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If we were to search for the definition of the word “challenge”, Andrea Řezníčková would definitely talk about her past two years. As the press secretary for INVIA, the largest internet travel agency, she experienced virtually all possible situations, but dealt with them in honourable fashion – and with her typical energy. This is because this lover of travel, theatre, and life in general has one more special place in her heart – and it belongs to INVIA.
One learns from one’s mistakes. What mistake taught you the most, and what, specifically?
I’ve likely made more than a few mistakes in my life, but I can’t think of anything specific. And perhaps not so much in my work life as in my private life. But thanks to each one, I gained more experience and I think that it’s precisely these experiences that have a positive impact on my work life. I’m good at judging people, even over the phone, and I know how I can or can’t communicate with them, which makes my work quite a bit easier. Plus a long-distance, purely working relationship can turn out to be a relatively major friendship, and sometimes also a lot of fun.
What do you do so your responsibilities don’t drive you crazy?
If someone had asked me that at the start of the Covid pandemic, I’d have said that I really don’t know, and I admit that perhaps I too went a bit crazy. It was a time when nobody knew anything and making an official statement about anything was really tough. Long months passed when nothing positive came along, and it really was too much. I don’t want to speak too soon, but if I survived that, I think there’s no longer any danger of me going crazy! (laughter) I’m not saying that nothing can happen in the future, but I’d say that it would take a lot to surprise me or rattle me, because it was a big learning experience.
What inspiring book influenced you most, and should we read it?
I have to admit that I don’t read much, but I really liked The Man Who Wanted To Be Happy. It was contemplative, reassuring, plus the Bali setting… I recommend it. And then, like for a million others, an important book for me is The Little Prince, which I read every year. But I’m more of a movie and theatre goer, they’re almost my second home. I’ve seen a huge number of plays and movies, and lots of them inspired me.
What is the number-one rule that you follow every day in your specific business?
I’m someone who acts very intuitively and with common sense, and I think that in my profession I can’t really even have many rules. I simply have to prioritize things at the start of the day and then work through them. But I of course never know when some other priority will overtake another. So it’s more or less a rule that I answer every call and try to resolve things to the caller’s satisfaction, whether it’s a journalist, a student who wants help with their thesis, or a client who’s complaining about a scratched suitcase on a Saturday evening! (laughter)
How can one stay calm when the company is having a crisis?
Because I’m a relatively energetic and emotive person, staying calm when something I consider important is involved can be a bit of a problem – especially in the company I speak for and which I’ve given a lot. So perhaps I take some things more personally. I complain a bit, I swear a bit that the world’s not fair, I calm down, and keep going. After having been with Invia for five years, people know that about me by now, and nobody gets too excited! (laughter) But that definitely doesn’t mean that I have conflicts. I spend a lot of time with my colleagues on vacation, at the pub, or in the theatre. A lot of my colleagues’ parents across the country know me by now too! (laughter) Long walks in Prague or hiking in the mountains and running definitely help me blow off steam. It’s amazing how running 10 km can clear your head!
What life hack helps you most in your work?
Now I should feel a bit inferior in that I probably don’t have one that is fundamental. I’m a connoisseur of life and try to live it to the fullest with all that it entails. No shortcuts! Besides, in the type of work I do, there’s not much that you can make easier. You never know who will call you or when and what they’ll want, so I let myself be surprised and take it as it comes. Sometimes it’s almost an adrenalin sport…
Which of your skills do you work on because you consider it to be the most important in the future?
We all know that health is the most important thing. That’s why I work on my ability to move and to live healthy, because sometimes I’m incapable of doing that and even a bit lazy. Then I don’t feel good, and so I start again, so it’s a vicious circle! But if I really want to, I can stick to it for a long time. Only travel, which I love, gets in the way a bit, and upon returning I’m tend to be a bit unmotivated to lead a healthy lifestyle. In any case, if you’ve got a healthy body and a healthy mind, you can work on everything else.
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