You have already met a couple of our Relocation Coordinators on our blog, however, today I would like to introduce you to the amazing Office Coordinator at Foreigners Brno – Šárka Macejová. Office paperwork, assigning clients to Relocation Coordinators, taking care of the office equipment, you name it! But who is she outside of work? What are her goals and dreams?
Why did you decide to work for Foreigners? Did you know us before?
I was looking for a job where I could combine my personal development, studying and my personal life well. Working for Foreigners allows me to balance these aspects of my life which I am very happy about! Also, working with people from different countries and cultures inspires me to think, outside the box – looking at the situations from a different point of view.
How long have you been working for us?
I joined Foreigners in March 2020 so it has been a half a year or so
Are you from Brno or were you born somewhere else?
I was born in Brno and even though I like travelling and getting to know new places, cultures and people, it is always pleasant to come back to my hometown. Brno is kind of peaceful and lively at the same time. Not so big too – from time to time you bump into your friends or colleagues on the streets. And not so small – there is still a lot to discover as the city is changing and growing.
What did you study or where were you working before Foreigners?
I haven’t looked for my career path in my past so much, I just wanted to travel and enjoy every new experience. So, for me, after high school, it was seasonal jobs abroad and in winter months I worked for Czech companies. My last job, for example, was coordinating a hairdresser’s salon.
What is the one thing that surprised you about this job?
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to get familiar with all the processes going on in the Brno office; the biggest surprise for me was the number of administrative tasks. I helped the Prague team as well when I joined Foreigners, and everything was new. Also, lots of information had to be processed every day, as the situation with closing borders and restrictions changed a lot in April/ May. I was simply thrown into the water to swim – but luckily I am a good swimmer 😀
What do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy administrative tasks, organizing and paperwork as well as dealing with foreign clients. I like meeting clients in person. I help them, for example, when they are moving out of the apartments they have rented in Brno. Sometimes the landlords do not speak English so I am a “facilitator” between client and landlord, so they understand each other correctly and there are no misunderstandings when leaving the apartment at the end of the lease.
What makes you good at this job? Where are your strengths?
I always try to connect with people on the same level, meaning that I am not a judgemental person.
I am sensitive to other’s emotions and feelings and that helps me to understand people’s needs and their fears better. And maybe the experience of living and working abroad with a variety of people makes me a good mediator between our foreign clients and Czech people.
What are you planning for the future? In your career but also some other goals you have?
At the moment my main focus is on my studies which I would like to complete successfully.
I study Andragogy and personal development at Palackeho University in wonderful Olomouc city. I am planning to finish my studies in Brno after that, but it is a distant future at the moment😊
I can absolutely recommend visiting Olomouc while travelling around the Czech Republic!
I fell in love with its historical buildings, large parks and peaceful pace.
What’s your favourite activity outside of work?
I can’t imagine my life without being physically active (especially after hours sitting in the office and working “mentally”) I love swimming, ice skating, roller skating, long walks, hiking and exercising. In the words of one of my dearest friends who is also a trainer – physical strength goes hand in hand with mental strength, as my dearest friend, and to me, it applies 100%.
I also enjoy reading books, going to cinemas.
How was this year for you so far – we all face pandemic, quarantine… and you just started out during that time, actually. Was it harder for you?
For me, it was the year of changes so far, but mostly in a positive way.
I started a new job, I decided to continue with my studies, I slowly overcame my fear of driving (after years),… The quarantine situation basically made me understand better my priorities and what I want in life.
Of course, at first, it was a little shocking – the social distancing and all of the restrictions, but in the end, it gave me an opportunity to focus on enjoying the time spent with myself and that was possibly the exact thing I needed at that time!
Also, you broke an arm and then a leg in a very short period of time. How did it happen and how did you deal with it?
Well, it both happened during sports activities; I actually broke my leg while exercising while my injured arm was still in a cast – which was not a good idea! I just couldn’t help myself to stay in a resting mode.
For me, physical training is a way to clear my mind. Plus, it charges me with positive energy!
So, after my wrist and leg surgery, the recovery felt never-ending, but I did learn to spend time with my family, who were very supportive. I think I got to connect with some of my family members better and that was nice. Also, I am very glad that I could work from home at that time.
My theory is that in a retrospective we should always look for a lesson learned, even in the most difficult and unexpected situations.
You are in contact with people from all over the world basically every day. Did someone shock you or surprise you?
Surprisingly, I was shocked once when one of the Czech apartment owners demanded my personal number (obviously not for business purposes). I would say that what can shock or surprise you in people is always more about one’s personality, manners and values than about the cultural background.
Did you live abroad? If so, where? Is there a country you would like to visit or move there?
I lived and worked in Italy and Malta. I’ve also spent six months working and living in Greece on wonderful island Kos. However, the most amazing place I’ve ever visited was Melbourne and its surroundings in Australia.
I would definitely like to visit some magical place like that once again!
My dream is to swim with mantas in the Maldives.
Šárka likes to visit theatres too!
Would you recommend foreign people to move to the Czech Republic? If so, why?
Come live with us if you like beer, food, sports, history, and limitless options!
Because everything is possible in the Czech Republic.
What do you like most about the Czech Republic / Brno?
I like Brno’s history, old town squares, local cafés and restaurants, and of course my Brno friends and family. I like its diversity – you can find theatres, cinemas, galleries, bars, cafés, swimming pools, sports grounds and many places to socialize with people. But you can also find a calm place to relax and to get away from the busy “noise” of the city.
What do I like about the Czech Republic? I like Czech traditions which in my opinion are based on a mixture of paganism and Christianity (most people in the country are without any religious faith and yet celebrate Christmas, Easter,…) and you would not find these traditions anywhere else in the world.