Briefly describe your job at Telenor
I work with internal communication – in short, that means I am part of the team that provides employees with the information they need in their daily work as well as news about the company. Currently, I am part of the editorial team in the Group Communications department in Norway. Previously I worked as head of the internal communications staff in Serbia. Group Communications at Telenor ASA felt that it would be useful to get different views on internal communication based on my experience of working for a Telenor operating company in another country. So, here I am in Norway. This is an exciting opportunity for me and the recognition is important. At the same time, I am pleased to see that people in Telenor are aware of the differences that exist across a big international company and are ready to listen and learn more.
The job I have now does not differ much from the one I had before. Just as in Serbia, we start the day summing up recent events and news stories. Then, we plan forthcoming activities. I still write articles and stories for our intranet portal, which is something I enjoy doing. Besides that, I am involved in the development of the new intranet, which will be used by tens of thousands of employees worldwide. Being even a small piece of the puzzle in a complex project like that is exciting.
Why did you join Telenor?
I used to work for Mobtel, the Serbian telecommunications provider acquired by Telenor in 2006. It was a change for me suddenly to be a part of an international telecommunications group. The way we do business now is quite unlike my previous experience. But it has certainly changed for the better. We were used to a strict – well, old-fashioned hierarchy. That is not what it is like at Telenor. It does not matter whether you are a manager or not – everyone sits side by side in the office. That is quite unusual for Serbian companies.
What has your career at Telenor been like so far?
I have been in the telecommunications sector for over 10 years now, and tried several interesting jobs. My first position with Telenor was also my first role as a manager and an important opportunity for me. The job I was doing there brought me to Norway, where I now have the chance to continue working within my profession and at the same time learn how things look and work from a different perspective.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Internal communications is a new profession in Serbia, so I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be one of the pioneers and set the standards. During a recent Public Relations conference in Belgrade, I held a presentation in front of a wide audience about internal communications.
How would you describe the work environment at Telenor?
When I started to work with Telenor in Serbia, we had just moved into a new building, located in the new part of Belgrade. Our Belgrade offices have a cool, modern design. Everyone enjoyed the benefits that make it an attractive place to work, such as free refreshments and massage chairs. Now, I know the concept is the same here, in Norway. The Telenor headquarters – just outside Oslo – at Fornebu, has an incredible position just by the sea. The view over the fjord is different from the grey urban landscapes I was used to. I also admire the Telenor art collection, both here and in Belgrade.
Colleagues are the most important part of any work environment. I miss my colleagues in Serbia, our discussions about work, but also the time we spent together out of the office. Still, I am forming new friendships and getting to know new people in Norway. Although there is a similar work culture across Telenor, there are differences in our native cultures that make working together interesting, sometimes challenging, but certainly enriching for all of us. Working and living in another country and a new environment, enables me to develop not only professionally, but also as a person.
If you had to choose one word to describe Telenor, what would it be?
Actually, I would choose two important words: freedom and responsibility. At Telenor, you are given the necessary tools to do your job, but you are not told how to perform your tasks. For instance I have flexible working hours, and can take my laptop down to the lake during the summer to enjoy the sun while I am working. We have a lot of freedom – as long as you produce the results. I really value this freedom.
Can you describe a special event at work that you particularly enjoyed?
I was part of the committee responsible for planning and organising our one-year anniversary in Serbia in 2007. It was a big event with activities for both employees with families, as well as external partners and others interested in celebrating this milestone. We had an outdoor party with a live DJ, puppet theatre for the children, sports activities, and a lot more. It was a great success! Everyone loved it.
What are your professional goals?
I want to develop my career with Telenor further, and strengthen my internal communications and branding competence. I was tempted to explore international opportunities and I still am. It really exposes you to new ideas and viewpoints and helps to open your mind to new ways of doing things.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to be active and I enjoy sports. Rollerblading and skiing are my favourites, so I really look forward to the skiing season in Norway. I also love the gym and I often go to the one at Fornebu – as an employee here I have almost free access. The gym is located at the offices, which is very convenient.
I have also started to learn Norwegian. It is an interesting language and actually not that hard. I am looking forward to practising my skills more with my Norwegian colleagues.
What would you show a visitor to your hometown?
As a Serbian, I consider Belgrade my hometown and I would show my visitors the Kalemegdan fortress, an old fort on the top of a hill and an important historical landmark.
Secondly, I would show them an orthodox church – St. Marco. It is one of the largest churches in our city, quite impressive, and a good example of Serbian Byzantine architecture.
Finally, I would take them to the old boats by the riverbank, now turned into cafes. It is a really charming place to enjoy a drink or two – on a sunny afternoon….