Working without Boundaries:
Networking across a Continent and a World
by Dr. Karen
What do you do when you’re a young, gifted, woman in
an Eastern European country looking for a better life in the west?
While doing research on networking I talked with someone who had
made the move to a new life and a new career. Hers is a great story
and guide for everyone who wants to make the move. This is the story
of her experience with an emphasis on what she learned.
This woman told me she knew she wanted to have a professional life
in the west and did not know what each step on the way will look
like. When she met someone in the search business she instantly knew
that was the profession she wanted to go into and one day she found
her way into the profession by networking with the people she met.
She knew she wanted to go which was to a good job connected with
multi-nationals. There was no need to know all the details on the
way. She found that she recognized beneficial experiences when she
encountered them, looked out for new skills she needed to gather,
and didn’t worry about what would lead her to her destination. She
kept her eyes on her goal.
For someone coming from Eastern Europe at the end of the 80s,
anything in the West was new. This lady spent hours in the
supermarket in order to memorize the names on the shelves- food
item, brands and later on the food chains and any other Fast Moving
Consumer producers. Doing market research on companies she did not
even know existed before she left the land behind the iron curtain
required very quick learning methods and a great desire to learn.
She needed to be a fast learner, faster than the locals and the
others, because there was no time to waste
My interviewee was trained to teach English as a foreign language
and that is what she could do well. She landed in a cosmopolitan
town where practically everyone spoke English and there was an
abundance of native English speakers. Nevertheless, she managed to
get small jobs at language schools, progressed well, engaged the
students and even became a project manager for an in-company
training group at a reputable bank in a third country. She used
earning her daily bread as a learning experience on network building
in the business world. She realized”
No goal is impossible, you need to go ahead and believe in yourself.
Our eastern European invested her energy and time to become an
excellent researcher, a go-getter and an inquisitive interviewer.
Her motto was “Do not even start, if you don’t want something badly.
You have to have the guts. There is nothing to lose, only gain.
Throw yourself into your work at full speed with all your wits,
energy, and creativity. “
There are no limits to what you can achieve if you give yourself to
And she never gave up, she became one of the quickest information
brokers in her field and felt comfortable to talk to and learn from
clients, candidates and institutions alike. She knew she had to get
better and brighter and busier, there was no time for complacency.
You need to feel the hunger
Our executive researcher started moving up the ladder, training
others, shaping teams and learning to manage other professionals.
She had to deal with the ambiguity for women in managerial /
leadership positions and to toughen up along the way while staying
with and preserving her best talent – the sincere interest in people
‘s development. The growing pains of the underdog (the immigrant and
the female ) led her to a senior business executive. Rise to the