Meet Shivani, a career woman with a “give back”-focus!
Keeping herself busy as a Commercial Manager at Ørsted and an active member of our Advisory Board, Shivani Kondaskar pours her passion to tackle global challenges while serving back to her community. We sat her down for a talk about finding her own path in the Danish working system and what Career Club Denmark means to her professionally and personally. Click on the pics to connect with her on LinkedIn
Where do you come from and what motivated you to come to Denmark?
I’m from India and I relocated to Denmark from Germany in March 2020 – in the middle of the pandemic! I moved to Copenhagen to join my husband and in hindsight, I feel very grateful for having been together with my partner during the lockdown instead of two countries. Having visited Copenhagen for about 2 years over weekends, I saw life here and the winters. So the move to Copenhagen was a well-thought decision. A good work-life balance, a multinational work environment, and opportunities for women to pursue their careers while balancing family lives were key factors for my choice. Leaving a well-established career and a sound base and network behind was a challenging choice, however, a new job in a new country was what excited me.
What inspired you to choose a career as a Commercial Manager?
After a decade of being in Supply chain & operations leading to a pinnacle in my career as an in-house consultant, I felt an urge to re-evaluate my career path. Having worked a lot with processes, production, and planning, I knew it was time to expose myself to gain knowledge on working with different markets in a commercial role. In my experience, being naturally curious helps me learn quickly, so I was confident in my abilities. I thrive on problem-solving and enjoy community service. Ørsted offered me a chance to tackle a global challenge while making an impact that reached millions!
Tell us about your experience in building a career in Denmark?
Building a career in Denmark was no cakewalk by any means! How many ever years of experience you may bring along from Europe or even outside, one has to probably go through their share of difficulties. Also, a dash of a global health crisis on top during your job search is not helpful! So being kind to yourself and using the acquired time to channel your energy into your growth is what I tried doing! One tip I can give is to know or narrow down your choices according to your skillset or strengths, and experience. That is what I did! I chose my preferred employers, fields and listed my reason for my choices. This helped me make qualitative and targeted applications, which landed me a job in my top choice of company. Two other tips I wish to share. Firstly, know your worth! Do not just settle on any job out of desperation but stay on track, so you enjoy what you do. Secondly, do not underestimate the power of limited contracts. You can prove yourself once you get the opportunity.
How do you find the working culture in Denmark compares to your own?
Starting a new job with a warm welcome with flowers and an introduction to senior management on the first day was my highlight! Starting in a home office setting was certainly a strange experience to start with. Overall casual and informal culture at work was quite refreshing, flat hierarchies and open-door policy are all a bit different than countries I have worked in – India, UK, or Germany.The Danish way of working I’ve found to be very efficient – for example, time with families or self is very important and hence leaving for private appointments during work hours or earlier is quite normal as long as you can manage your time and deliverables well.
What is your advice to all women building a career in Denmark?
My advice to women navigating the working system is to prepare yourself well for a genuine conversation about your passion to any person you network with! Recruiters can easily figure out if it is a qualitative motivation letter or a recycled one (same for all applications). Coffee meetings are either virtual on video or audio call, a walk and talk are normal, so approach the right people you think might be helpful. Learning Danish while you have the time is a great idea else it rarely happens after you find a job. Keeping a relaxed but assertive personality is important, humility is highly valued in Danish culture.
Speaking to the hiring manager before application helps to get exposure to your future manager and making a good first impression. Finally, rejection is a natural part of this process leading you to the job you were meant for – so openly seek feedback and continuously keep adapting accordingly.
What does Career Club DK mean to you and how it can help other aspiring women?
Helping women grow and supporting each other gives me immense satisfaction. I was looking for a platform where I could help empower women. The Career Club Advisory board was the right place to come together with other very talented, strong bunch of women and make a difference shaping this network together. Career Club offers all members a caring and supportive network where you can find a lot of inspiration, help, and mostly advice to flourish professionally. I have personally found some great connections in the form of successful career women whom I can learn from and also friends in this new city that I call home!
Is there anything else you are passionate about at the moment?
I am an amateur photographer, hiker, and a keen explorer of good food, art, and design! I find that I have landed in the right city that offers me so much of this and more except the mountains! During Covid-19 I shifted my awareness more towards the topic of mental wellbeing and health and my journey continues trying to strike a good work-life balance and enjoying all things big and small that life in Denmark has to offer – including Hygge in all its forms!
Huge thanks Martina for doing this interview and the newsletter team of Career Club DK Advisory Board