Life is About Experience: Make a Habit of Trying New Things

MARLEQ: Dear Jelena, kindly introduce yourself to us.

Jelena Bigovic: Back in 2007 I started my HR journey. Throughout my career, I had a great chance to explore different industries, companies, and positions, and be involved in challenging projects on an international level. I have extensive experience in employee full cycle starting with employer branding, talent acquisition, training and development preboarding/onboarding/offboarding, talent management programs and business partnering.

I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and doing things in different manners. In a constant search for new experiences and inspirations, rejecting old patterns and standards, I always had a compelling desire for different views and perspectives.

Following the years behind, I’ve come to that point in my career where I want to share all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained. My aim and desire is to add value through business consulting and career coaching. Having in mind my inspirations and areas where I enjoy the most, my focus is on employer branding and talent acquisition on one hand, and career consulting on the other with the aim to support people in professional orientation and reveal their talents, strengths and untapped potential. 

MARLEQ: Tell us about your HR journey and how it is helping you give value to your clients now.

Jelena Bigovic: Since the very beginning of my career, I’ve been involved in career mentoring and support for youngsters through 1:1 sessions, workshops and education on how to create a resume, motivation letter and interview preparation. Afterward, parallel with my career I trained clients for the interviews and did also technical parts regarding CV and motivation letter preparations. 

In my career, I had a great chance to have deep knowledge of the Serbian market regarding the industries (FMCG, Retail, Oil and gas, Confectionery, Gaming, etc.) companies, trends and HR community that can be helpful for the clients. I have a strong network that consists of different levels from expert positions to C-level roles.

MARLEQ: What are the three major ways professionals can do their best during job interviews?

Jelena Bigovic: Besides general and well-known things like exploring the company, rereading the job description, managing time, practicing presentation, etc. for me, key elements to improve interview performance are: 

1. Showcase strengths and areas for improvement

Write a list of strengths and weaknesses. Review your resume and the job description to identify your top skills that relate to the position you're interviewing for. Highlight how your strengths can help the company reach its goals while improving your performance.  

2. Use the STAR method

Use the STAR method to tell stories with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Point out the results that were produced. Discuss how strengths lead to previous accomplishments. Emphasize the approach that will be taken to replicate accomplishments and what can be done to produce better results for the company.

3. Prepare smart questions for your interviewers

Interviews are a two-way street. Employers expect to be asked questions: They want to know that candidates are thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there. 

MARLEQ: How do you share your knowledge and experience with clients?

Jelena Bigovic: During my career coaching sessions I always have 1:1 live sessions where, depending on clients' needs, I share all the relevant information, insights that will help clients upgrade personal branding and job search strategy. Also, since I am doing career orientation, besides the 1:1 coaching part I had a career handbook that supports clients during job orientation if they want to do a career switch or they are at the beginning of their career journey. As I mentioned above, I had a great experience and knowledge regarding the Serbian market that is helpful for the clients. 

MARLEQ: Briefly describe what personal branding is and the role it plays during the job search.

Jelena Bigovic: It is the image of an individual's personality, skills, experience, and behavior that defines their unique identity on social networks, Linkedin mostly.

It is essentially for candidates to market themselves and their career expertise. It signals what they stand for, what they’ve accomplished, and what they’re capable of achieving. Having a personal brand can provide many benefits when it comes to finding a new job and staying relevant in their career.

MARLEQ: Why should clients look forward to working with you?

Jelena Bigovic: I have an H2H (human to human) approach and believe everybody has potential that should be brought to the surface.

MARLEQ: Who is your target market?

Jelena Bigovic: Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

MARLEQ: How do you unwind or relax at the end of the work day and during weekends?

Jelena Bigovic: Since I'm a nature lover, I most of my weekends I spend hiking or near some river, sea and lake.

End of the working days mostly ride a bicycle, go to yoga classes, or spend time with my friends.

MARLEQ: What is your best quote and how has this quote shaped you?

Jelena Bigovic: “Every ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are made for”

As I mentioned in my answer to the 1st question, I am in a constant search for new experiences and inspirations, rejecting old patterns and standards and always had a compelling desire for different views and perspectives. 

Although it may be tempting to stay in one's comfort zone, true success lies in taking risks and venturing outside of it.

Jelena Bigovic

Coach

Profile: Career Coach and HR Consultant with 16+ years of diverse experience in Talent Acquisition and Management, Employer Branding, and Training and Development

Expertise: Career Coaching, Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding, Organizational Culture, Employee Experience 

Education: Integrative Constructivist Coaching Diploma, Hogan Certification, NLP Practitioner, Train the Trainer

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