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  • Writer's pictureTünde Lukacs

Breaking The Norms: What I Learnt On The Other Side Of The Wall

I grew up in a family where nothing came easy.

The Berlin wall just fell when I started school.

In Eastern Hungary people lost their job overnight.

Factories closed, missing their sole buyer, the USSR ☭.

My dear parents juggled shifts and multiple jobs, sometimes in awkward ways. Our house once overflowed with pumpkin seeds, stored in the hope of selling them for a profit later in the year. 🤔

This struggle taught me the forever lesson to

↳ be a hard-worker

↳ value (financial) independence

↳ find opportunities where others don't.

Fast forward to 17 years ago. I moved to Switzerland to start an exciting job in the energy industry. Five years into this, I became a mother.

In those days, young moms returning to full-time work were not the norm. A sentiment, often echoed by society.

↳ The school principal on my inquiry about after-school care 5x a week? Rolling 👀

Despite norms, I wanted to pursue a career.

And I wanted to be a mother, too.

But I knew exactly one young mom who returned to work full-time after having a child. One real person, from my environment - not from the magazines.

Still, I chose to go back to full-time work, supported fully by my husband. It was against what most people did, but it felt right for me, for us.

Was it worth?

↳ I wasn't appointed a Dame.

↳ Neither am I a Fortune500 CEO.

↳ I (we) juggle, with ups and downs.

But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

This decision led me to key so many new friendships, adventures, roles and promotions at work and outside, during my further education and professional clubs.

I am lucky to be called a friend and a mentor by many (ex-) colleagues. Some of them more senior to me.

My professional life isn't a series of jobs.

It's filled with the learnings and relationships,

that make me a full, and maybe a better person.

I am happy, that I can do it, being a leader and a mom.

This balance is a hard. But it's also rewarding.

I'm grateful to my family, friends and colleagues.

They keep on loving, supporting and inspiring me.

I wish I told them this more often. You all know, it's you, when reading this 😉

On my birthday, I raise my alc-free glass to all the brave guys and gals breaking norms for a better life.

And all the guys and gals supporting them on this.

I’m excited to keep breaking these norms myself. Here's to going for it! 🥂

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