November 26, 2010

Making Career Choices in Russia

Svetlana Berger didn’t know that she would become a psychologist at the beginning of her career, but the 90s in Russia was a time of change as the country jumped from the Soviet era to freedom and a market economy. The new environment created new demand for psychologists who could help people to adapt, and so Svetlana started working in industry in human resources development and training. She continued this work when she emigrated to Canada in 2000 with her family and again when she returned to Russia to found Berger & Co, where she works as a business and career development coach. Tune in to hear Svetlana’s career and life journey, and career realities in Russia.

Hot Careers in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa

Connecting the dots in Minerva Cernia‘s career trajectory, from electrical engineer in her home country of Romania to marketing manager for Apple, to an International MBA in Slovenia, to publishing sales involves a series of “happy coincidences.” And when she applied for an HR position, the recruiter was so impressed, he recruited her. She was Romania country manager for Pedersen and Partners and now leads their industry practice based in Toronto, focusing on searches for clients in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Dial us in this Friday for a fascinating career story and latest international recruiting trends.

Running across the desert for the communications industry, and its charitable support organization, NABS. Sparks from last Career Buzz of Nov.5


Stefan Danis — CEO of recruitment firm Mandrake — has been raising funds for NABS for 19 years, including fundraising runs across the Chilean Atacama Desert and the Gobi Desert, and next year, the Sahara. At the start of the recession in late 2008, as in other recessions “when the recruiting business dried up” Stefan decided to continue his fundraising work to “emotionally vaccinate myself against the vagaries of the economy,” he told Career Buzz listeners. With the “cost of unemployment soaring, and Nabs was the destination for many individuals in distress,” Stefan wanted to be able “to look back on 09, some of the things I could control, like personal health, good mental health and doing good for the community knowing there was only so much I could for my business,” he said. “So I looked for a project that would be transcending and transforming. I’m not a runner — and came across this 250 km unaided racing program in the four least hospitable deserts in the world, I decided to sign up and use it as a medium to bring attention to the plight of people struggling themselves, in their career, with mental stress.” Stefan’s fundraising work for Nabs has resulted in over $800,000.

CareerCycles asks: What do you want to do to “emotionally vaccinate” yourself against the vagaries of the economy? As Stefan Danis said, there are always things that are under your control, even when many other things, like business conditions, aren’t. Worthwhile projects like Stefan’s send positive ripples in many directions — including your own career. As positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson suggests (see her broaden-and-build theory), when you do things that generate positive emotions in you, it broadens your ability to see possibilities, and builds your resources like resiliency. What’s one positive project you want to explore?

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