Big part of our job is to motivate job seekers to do what they should be doing, to make sure they stay focused on the important and to finish what they have started which usually is a desired career change. When they get side-tracked, we know that it very often stems from self-handicapping.
But, what motivates us? Who are the people behind hundreds of successful job changes of experienced managers and (senior) executives across Europe?
We’d like to introduce some of our team members through mini-interviews of 5 questions.
Valeria, why have you become a Career Angel?
After having moved to Denmark from Ukraine and taking a break to learn Danish and think about my further career direction, I was about to start my job search. I looked in the jobs section on the website Internations.org and saw a post by Career Angels – remote job, headhunting experience… First I didn’t find it that appealing as I wanted to move from headhunting to something new. Then I had a second look – it was still not clear what exactly the job was about, so I decided to get in touch and get more information. At that time Sandra [the founder] was living in Latin America – managing operations remotely which sounded exciting. The first call went well, the chemistry was there. The job content turned out to be a relatively new and niche thing on the market, at the same time required the competences I already possessed. After some test exercises and a rather long induction period (well, you really have to learn a lot and working remotely has its challenges you have to learn how to deal with) I started working as a Career Angel four years ago.
Why do you keep being one?
Firstly, I enjoy the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals and speak same language – the language of efficiency and perfectionism.
Secondly, I like the kind of clients we have – experienced executives who are planning their career thoroughly. Being able to contribute to their career success has been exciting. Helping them as people to go through crisis of a job search provides a feeling of doing something meaningful.
Thirdly, I also like that Career Angels are working in a niche and have a unique expertise which provides a great added value for our clients.
Not to mention the possibility to have flexible working hours and take care of my kids when necessary.
What career challenges have you faced in your own career?
Challenge #1: getting appointed a director in charge of a consulting company which had run out of projects at the age of 23. I had to find both new products and clients. In two years we had two main products, several projects, I became a director, later partner and managing partner.
Challenge #2: being a manager since I was 23, first felt as a challenge to overcome, later as a natural role. However after 12 years in a managerial position, I started thinking about that it might not be the most natural and rewarding role for me. Moving to another country gave me a possibility to reflect on the issue and to make a shift to an expert role which feels much more natural and motivating for me. When I moved from Ukraine to Denmark following my husband’s career, it was a good opportunity to take a break and think about what I really wanted to do in my further career. I didn’t want to continue in headhunting and had to find other directions to move in. First, I learned the local language to become more competitive on the local job market. Defined my key skills set and possible directions for the search. I also looked deeper at my motivation and what’s important in my future job. At the end knowing who I am and what I want helped to focus my search and to get a job as a Career Angel.
Please share a client story that you found particularly insightful.
That is the story of my first big client who fully outsourced his job hunting process to us. An executive from the pharma industry who had been looking for a new job for almost one year without any success. Being 52, he was told that he’d never find a job comparable to his last one. To be somehow responsible for someone’s future career success was overwhelming. To send out the applications across 15 countries and communicate with potential employers and headhunters in five languages was challenging but also exciting. At the end, to know that the client and his family are happily settled in a new country and the new job provides great future perspective, was extremely rewarding.
If there’s one or two things that you could tell managers and executives when it comes to managing their careers, what would that be?
Plan well in advance, follow your gut feeling and build your career proactively and consciously, not following the flow or someone’s image of a perfect career.
Are you an internationally mobile manager? Would you like to confidentially speak about your career with Valeria? Email her at Valeria.Lebedieva (at) CareerAngels.eu or click here.