Tell us who you are.
I’m Hristina Bogdanova. I’ve been working in ScaleFocus for three and a half years. I started as a Talent Trainer and after the company grew, my position also grew – and now I am a Learning and Development Manager. Or a Human manager, as I like to call it. I am also a Mom and a chaos-manager in a household with a 1-year old and a dog.
What I do is pretty diverse – I am mostly concentrated on organizing and conducting external and internal trainings in ScaleFocus, coordinating certification exams and focusing on developing people. I love finding out what are the current learning needs inside the company and fulfilling those needs with new processes.
So you work with people. What is the thing they seek you most about?
Mostly trainings, of course, but also a lot of other things. I was leading the induction process for a while and people seemed to remember me as the one to ask about… whatever. But I love communicating with people. Which is strange because in school I was one of the quiet kids, I was introverted, I hated speaking in front of people. But the universe had interesting plans for this kid.
How did your career develop?
The interesting thing is that I didn’t choose my career but in a way, my career chose me.
My first job was the opposite of what I felt comfortable about – I was an animator for children in a kindergarten. Then I became а teacher to one of the groups, teaching them English. This was my start as a trainer. Later I continued again with trainings, in an organization where I was organizing and co-training a lot of people. Later I went on to work as an accountant for a while, but again, I was needed as a trainer and I started to do the two things in parallel. It was then I knew I had to choose one. My heart chose trainings. Pretty soon after, I applied in ScaleFocus and started working here.
Besides a professional, you are also a mother and you’ve just recently gone back to working full time. How is that for you?
The year I got pregnant was really important for me professionally because I had just taken on to lead a huge and important project internally, that had to do with leadership trainings. The program had just started when I learned I was pregnant.
To be completely honest, I have to admit at that moment I was astonished. I had wanted a baby but it was a really important moment for me professionally. Fortunately, I quickly found out that I was able to finish the project and I had the support of my team and managers. When I had a difficult moment at one point, our CEO unequivocally told me: “Look, this is really important to us and your part in the project is key. But your life and health are the most important thing. So take some days and take care of yourself.” Luckily, I was able to finish the project but it was really cool to have such support.
How was going back to work for you?
My decision to come back after the first year was a combination of love for work and the desire to be a full-rounded individual again. It was hard on the first day, but, as one of my dear colleagues who is also a mother told me: “You will forget you have a kid on the second day.” And it was true. I dove back into the processes, the work and things got a lot easier.
What things in your childhood helped you be the professional you are today?
My parents were strict, but they were also the first people to instill in the principles I am using to this day in the business etiquette. I think my upbringing to be polite and respectful turned out to be super important in my career.
What in ScaleFocus was completely new to you?
For the first time in my life, I am working in the HR department. I have learned since then that it is the department that is often the buffer between the people and the company. This can be negative as well as a positive thing. It’s a good thing I like people though! The human element is super important in companies like ours and we give a lot of attention to it.
Why do you like your team?
Because it’s unique. People are open, patient and funny.
Which is a quality you use daily in your work and as a Mom?
The ability to explain and talk, until everything is clear. And patience – which I use with my dog, as well.
What will your best friends tell me about you?
That I make everything complicated because I always ask everybody for their opinion. That I am the one responsible for the photos they have in the last 10 years of themselves. And that I can’t drink.