I came across E-Consulting Slovakia when I was looking for a job after graduating from university. I had my dream and vision that I would work in human resources or a payroll department. When I was preparing for the interview at E-Consulting Slovakia, I had already gone through a few interviews, so I at least had something to compare it with.
I liked the E-Consulting presentation on their website, references from renowned companies, the video of Mrs Kučerová, which provided a lot of useful information for the preparation for the interview. Based on this video, I decided to go for an interview and to get the job.
Before the interview, I tried to get the maximum possible information to form my own opinion about the company as well as about the interviewers. When I met Mr Pristach for the first time, I knew immediately who he was. At the beginning of our first meeting, he politely asked about my journey and if I liked the environment, so I talked for a long time, which is typical for me. I think he was surprised and did not expect such a detailed description. :-)
The personal interview with Kateřina Kučerová wiped the smile off my face, because from the previous interviews I was accustomed to HR managers praising their companies. Kateřina, on the contrary, tried to discourage me by saying that the work involves a lot of stress and particularly this position involves long-term travel between Bratislava and Prague. Since I worked as an au-pair while studying at university, I was used to stress and the complex organisation of all activities. Raising somebody else’s child, studying at university and “living my life” at the same time required a maximum level of organisation and effort to eliminate any trigger of stress. In the corner of the room in which the interview with Mrs Kučerová took place, there was a third person from the company that I met. She was smiling at me and supported me during the interview. I knew that she was interested in what I was saying and that I wasn’t rambling.
I realised after the interview that I wanted the job, I would get it and do my best for it.
After I got the job, I had my first business trip to Prague. I was curious and a little worried if I could make it at the same time. After I arrived, I made it clear that I wouldn’t try to speak Czech, and I found out that there is actually no language barrier and no one minded my speech. We sometimes have some “Czechoslovakian time” with my colleagues when we discuss interesting differences between Czech and Slovak. When I saw the office in Prague, I was surprised because it is much smaller than I imagined. I thought it would be a company with at least a hundred employees based on the renowned companies that were its clients. However, I was also surprised that the company was working smoothly and nothing was a problem there. After I experienced office operations for the first time, I was more afraid that I would make a mistake or wouldn’t manage. So, I started doing everything at full blast and at full stretch, which surprised everybody; they were particularly shocked when I asked for more and more work. That made and still makes me happy.
I was the first permanent employee in Slovakia; until then, a colleague from Prague travelled to Bratislava. When I was in the office in Bratislava, I didn’t feel like the only soldier in the field at all, thanks to the remote connection and telephone, I was a part of the team and felt encouraged by Hanka and Klára. Moreover, senior payroll consultants kept going to Bratislava on a regular basis, so I saw them and still see them face to face.
What am I constantly fighting? I participate in meetings via teleconference and it happens from time to time that someone forgets to connect me. Then I exercise my right to be informed.
I also contend with fact that I am worried my performance is insufficient, so when I had my first HR interview, I was afraid that I would be fired. In fact, I was promoted from an assistant to a junior payroll consultant. I was very pleased, of course.
I realise that I’m a borderline workaholic, but this way of working suits me and is consistent with the fact that I launch into everything headfirst. I dearly wished not to be alone in Slovakia all the time and to have some new colleagues. It was not long before the Slovak branch expanded and I have got great and wonderful colleagues. We form a unique team together, even though we are different people. I have great support in my colleagues and can always rely on them. The team work is very fulfilling for me and I am also happy that new people joined the Czech team in Prague as well. The EC family was expanding again.
I have another family outside the work – my handball team, HK Slávia Sereď. We play in the 1st Slovak handball league, which is the second highest competition in Slovakia. It happens that I travel between Prague and Bratislava on weekdays and participate in matches and handball tournaments at weekends. I sometimes spend 6 hours driving. I don’t mind, I’m just stubborn and when I see potential, I have to realise it. Dissatisfaction drives us forward.
People can be surprised when I tell them that I built a gazebo and I am going to build a fireplace. I find it as normal as constantly travelling between Prague and Bratislava. I really like Prague, especially all the monuments and the new offices in Karlín. I’ve been working for E-Consulting since 2013, but I feel like it’s been much longer. I’ve got used to this way of life and it suits me. In E-Consulting, each goal is achievable; I have the opportunity to form and accomplish my own goals, and nothing strengthens and motivates you more than a goal that is closest to you personally. My dreams and goals are easily achieved in EC because my colleagues support me, are happy to help me and show me the way if I’m ever lost.
The highest goal I’ve achieved in my professional life is the promotion to Senior Payroll Consultant. From an assistant to a senior position? If you think this is impossible, I am living proof that it can be done. Working as an assistant helped me to achieve a senior position because I gained professional knowledge, experience and a sense for payroll processing along the way.
What next? I would like to expand my portfolio of companies for which I process payroll and have new satisfied partners.
Senior Payroll Consultant