How to Navigate High-Pressure Situations and Competitiveness in the Job Market?
MARLEQ: What are some life lessons you learned while working in the banking industry, as a Risk Director?
Jelena Vuletic: The most important life lessons I learned in my 30 years of banking experience are to be both goal and solution-oriented. As someone who worked in the Corporate department before becoming executive of Risks, I tend to be focused on the bigger picture and try to see both sides of the same coin. Of course, it is not always easy. Thanks to these positions in the banking industry, I have developed many other skills- I learned to make balanced decisions and be more analytical and flexible, a very good listener, practical, direct, driven towards the action, and emphatic.
Although some people don’t see it- banking and coaching are very compatible. All the above-mentioned led me towards founding my own company Balance to business.
MARLEQ: How do you handle high-pressure work environments?
Jelena Vuletic: Nowadays every person has their own way of dealing with high pressure at work. Through my Process Communication Model (PCM) coaching education, I learned to recognize moments before I go to the stress level. Therefore, the best scenario would be to prevent it and my recipe is doing things that make me happy. That is spending time in nature, being surrounded by greenery, chatting with positive friends, and going to the gym three or four times a week. Preserving mental health in the 21st century is of key importance and my recommendation for everyone would be to do mindfulness exercises. I do them at least once a day and they are extremely helpful. It boosts your resilience and enables you to mitigate stress, as well as regulate emotions, and have a more positive outlook.
MARLEQ: What is the biggest challenge you faced in conflict situations?
Jelena Vuletic: How to stay calm, be in peace and not react. When a conflict occurs, it is very difficult to get your message across because the other person often cannot hear your arguments. It happens that a person leaves the room with the misinterpretation of your words, not what you said exactly. That’s why communication is so important.
MARLEQ: What are the most common risks of changing a career path?
Jelena Vuletic: First of all, let me say that most people usually don’t leave their comfort zone because of the fear of the unknown. That, together with constant self-examination and self-questioning, can paralyze a person. Also, people embarking on new adventures usually lack self-confidence. There are people who don’t believe that one person can successfully have two careers. It is challenging, but also possible, as in my case.
MARLEQ: How can one best prepare for the challenges of the job market?
Jelena Vuletic: Employers are becoming more demanding and the job market more competitive. That is why it’s essential to acquire and develop a lot of skills and broaden your knowledge. The business today is not as it was 20 years ago – everything is rapidly changing and one must be ready for it.
MARLEQ: Is it more important to have the right educational background or practical experience for a certain job position?
Jelena Vuletic: Actually, the best would be the combination of both. Education is very important but people best learn through experience. However, young people don’t have the necessary experience and it is very difficult for them to start working straight from the faculty. That is why I decided to create Student Business Hub, a program that helps students master practical skills and acquire new knowledge that will prepare them for the business world with a lot of practical exercises.
MARLEQ: Do you think employers, in general, prefer candidates with wide experience in different fields or in-depth expertise in one field?
Jelena Vuletic: It depends on the needs of the company and the position itself. High-level positions usually require a wide range of experience.
MARLEQ: How important are soft skills (i.e. emotional intelligence, creativity, critical thinking, etc.) in work environments?
Jelena Vuletic: They are indispensable. To have knowledge is a must, but it means nothing without soft skills. They are essential when communicating and working with other people, teams perform better and achieve great results. The other benefits are attracting and keeping clients.
MARLEQ: When it comes to job interviews, is it better to prepare and have talking points or to be more natural and spontaneous?
Jelena Vuletic: It depends on the job you are applying for and on the values and culture of the company. Personally, I prefer to have in front of me spontaneous candidates. The preparation I like to see is the one about the company and the job position – a successful candidate should be familiar with all the details prior to the interview. The candidate must also follow their own values and select the future employer according to them.
MARLEQ: What would be the biggest benefits of hiring a Career Coach?
Jelena Vuletic: A career coach can motivate you, provide honest feedback, and together with you set career goals. Of course, the coach can prepare you for your interviews and be your support in your journey.
MARLEQ: Why did you choose Coaching, and what excites you about it?
Jelena Vuletic: I started coaching in order to improve myself in all areas of my life. I often like to say that if it works for me – it will work for most people. For me, coaching is magic, a treasure I have found and started to share firstly with the team I am in charge of in the bank and then with others. That inspired me to create Coaching Competencies for Managers. Coaching gives marvelous results. However, there is still a lot of work in spreading the mission and raising awareness of the importance of coaching and the results in the business environment in Montenegro.