Finding new challenges is Eda Goksoy Kalaycilar’s main motivation. So when she had the chance to move to the Netherlands for a job as a Senior Project Manager, she didn’t have to think about it for long.

‘In Turkey, I studied at the Middle East Technical University, one of the most respected universities for engineers. After my Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering, I started on a Master’s degree and worked as a Project Manager at a big high-tech firm. It wasn’t long before I decided to continue my development with a PhD. That was a really busy time, because I worked full-time, and I also became a mother. I worked at my job during the day, and worked on my thesis at night. It was draining, but as I often say: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’

Language barriers and cultural differences

‘Once I’d earned my PhD, I was ready for something new. I missed a challenge in my job, and I dreamt of expanding my comfort zone. Around that time, Capgemini approached me via LinkedIn. The job interview and the stories I heard from a friend who worked at Capgemini made me excited. It sounded like a company where I could continue my development. Of course, I talked about it a lot with my family. Such a big step wouldn’t just have major consequences for me, but for my husband and son as well. But we quickly agreed: let’s do it!’

‘It was easier to get used to our new life than I’d expected. My husband found a job at a high-tech company within two months, my son is happy at the international school, and a lot of my friends from Turkey live here. And I also managed to expand my comfort zone. As a Senior Project Manager, I lead a large international project. That means: language barriers, cultural differences – and putting out a lot of little fires before they escalate. Exactly the challenge I was looking for. It was worth everything we went through with the move.’

Enough encouragement

‘What makes this job so enjoyable? The environment I work in. You’re encouraged to take the initiative here, and to solve problems on your own. It makes me proud when I come up with a solution for the client myself. Plus, the communication with my colleagues is great. That makes it so pleasant to work together. My work also has challenges, of course. For example, sometimes it’s difficult to meet the clients’ needs. And it’s not easy to keep all the balls in the air at the same time. But fortunately, I love doing a lot of things at the same time. Maybe because I’m used to it in my private life.’

‘The main difference with my old job in Turkey is the international environment. I get to deal with people from a lot of different nationalities. Capgemini isn’t a hierarchical company; it’s truly a horizontal organization. I think that’s a good thing, because it gives you much more freedom, and your opinion really does matter.’

Across the border

‘My parents always encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. When I was 15, I lived in the same city as my parents, but during the week I stayed in the dormitory with my friends. So I grew up fast, and I learned to make decisions for myself. I became even more independent during my studies. Now, I try to give my son the same upbringing, so I thought it would be good for him to start a new life too. He’s learning two new languages – English and Dutch – he’s making a lot of new friends, and he’s expanding his comfort zone.’

‘I don’t know what the future will bring, and I don’t care, as long as it involves a challenge. But one thing is certain: Capgemini is focused on growth. So there are plenty of opportunities here for me. I’d like to gain more responsibility, and I’d like to continue improving my skills. That will happen, I have no doubt, because now I know that not even international borders can stop me.’

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