Candidate Story: Children and Career are not a contradiction
Andrea Mayerdorfer, 34, is a graduate of the technical college Hagenberg and a mother of two children. Two is also the number of times she has been placed in jobs by epunkt. In her current job she relaunched her career after maternity with 20 hours per week as a project manager in the IT sector. A conversation about women in the world of IT and how career and family can be reconciled.
epunkt: Ms. Mayerdorfer, is it hard to be a woman in the world of IT?
Andrea Mayerdorfer: No, I don't really think so. In our field what counts are competence, expertise and communication skills. We are certainly in no way inferior to men in these qualities. IT is very flexible, it is very often possible to work from home, which makes things easier, particularly for part-time employees.
As a working mother, you are juggling career and family. What advice would you give working women who want to successfully negotiate that balancing act?
You have to give up the idea of being perfect. No one is a perfect mother, a perfect housewife and a perfect employee; but you can still be all those things. We are good mothers, good housewives and good employees - just like everyone else.
My children think it's great that Mummy goes out to work, too, and that they are looked after by someone else. That introduces variety into the children's day and, in my opinion, also is also good for their social skills.
Careers and families are more easily reconcilable then ever nowadays, thanks to modern technology, flexible working models and better childcare provisions. That's the theory. What experiences have you had here in Austria?
For me, that is true. There is excellent childcare in my town including crèche and daycare. My new employer is also open to flexible working models and my job is well suited to working from home.
Unfortunately there are also many reports from other mothers whose re-entry into the workplace was not facilitated by the employer. Or the "good" daycares are very expensive and there are very few places. I think there is quite a lot of room for improvement here, particularly with regard to childcare for children below 3 years old.
Job hunting is always a bit of an adventure. What experiences have you had over the course of various application processes?
I personally don't have many anecdotes to hand on that topic either. I was always placed by epunkt without any delay and it was always a perfect fit straight after the first interview.
What do you expect from a recruitment firm?
A recruitment firm should place where I have a realistic change of actually getting the job. Where the corporate culture and the business environment fit with my personality.
What sets epunkt apart from other recruitment firms?
Well I don't know any other recruitment firms, or if I do then only from their advertising campaigns. But epunkt comes across as more personal, which is probably why epunkt won "best place to work" awards. That has a very positive effect on the candidate and supports the belief that epunkt is committed to focusing on employees and professionals in their work.
Can you give me a quick summary of the process at epunkt?
During my first placement I updated my career profile and then received a personally addressed letter as well as a phone call. I received feedback on my CV that I thought was very useful and which I incorporated. Then I had an initial interview with epunkt. I was given feedback on my performance and my statements, and epunkt was able to gather an impression of my personality. Following that I received a job offer, which I accepted, and which was a good fit straightaway. The current placement, when I went back to work after my maternity leave, was similar. Again I received feedback on my CV, which was really helpful after such a long absence from work, as I was a little insecure. Test interviews were not conducted, but shortly afterwards I got the first job offer. Again I found it interesting immediately and applied to my current company.
What did you particularly like about epunkt, where is there room for improvement?
I really liked the personal support. I have the impression that epunkt genuinely tries to get an idea of the person behind the application. And they not only match the skills of the applicant to the requirements of the company, but also check whether their personality will fit into the company. I can't think of any improvements that could be made right now.
Please rate epunkt using the following points
(1 - could be improved, 5 – very good)
Information provided in the job advert ………….. 4
Professionalism in the interview …………. 4
Communication / Transparency ……… 5
Assessment procedure ………………. 5
Which four values best describe epunkt in your opinion?
- Work-Life Balance
- Likeable on a personal level