Adelina Stefan, a passionate advocate of coaching and human development, loves creating positive changes in individuals and organizations, helping people unlock their true potential and discover unique areas of growth, both on a personal and professional level.
She is a Professional Certified Coach designated by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Intercultural Facilitator, and Personal Agility Ambassador (PARA) and Recognised Coach (PARC), specialized in the areas of Intercultural Communication and International Human Resource Management.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
A dual citizen of Greece and Romania, born in the Carpathian mountains of Romania, having lived and studied in Greece, I started my career 13 years ago as a Consultant in Greece, working in the travel industry with people of different nationalities and cultures.
As a kid, I was always interested in the unknown, exploring new territories and always dreamed of traveling and living abroad, and learning from other cultures. I was always passionate about foreign languages which made me choose to study English studies and linguistics. That allowed me to widen my horizons and provided me with an exposure to different cultures and students pursuing their similar goals of acquiring a foreign language in a new cultural context.
Though I had many opportunities in academia and contributed to academic research, I felt that the direct impact on catalyzing an individual’s potential and creating a positive change through coaching was stronger and more aligned with what really matters to me.
As a passionate advocate of the entrepreneurial spirit, a life-long learner, and an ex-pat, I was always interested in sharing my experience with other international people and those who were facing similar challenges as ex-pats, dealing with the cultural shock while trying to make a seamless career transition, using their unique skills and talent.
During my studies, I worked full time as a consultant in the tourism industry with global agents, a role I was very passionate about as it gave me the opportunity to understand different cultures, gain and build my cultural knowledge and develop my intercultural sensitivity. This coupled with my academic experience in linguistics and intercultural communication, which led me later to a career as corporate intercultural trainer, through which I discovered coaching after a few years.
On a personal level, I love cycling, hiking and spending quality time with my little family and 4-years old daughter.
Tell us something about your organization. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?
I’m the Founder of Advanced Talent based in Zurich, Switzerland, a company that specializes in providing coaching, training and consulting.
Our practice includes Expat Career Transition & Leadership Coaching for individuals and Executive Coaching for building cultural intelligence and improving cross-cultural relations across the globe.
We partner with ex-pats and professionals in transition to help them integrate successfully into their new culture to communicate with more impact, gain more clarity, purpose, and fulfillment, and achieve sustainable career success.
We inspire ambitious professionals to develop their talent and pursue their passions while navigating a foreign territory to create alignment around what really matters and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
We work with mid-senior and C-level executives dealing with challenging work environments that can affect their performance and well-being, those who feel disconnected, those who are unsure about their next career step and have low confidence, and those feel stuck or lack a work-life balance, and are overwhelmed by their priorities. As such, we support organizations to build a corporate coaching culture by bringing out individuals’ maximum potential and engagement so that they become dedicated and highly successful employees, and do more of what really matters to them both personally and professionally.
We also deliver Professional Coaching Mastery Certification, a coach training program in partnership with Ignite Global, fully accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), designed to prepare coaches for a paradigm shift and engagement experience.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
A turning point was when my daughter was born and soon after that, my husband suffered from a burnout. Being in a foreign country, though I was living in Switzerland for 4 years already, becoming a mother changed my priorities and I began identifying as someone who felt loss of inner identity. I was operating as a robot to serve others and rescue everyone around me who needed support.
A few months later, during the pandemic, I learned about the Personal Agility System while my daughter was almost one year old and my husband was slowly recovering after a burnout, searching for a new job. Given my profession as a Career Transition Coach, I felt it was my responsibility to support my family fully and my husband as well in finding a new role, considering I knew the challenges that my coaches were facing in finding a job; at the same time it was totally different – because he was part of what really matters to me, and was “not a typical client“.
At the same time, I was feeling overwhelmed, never having enough time for all I planned to accomplish on a daily basis, feeling guilty that I was spending too much time on running my business, and too less with my daughter who was still very little, and vice versa.
The fact that my husband was at home for some months on the one hand, gave me more flexibility, and at the same time, it became very difficult for me to separate my work from my personal life, to say “no“ to what was not really important (everything seemed very important!), to be able to switch off from work in the evening OR to ask for help with tasks I was not enjoying doing or I was not at my best with.
So how can you do what really matters when everything sounds important?
What I learned with the support of my family, my mentors and coaches:
- Be present and stay calm when something is not working the way you would like to. Validate your emotions. Remember that you cannot change the circumstance itself or someone, but you can change your perception of it and your prioritizations.
- Redefine your dream destination, your ‘What Really Matters’, and revisit the ‘What Really Matters’ list. Identify the red flags, inspect and adapt – apply the corrections when you are off course and think about how much time you spent on things that are not so important. Reflect on what may have caused this deviation.
- Ask for help. You will realize that there are many people around you, and, even if at the beginning you may think that you can complete a task faster than others who may help you, remember that in time, you can achieve more than you have initially thought.
- Celebrate small wins weekly to achieve big goals. We often tend to focus on the outcome, ignoring any important steps along your way that contributed to our success. Remember that big achievements don’t happen overnight or in a few days, but you need to work constantly towards your vision. Rewarding yourself for small goals regularly will help you acknowledge that you are on the right path and increase your self-confidence.
- Be kind to yourself! Even if not everything happens the way you planned or expected, remember you did your best and the experience itself facilitated your growth! Give yourself a path on the back for being able to recognize that and move forward!
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
At the beginning, I was living in a bit of uncertainty and was dealing with emotions and fears of the unknown, both for myself and my family (my 1-year old daughter, my husband healing after a burnout). At the same time, as a Professional Coach supporting expats in transition, I went through a very busy period and worked intensively with lots of mid-to-senior professionals who unfortunately had been laid off, but managed to secure a new job opportunity. Apart from that, as for many of us, it was a good time to invest more in what really matters – and focus on: scaling my business, developing my skills (acquired at least five certifications, got published in different magazines etc), and focus on quality both at work and personal life.
What has been the response of the consumers towards your venture?
By now we have locked hundreds of coaching hours, acquired at least 5 certifications, celebrated my clients who found a new opportunity aligned to their values, and those who transitioned to self employment, and empowered individuals to become Certified Coaches. I also spent quality time with my family and did a lot of hiking, exploring nature and getting inspired by it.
How has your life changed because of your venture?
Tremendously. The key is to be open to opportunities and change, embrace diversity, be more present for yourself and others, and stay positive.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Be authentic and stay true to your inner essence! Identify your values, work with a coach or mentor and focus more on what really matters to you.
Give a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.
Believe in yourself and stay positive! Remember you are a star!