Reidun is a consultant within the Managing Consultant division at Metier OEC. She helps business executives understand their roles in context of the changes their organization is going through. In this way I help them to achieve their set goals, which is an important contribution.
My career has been formed by a lot of chances and course corrections. Working in management consulting was never a given, and you could say that I’ve had four different careers.
Straight out of high school I started working in customer service. After a while I started on an economics degree at night. Then I switched from customer service to IT operations, where I stayed for a while before furthering my education. At this time I began working with IT development and implementation. I’ve also owned and operated my own business together with three other people. We developed methodology and facilitated and supplied leader development.
After a while I wanted a role where I could work with business development over a longer period. I applied for (and got) the position as HR director at what then was Metier – a position I had for 10 or 11 years before I transitioned to a consulting role at Management Consulting.
My wide and solid experience platform is the foundation for the role I have today. You cannot get that kind of experience through education alone. My expertise is a result of the choices and reassessments I’ve done on the way. My skills are based on mostly experiences and continuing my education later on – they are experiences made through going the long way round.
I wanted to work in the Norwegian Police Force. It’s a varied field with some action. I didn’t really know what wanted to do exactly, or what I liked to do – which is natural when you are young and inexperienced.
I am passionate about following your own ambitions and making choices based on that. My twin daughters have made value-based decisions concerning their life and career which are totally different from each other and from mine.
The most important thing is to make a choice. You don’t need to be completely sure it is the right one. Experiences make you smarter, and you can always reassess and change your mind later. The course doesn’t need to be completely laid out from beginning to end. You can make adjustments many times throughout your career. If you don’t know exactly where you are going – just try something. Many people are concerned with knowing their exact path and goal, which can be hard when you are young and lack experiences, because then it’s easy to be negatively affected by other people’s opinions and advice. The goal doesn’t need to be that important. It’s the road you are walking on that is your life. Roads are flat or steep, has bends and turns, or they might be straight. You won’t know until you actually walk it.
I haven’t experienced or seen any defined barriers for women in the businesses I’ve worked for. In consulting we have tradition for, and we are conscious about individual and skill development. The entrance to consulting is strongly linked to educational results, and women in Norway generally score high here.
In our business it is important to take up room. Here we can facilitate more so that young women can take up more space and get a seat at the table.
Take ownership of your job, and take the opportunities given to you if you feel like its interesting and gives you some sort of energy. Dare to say no to opportunities that don’t interest you, more will come! (And remember that its just a job after all. What you are doing today doesn’t define you as a human being, and it doesn’t need to be where you end up.)