do and actually accomplish something new?


Finally, what keeps you inspired?


I tend to keep myself inspired through different channels: sometimes it's podcasts, sometimes it’s dancing! Sometimes it's just talking with people. I find that pretty much everything is an avenue for inspiration if you want it to be.


Thanks again Vanja!




Vanja Prokic

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