My name is Svenia, I am 41 years old and have been within the Lufthansa Group for 11 years now. Currently, I manage a small team of 5 people and take care of all issues related to cash, foreign currencies and financing in general at Lufthansa Cargo. My daily work depends very much on the good cooperation with different departments within the company as well as with the central functions at Deutsche Lufthansa AG such as Corporate Finance. From my point of view, the working atmosphere is very hands on, very cooperative and very solution oriented. I like this and therefore I would like to keep seeing my professional future at Lufthansa.
In the past years, I was able to adapt my career path to my particular life situation. When I joined Lufthansa Cargo, it did not take long to be promoted as a team manager. Then, 5 years ago, my son was born, followed by his little sister three years later. Due to the support of Lufthansa Cargo and also to my own will and ability to organize myself, I was able to manage both, the job and the family. Of course, this is an ongoing issue in my personal life and I realize that the company as well as the entire Lufthansa Group is on a good path to foster talents independent from gender and individual life situation.
The fostering I have experienced in the last couple of years included an assessment center in order to get qualified for the next management level. Being 7 months pregnant I participated successfully. Then, during that second baby break I was part of a cross company mentoring program. Besides Lufthansa, other big companies, for example Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Hewlett Packard or Sanofi, participate in this program, bringing together mentors and female mentees for cross-company exchanges. The experience with my external mentor broadened my view on how different or how similar other companies deal with career topics.
Currently, I am taking part in a coaching program for women ready for the next career step within the Lufthansa Group. This program is probably the most valuable one for my personal development. It not only includes personal coaching regarding key competencies, networking and working on the CV as well as presenting i.e. marketing yourself. We also have high-level management guests such as Simone Menne, the CFO of Lufthansa Group, a very unique experience!
This program made me ask myself, where I want to go and what is really important to me. I found out that networking and the exchange with others is something very beneficial for me. I discovered something very simple, which now seems so obvious to me: not only having a family is a reason to have a good work/life balance. It is also very important to people with no kids, to men and women equally and it is very natural and healthy. Further, I realized that in my case, a good work/life balance is rather necessary in order to have a career and must not be a contradiction. Also, I became aware that career may mean something different for someone else than it means to me.
For me it means that career is not a marathon. In fact, there may be slower times or even pauses, so that it happens when it fits into my life situation. Career doesn’t mean that I need to be on the highest possible hierarchy level, but it means having a challenging job, which suits my qualification and allows me to learn something new every day. And after all, I still have more than 25 years to go till retirement! That may sound terrible on one side, but having the demographic change in mind I believe that there are many, yet non-predictable opportunities to come!
Having this clear for myself, I have a much better approach to “plan” my career. Of course, it can’t be planned in every detail, because it depends on so many factors. But at least I am now able to give it the direction that I think is best right now. Naturally, I can only speak for myself and all the above applies to my individual case. But isn’t it individuality what personal / personnel development is all about?