Education, Languages and Knowing Yourself Can Play a Key Role in Choosing Your Career Path
MARLEQ: How would you like to describe yourself?
Martina Blazkova: I am a woman, friend, mother, daughter, sister, coach, family, systemic and structural constellator, event/project planner and manager, traveler, empath, highly sensitive, who loves to discover new places and try new food. Multipotentialite passionate about helping people learn and grow, enjoying challenges that have a transformative impact on others and the world.
MARLEQ: What do you love the most about your coaching career?
Martina Blazkova: I love how my coaching style has been evolving over the years since 2009 when I started, from using a structure and mainly my head and mind during the sessions to using intuition, my heart and going with the flow, and sometimes using both approaches, depending on the client and the issue. I love that I have been able to work with different types of people, men and women, from around the world, with different backgrounds, ages, education, working on any topic of their lives, be it a personal or a professional issue. I love that after working with me the clients are more powerful, resourceful and with clarity on their lives, goals and/or actions and they leave as different people. I love that I can share with them many tools, my own experience and insights as I’ve been continuously working on my own issues and therefore, I can help more people with similar issues.
MARLEQ: How has your experience as a Therapist, Mentor, Educator and Facilitator played a major role in your career trajectory?
Martina Blazkova: People have always asked me for advice or they were telling me their stories, pains and long before becoming a coach and therapist, I worked in the human resources area and I was giving advice, sharing my experiences, what I would do and sometimes it worked and sometimes not. The first time I learned about coaching was in London in 2008 and I immediately knew that I wanted to learn it and use it because it was based on insightful questioning and not on giving advice which I saw as very effective. And that decision changed my life as later on I decided to change my career (at that time I had already been 10 years in the market research and business analyses field) to work with people full time and support them on their path to happier personal and professional lives.
MARLEQ: As an Academic Doctor, what advice do you have for job seekers on the role education plays in charting a career path?
Martina Blazkova: Education is an important factor in certain types of jobs, e.g., a PhD is valued in academia, research, and science. In other types of jobs, an MBA may be more useful, e.g., when applying for a director/manager role, and in other jobs, education is not that important because work experience is preferred there. You often see people with a university degree in a certain field doing different types of jobs because what they learn are transferable skills therefore, the field of studies is not that important anymore. So, education may play an important part in charting a career path, it depends on what the job seekers are looking for, and if they have clarity on their career path or not.
MARLEQ: Why is personal and professional development important for professionals?
Martina Blazkova: Many people focus primarily on professional development because they want to get a better job or because their company pays/offers the training and it is important to do so, especially in the current world full of changes. However, in my opinion, personal development is also important, we need to know ourselves, and we need to look at certain aspects, for instance how we behave in certain situations, and what can trigger us because only then can we choose how to react. We cannot stop life from happening and from giving us lessons but we can choose how to respond to all this. Also, as we get older, knowing ourselves helps us to understand that we need to take responsibility for our lives and stop blaming our parents, our environment, or whatever else for our lives not working how we want. In the end, personal issues have an influence on professional ones and vice versa as they are interconnected. To give you an example, for instance, you have a great CV and outstanding achievements but you are not able to find your ideal job. This could mean that you consciously or unconsciously sabotage yourself, e.g., one part of you doesn’t believe that you can find such a job. My recommendation in these situations is first to work with your mind, sometimes with your body, stuck emotions, and sometimes even with your childhood, traumas and generational patterns to align your mind with your heart. Sometimes you cannot find the ideal job because you think you want a certain type of job but your heart, and your soul want something else and you don’t listen to them. There are many examples of how personal and professional development are connected and every person is different. As we say in coaching and therapies: Only when we are aware of something can we do something about that. And very often, we don’t know that we don’t know. I’d be happy to guide everyone on this journey of self-exploration.
MARLEQ: It is interesting to know you studied 6 languages. What led to this and how has it influenced your career options?
Martina Blazkova: I grew up in Czechoslovakia so apart from studying Czech, I also heard Slovak language but I don’t count these as foreign languages. In primary school, my first foreign language was Russian because at that time we had to study that language. We study two foreign languages in my country, I added German in the high school as we are close to Germany and Austria. As I always liked English, later on, I started to study English as a voluntary language. When I lived in Sri Lanka, I learned Sinhalese which I found very difficult at first but later on it got easier. When I moved to Barcelona in Spain, I learned Spanish first and recently I have been learning Catalan so that I can also speak it, not only understand it.
Knowing languages was and still is a great asset for me. I got jobs abroad because of the languages I know. In 2004, I moved to London without having a job after finishing university and I started to look for a job there. Because I could also speak German apart from English, I got a job within 3 weeks. Therefore, I strongly recommend to everyone who wants to go abroad to study foreign languages to increase their career options.
MARLEQ: Who is your target audience as a career coach and what do they stand to gain by working with you?
Martina Blazkova: As a career coach, I work with anyone who is looking for a new job and needs help with their CV, cover letter, interview preparations and with getting clarity on job search strategies. I also work with those who want to change their career and don’t know where to start as it looks overwhelming to them. I will help them to break it down into smaller actions that are manageable and will support the clients with their action plans. People that would like to change jobs because they are not happy at the current one but they don’t know what they want to do are also my target audience. I work with these people over a period of time and I support them in finding their passions and talents and help them to set up an action plan to start to move in that direction. In terms of geography, I work with people globally, primarily with people who want to find a job in Spain, Czechia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, or the UK.
As a client-centered coach, the clients have control of the process, they choose the focus and I am here to listen, without judgment and to bring the best out of them so that they can use their full potential. I am here to provide useful feedback, to share my own experiences, tools and techniques that I’ve learned and experienced over the years and I am 100% committed to my clients and their success.
Although I have this focus, I attract people who resonate with me, my message and my experience.
MARLEQ: Tell us some other careers you have had and how the knowledge of these industries can help you guide your clients.
Martina Blazkova: I have gained experience from various types of jobs and industry fields in my own company, in private and public companies, SMEs, NGOs and startups in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and Spain, e.g., marketing, market research, consulting, project and event management, learning & development, education and training. 13 years ago, I decided to change my career path and focus on what I enjoyed the most – supporting people through coaching, therapies and on organising my own events from the start to finish. I regularly organised various types of events about personal development and spirituality, as well as international strategic business events for senior decision-makers from global companies such as Unilever, Panasonic, Telefonica, Sanofi, SCA on topics of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Purchasing. Later on, I combined both paths. All this is useful when I mentor or advise someone. In coaching I don’t need to know the clients’ industries or to have experience with their jobs or companies as I guide the clients through a coaching process, I ask insightful questions and the clients find their answers within themselves so I need to know the coaching skills and therefore I can work with anyone that resonates with me.
MARLEQ: What advice do you have for international professionals trying to settle in Spain?
Martina Blazkova: I would say it depends on where in Spain the person is looking for a job. If it is Madrid or Barcelona, these cities are very international and finding a job may be easier than in another region or city. International companies may not require Spanish because English is the official language in those companies. If the person is looking for a job in other parts of Spain, then Spanish is a must. Barcelona is a tech and start-ups city and IT jobs can be found here. For more tips, I’d recommend getting in touch with me.
MARLEQ: What is your favorite quote?
Martina Blazkova: I like this quote: “Avoiding your triggers isn’t healing. Healing happens when you’re triggered and you’re able to move through the pain, the pattern, the story and walk your way to a different ending.” (unknown)