Interview with Maroua Sajeb – ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER AT CAREER CLUB DK

Summer might be over, but Maroua Sajeb brings the heat in this fall interview! As a certified Health and Dating Coach, Maroua has done extensive research in the dating industry and cracked the dating code. She kindly agreed to do this interview, answering our curious questions, and also talks about how Career Club contributes to fulfilling career and life.

1. Where do you come from and what motivated you to come to Denmark?

I come from a mixed background; Tunisian, Polish, and Lithuanian. I moved to Denmark in 2016, to join my now ex-boyfriend, and I am very grateful to him for that. I will never forget my first day at work. It was June 1st. I sat on my desk and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world. 

 

The office could not have been more international, my desk was near a massive glass window that overlooked a fairytale-like harbor, with all sorts of boats; from luxurious yachts to old ships. The scenery was topped with impressive red-bricked buildings squeezed between dark sparkling water and a graciously clear blue sky. After a super welcoming morning, I was offered to go on a tour of the company headquarters. To my surprise, we used the company’s bikes to get there. Note: the last bike ride I had was when I was 15 years old and biking in a smart outfit was not something that did fit well with my Tunisian prestige. However, all that resistance was instantly brushed away the moment I hopped on the bike. 

 

It was a bright sunny afternoon, we biked by the harbor passing by the little mermaid and overly excited tourists, then along the city’s 17th-century fortress Kastellet, and Churchillparken. We then had a little stop by the marvelous St Alban’s Church, then we biked some more to reach the notable Esplanaden building. That first day could not have ended better. Straight after work, I went to Distortion in the most fun and vibrant neighborhood, Nørrebro.  

2. Did you always know you wanted to become a dating coach? How did you get into it?

Certainly, I did not wake up one day thinking to myself ‘Hey! Let’s be a Dating coach’. My career path took quite different turns. First, I worked in Finance in a big corporation. One year in, I decided to hire a health coach to help me get in shape for my upcoming wedding. Three months into the coaching work, I lost 13kg, but also my passion for the man I was supposed to marry and the passion for the work I was doing. Working on my body, giving it good food, and caring exercises, made me only value myself more. I took a hard look at where I was in life. I was not unhappy, but I was not fulfilled, so I decided to go on a path where I can be of service to people.

 

In 2018, I took on a health coaching education with a school in New York. I learned all about nutrition and coaching techniques. Alongside my finance job, I started helping women with their eating habits, but soon after, I found myself working more with heart matters. You could eat all the salads in the world, yet still, be unhappy. We use food to compensate for other needs, like feelings of belonging and love.

 

After my relationship ended, I became happily single or so I thought. I went on dates but I was not attracting the right guys. I rejected men and was rejected, this made me frustrated and heartbroken at times. Dating became my little side project and I got super nerdy about it. I took courses, read books, and made it my mission to crack the dating code. I went on 100+ dates and after a lot of trial and error, I turned it into a fun playground, and I dated my way out to a loving and caring relationship. In November 2020, I quit my finance job to be a full-time Dating coach. I now help women find love without the frustrations of dating.

3. Tell us about your experience in building a career in Denmark?

I am glad I had about 4 years of the taste of Danish corporate culture. Coming from the UK, I loved the directness and laid-back attitude right from the first interview.

 

Three things I believe helped me to land my corporate job in Finance. First, it was to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and investigate every word they had on the job description and write down all the relevant things I had on my life account, big or small: my studies, my previous work positions, my private life, the news. I wrote down some humanized little stories of the challenges and best practices of the systems they use. I have also prepared some stories around potential cultural challenges I might need to address in the interview. 

 

Second, my investigation continued by calling the number mentioned in the job posting and asked some clarifying questions that helped me to fine-tune my stories even more. This brings me to my last point, on the d-day of the interview. I went to the interview with the mindset, ‘How can I help them?’ This helped me to relax and not to get into my head. I was listening very closely to what the interviewer was saying and emphasizing on, and picking on their needs, big or small, and saying back only what was relevant to them instead of just rehashing my CV. I had my little stories upon my sleeves and mirrored back how I can help using their own words, as well as their tone, gestures, and posture.

 

I knew I had the job when I was led back to the elevator, my interviewer said ‘We have an amazing canteen, you will love it’- Yes, we talked about food at some point in the interview, and yes, I noticed my interviewer was a foodie, did I miss my chance to bond on that? Heck no! I believe without the mentioned skills on my cv, I wouldn’t have been in that room, but connecting and giving exactly what they need is what made it for me.



4. How do you find the working culture in Denmark compared to your own?

The working culture in Denmark was such a fresh breath to review my priorities in life. I love the trust culture: trust to be given more responsibilities to take on new challenges without having to have endless years of experience. Trust that you will do your job, regardless of how long you stay in the office. My little fun challenge when I first started working in my corporate job, was to be able to leave work early, or before my manager, when I had fairly nothing urgent to do. It took me months to have the courage to pack my stuff and leave with zero guilt. My manager helped me a lot in overcoming that challenge.

5. What is your advice to all women building a career in Denmark?

I keep hearing people saying that it’s hard to make friends in Denmark. Personally, I think I have never made so many connections as here in Copenhagen, maybe it would be slightly different in the other parts of the country. Copenhagen is just the perfect hub for meeting and connecting with people, especially if you are an international lady who speaks English. There are so many different activities and events that are going on, you can find them through Facebook or meetup. If you can’t find your crowd, then create one. There are so many free spaces where you can gather or host people. Reach out to people, they are not as scary as you might think. The first place you should explore is our career club events, it’s a safe space with like-minded women that are happy to connect and support you. 

6. What does Career Club mean to you and how it can help other aspiring women?

Since my teenage years, I have always wished to be around a community of women that made a difference. I was seeking to fulfill my own needs of connection and finding direction but also giving back whatever I have learned and could be of support to another lady. I have been hopping from one club to another, ones that are very much corporate to others that are a bit more on the spiritual side. I loved them both, but I found that Career Club had the perfect balance of easy-going yet driven and curious women that want to make an impact. 

 

Career club is a place that would definitely make your start in Denmark more rich and smooth.  Here you have the opportunity to meet so many interesting women and get a faster idea about the job market and the cultural nuances.

7. Is there anything else you are passionate about at the moment?

I love to connect and meet new people. I would be happy to grab a coffee over Zoom or go for a walk with anyone who wants to talk about dating, finding love and purpose in life, marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.  In my free time, I love exploring new things. I have recently been binging on all the classes my local gym has to offer, such as Yin Yoga – a practice that is low in intensity but requires a hell of a lot of flexibility and getting out of your comfort zone, or BodyCombat – a practice that will get your heart racing and will help you let go of all the frustrations of the day through boxing and kicking movements. I love being active but I also love going on taste sensory explorations-  Brunches!

Connect with Maroua

Author

Martina Popadakova

Advisory Board Member at Career Club DK
Profession Content Developer
Website www.empowerment-journey.com

Connect with Martina on LinkedIn!

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