Zhaneta Dedinska

Would you share a few words about your career journey?

My background has some variety I would say, but what has always been a common thing is the multicultural environment. Thinking about my career journey so far, I hope it doesn’t sound too pretentious, if I say that it has been a journey about finding myself, and I guess it still is. As a child I used to think that hospitality and hospitality management was my thing since this is my parents’ background and that’s the atmosphere, I’ve grown up in. However, life has its own ways and plans for you. So here I am, I’ve got a degree in Financial accounting in Australia and now I am part of Adastra’s Canada finance team.

What advice would you give to women returning to work after maternity leave?

Everyone can speak only from their own perspective and personal experience, so my advice may very well not be exactly relevant. Having said that, for me it is very important to keep and maintain the connection between yourself and the child, and this happens through quality time with your kid, you need to be emotionally and mentally available to them. Also, don’t make compromises with the place where and the people whom you leave your child to to spend the most part of the next five or six years. There is a reason it is said that the first seven years are foundational and most important.
There is always a way, it is just a question of priorities.

How do you manage to balance work and other engagements?

To be honest, this has been a challenge for me. What I do is I try to stay present, be better aware of my priorities and what really matters. I am really grateful that my job gives me some flexibility at this stage of my life when I need it. Something I recently read: “it’s not about ‘doing it right’, it’s about living well” – says it very well, I think. Of course, as professionals we need to do our jobs, but there are also things we don’t need to have perfectly done every time. Rather than being stressed out and putting yourself under extra pressure unnecessarily for things you thought were important, it’s worth reassessing what really counts. For me, it is more important to be there for your family and be in good spirits rather than stressing out to have it all done or having it done perfectly.

 If you could send a short message to yourself in the past, before you became a mother, what would it say?

Being a parent is a really long-run. Don’t push yourself that hard all the time, cut yourself some slack. But also, prepare yourself better for the long run. It is not only for when the children are babies that you need to prepare and read some books. Start reading books and taking some advice on upbringing when you even start thinking about having children. So, you can have the time to see different approaches and the ones that resonate with you will have the time to really sink in, and then when the time comes, applying them would be hopefully easier. 😊 Of course, this is a message to myself, as I have never been around children or babies, having my first child was something completely new, and I knew nothing about. By the way, I was surprised by how natural it came to me and how confident I was in taking care of my baby. But not everything comes that natural, we all are different people; knowing ourselves it’s good to start working on ourselves way before we become parents, because the challenges we have with our children are our own flaws that we need to work on. Nevertheless, we can never be ready, it is a dance, and it begins when the music starts, and we start dancing with our partner- our child. But yes, not bad, to start preparing and rehearsing the steps a little bit earlier, because when the little person starts pushing your buttons then it is showtime. 😊

I would also say: set boundaries and be consistent in following them! Be authoritative, but not authoritarian, there is a big difference. You don’t need to control your children’s behavior so much but watch out to control yours. Children are mirrors, they watch and do what you’re doing, be sure to set the right example. Be patient, try to stay present and be mindful, beware of switching on auto-pilot going through the busy days.