Interviewer: Mahmoud Mansi
“Every one of us has an own unique gift (or talent), unique interests, a unique way of working and unique goals in life. So in the end, we are not really competing with each other…”
Dr. des. Natalia Wiechowski
Award-winning Personal Branding Strategist
Dr. des. Natalia Wiechowski is the Middle East’s leading Edutainer. Learning new things without laughing and having fun? – A nightmare for Dr. Natalia! That is why she always makes sure that she combines her knowledge and diverse experiences with a big portion of humor in her keynotes and in her role as a Personal Branding Strategist. The German Doctor of Philosophy empowers individuals to portray themselves and their careers as brands, in order to stand out from the grey crowd – online and offline. She guides them in presenting themselves in an impressive way and in building an authentic, professional (online) image. In short: She fast-tracks their success – from the inside out. With a social media following of over 146,000 individuals worldwide, the award-winning speaker walks the talk – not only in the world wide web but also on public stages, e.g. at the Global WIL Economic Forum, Hult International Business School and Digital Takeover HR.
Web page: www.thinknatalia.com
1- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: Natalia, through your profiles it shows the various interesting careers you have been through. We are curious what was the first job you ever had, how old were you at that time, and what did you learn most from this job?
Natalia Wiechowski: I started as a swimming instructor for kids at the age of 14 (my mother is a studied trainer and former competitive athlete). The biggest lesson learned: Kids are great but I prefer working with adults.
2- HR Revolution Middle East Magazine: After you have attained your MA degree in Social Science, you started working in Abu Dhabi as a Library Manager – which is quite the place to start a bright future! You have actually built the library from scratch (readers, books and interaction). Can you share with us the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
Natalia Wiechowski: My top two challenges were:
Managing the library on my own. I understood quickly that I needed a supportive internal and external social network if I wanted to succeed. So I networked and spent time with those people that could help me: I listened to their stories, solved their problems, then asked for a favor in return.
Slow (procurement) processes and bureaucracy. The institute’s library needed other procurement processes than the rest of the vocational education and training institute. The top management team of the institute unfortunately could not help me. They had bigger challenges on their agenda, which they needed to focus on. In the end, a conversation with a higher representative from the Abu Dhabi Education Council solved this issue.