Who are you and what do you do?

I am Claudia Deniers – an executive and career coach with a corporate background in HR and communications. My aim in working with clients is to support them in opening up new vistas and realizing their choices and new options, be it in their career or their personal development.

What was your first job?

I started my career with a traineeship at Deutsche Bank. For the first few weeks, I had to work in a branch in a not-so-affluent neighbourhood of an industrial city in North-West Germany. I learnt a lot about what it means to struggle financially on a daily basis. Not a very glamorous start to my banking career, but a truly grounding experience that stayed with me.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Having played my part in the successful integration of two large businesses with very different cultures.

What or who has inspired you?

Toddlers: They are confident, resilient, always get up once more than they fall over – and with a smile on their face, too. Watching them inspires me to keep looking for these qualities in my battered old adult self.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

No matter what country, what sector, what company, what role: You are always dealing with people and people want to be respected, valued and trusted – just like yourself.

What is the biggest professional challenge you have faced?

I was asked to lead a project to develop a coherent and efficient process for redundancy, bringing together stakeholders from different areas within the company. From our different and sometimes conflicting perspectives, we worked out a way to make the redundancy process as smooth as possible for candidates and to make all supporting resources available at the right time.

Social media – friend or foe?

Neither nor. An instrument to be used as you need or played as you please.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

If you can’t do it, learn how to do it.

What advice would you give now to a senior executive looking for their next career move?

Spend a lot of time and thinking on the first part of your job search: Define your goals, develop your brand, work on your network and don’t forget to draw your very own lines in the sand.

Looking back on your career so far, what would you change?

Perhaps I should have asked for a pay rise more often!

Connect with Claudia here:

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To find out how an executive career coach can help you get the results you want in your career, contact us today for a complimentary conversation on +44 (0) 203 384 4188 or email contact@executiveconnexions.com.