Mariana Florea: A Journey from Romania to Luxembourg, and Beyond
REVUE interviews President
Mariana Florea, a remarkable figure in the fields of economics, life coaching, and the current President of The Network, has come a long way since leaving her home country of Romania for Luxembourg 23 years ago. Her journey has been filled with challenges, growth, and an unwavering determination to succeed.
Upon her arrival in Luxembourg in the summer of 2000, Mariana was seven months pregnant, which made adapting to a new environment all the more daunting. She recalls the stark contrast in climate between the two countries, with Luxembourg's mild summers being a refreshing change from Romania's scorching heat. The turning point for Mariana was when she attended the annual Schueberfouer fair, a vibrant event that showcased the welcoming spirit of Luxembourg.
Back then, Romania was not yet an EU member state, which meant obtaining a work permit was a lengthy process. While Mariana held a Bachelor's degree in economics and had previously worked as a financial analyst in Romania, her immediate priorities were ensuring a safe pregnancy and finding suitable housing for her growing family.
With the help of a local support group, Mariana navigated the challenges of being a newcomer, a soon-to-be mother, and a job seeker in a pre-social media era. She mastered the art of networking through Luxembourg's telephone directories, establishing connections and staying engaged with the local community.
Mariana's determination eventually led her to register with the Luxembourgish employment agency, Adem, despite not being their favored candidate due to her EU citizenship status. She balanced the demands of job hunting with the responsibilities of motherhood and expressed her gratitude for the local support network that assisted her in finding a place to live.
After giving birth to her daughter, Mariana re-entered the job market, a time when platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook were not yet prevalent. She successfully secured a position as a customer service representative at a bank, although it required her to switch from speaking English, her comfort zone, to French, the primary language of the workplace in Luxembourg.
Mariana initially struggled with her French-language interviews but persevered. Her determination paid off when she secured a job as a customer service representative at a bank. "I didn't speak French much at work after that," she recalls, highlighting the importance of adaptability in her journey.
After another move, this time to Belgium due to work opportunities, Mariana returned to Luxembourg in 2011. Her career path led her to become a life coach, specializing in stress management. Despite her passion for coaching, she had to re-enter the financial industry as a single mother.
During her second stint in Luxembourg, Mariana joined a Toastmasters group for public speaking, which greatly boosted her self-confidence and social connections. In 2019, she met Marie-Louise Ashworth, the former President of The Network, an organization for professional women. This meeting led to Mariana becoming the organization's Treasurer and eventually its President in March of the following year.
Mariana's vision for her role as President of The Network includes expanding the organization's reach and visibility post-pandemic. She and her team have developed an event calendar based on member feedback, and she has successfully recruited new board members to support the organization's growth.
Mariana's journey from Romania to Luxembourg and beyond is a testament to her resilience, adaptability, and determination to pursue her passions. Her story is an inspiration for those facing challenges in a new environment, showcasing the importance of perseverance and finding joy in what you love to do.
In closing, Mariana's life journey encapsulates the adage she often shares with her coaching clients: "When life gets tough, find something you truly love to do."
Translated from the German article written by Duncan Roberts
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Photo credits: DAN THUY