Irina Zaharia serves as Nintex’s accounting director, where she has held the role for three years, and is the proud mother of three.
Following her move from Russia, she pursued a degree in Finance and Accounting at the University of British Columbia, and jumped into the world of public accounting. While serving a wide variety of companies ranging from large banks to local hotels, she lived and traveled around the world in places like the United Kingdom and Canada with her husband and three daughters. The family settled in the United States in early 2000’s and Irina worked in accounting for technology companies since.
Now here at Nintex, Irina picked up a few valuable lessons along the way. Here are the five lessons Irina passed on to us, the summer editorial intern team at Nintex, as we begin working within the professional world.
1. Expand your knowledge of the world through people
You don’t necessarily have to travel to meet people from all over the world. Even from something as simple as eating lunch with others, you can learn so much by listening to their experiences.
Just by sitting with a group of people and sharing a meal, there’s no limit to what you can learn from conversing with other people from different backgrounds and cultures. Everyone brings their own perspective to the conversation, which is why diversity is key in today’s workplace.
Sit and listen to the stories people have to tell so that you can begin to understand different world-views and perspectives. With that said, Irina’s advice is to always remember to be emotionally intelligent and culturally sensitive.
2. We are on the outside what we are on the inside
What you do really ties into why you do it, no matter where you are in your career.
Find your ‘why’. Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Is it because your family member is doing it? Is it because your neighbor is doing it and makes a lot of money? Because it seems easy? Or is it because it aligns with your life goals?
Find the real ‘why’, dig deeper to find the consistency between you as an individual and your passion.
3. There will be days when you hate your job
That’s okay — take a deep breath and give yourself a minute. Go for a walk around the block, get yourself a glass of water or look out the window. Sit and find a quiet moment to ask yourself why you are here. Why am I here?
Now, dig deeper.
Do I like the person I work for?
Do I like the people I work with?
Is the work I do here fulfilling?
Take a moment to self-reflect and the answers will become clear.
If you answered “no” to two or more of those questions, consider other options. Life’s too short to be doing something you don’t like.
And if you answered “yes,” to these questions and are still feeling down about your day-to-day routine, change it up. When you get home, find an outlet to release your stress (do some yoga, go for a run or whatever helps you to clear your mind), make yourself a nice home-cooked meal and get those full 8 hours of sleep.
4. Spending extra hours at work does not always produce the best results
I’m sure many of us have experienced this scenario before, one where we spend countless hours working on something with little to show at the end. If that’s the case, try to watch and observe what others are doing well around you.
Another great solution is to find a mentor – they don’t necessarily have to be from your department. First ask questions, and then ask more questions about your questions to get a deep understanding of what it is you’re curious about. Spend time with your coworkers, learn to manage your stress levels and check that your priorities line up with your team’s priorities.
5. There is no substitute for hard work
This one is quite simple. The only way to learn is to do it yourself – experience is the best teacher.
Remember to keep in mind that a crisis is always a learning opportunity and that, sometimes, the fastest way to get things done is to slow down. Find out your style of working. There will be situations where you will just have to roll up your sleeves and get things done.
It’s important to recognize how self-reflection can play a crucial role in your career journey and understanding how to navigate those interests early on is great advice. Thanks to Irina for the career advice – the summer interns at Nintex will keep these lessons in mind as we embrace the world of work!
Interested in a career with Nintex? Visit our careers page to read about our open positions!