He has been working for the Invia Group for quite a few years, for the last year and a half he has been the CFO of the entire Group – and until recently he was also the CFO of the online supermarket Bringmeister… .
She’s no rookie when it comes to public relations, on the contrary. Jiřina Ekrt Jirušková has a wealth of experience from several PR agencies, where she dealt with clients in the area of lifestyle or gastronomy, for example, but for the last year and a half her heart has belonged to travel – which she not only does with a passion, but above all as Invia’s spokesperson and PR manager, promotes it just as enthusiastically. After all, her dream job (aside from being a theatre director) is to have her own travel agency..
WHICH WORK SKILLS ALSO COME IN HANDY IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
The ability to quickly adapt to a new situation and not panic when faced with a crisis. When it comes to promoting travel, nothing is certain. You make plans a year ahead of time and then every couple of weeks something comes along – earthquakes, fires, shark attacks or war, and everything changes. You have to expect that the biggest upheavals will always occur when you’re on vacation, ideally somewhere with minimal cell service and WiFi (laughs).
At the same time, all of us who work in the travel industry automatically become vacation planning consultants for friends and family. Everyone wants to know which destinations are truly worthwhile, whether waiting for last-minute deals pays off, or whether, for example, it’s very windy in the Cape Verde islands. But travel isn’t just my work, it’s also a great hobby of mine, so I really like these discussions.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU MOST AT WORK?
Probably my colleague in marketing, Michal Bošela. He’s been in the travel industry and at Invia for a long time now, and has really extensive work and travel experience. At the same time he understands our customers and knows ahead of time what Czechs will probably like. The only disadvantage is that he talks a lot, just like I do, so when I go to ask for advice it takes us half an hour (laughs).
And then there are our newsletters. I always just want to skim them in my email, but I always become so engrossed in the offer and the features of the given destination that I then find myself looking at a calendar to see when I could go there.
WHAT CHARACTERISTIC DO YOU CONSIDER MOST IMPORTANT IN YOUR COLLEAGUES?
That they don’t take themselves that seriously! This might sound like promotion from our HR department, but my colleagues at Invia are true professionals, have broad experience, are intelligent, and have a great sense of humour. I really appreciate our friendly environment, which is definitely not the rule in companies this large. When my girlfriends tell me how they cried in the bathroom after making a presentation, I’m glad that this type of work environment is a far cry from mine.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR WORK LIFE?
I try to separate my time working from personal time. When I close my laptop, I spend time with my son or go out with friends for supper or a drink. On the weekend we either travel around the Czech Republic or I go out for walks. I also used to go to the gym with my colleagues, which was excellent. And when I really want a rest, I like sauna ceremonies, reading books, or baking.
I also love to travel. This year I’ll still have time to go skiing in Italy and perhaps visit the Christmas market in Berlin. And in January I’d like to go warm up in Dubai.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR JOB ONE DAY?
That for the time being they should collect experience (ideally in public relations) and follow the company they’ve picked on social networks and on LinkedIn to keep on top of trends and what’s happening in the company. And above all, to not be afraid to apply for a job. Lots of people don’t have their ideal job simply because they’re afraid to ask for it.
IN INTERVIEWS, WHAT QUESTION DO YOU ASK FIRST AND WHY?
Definitely not “Where do you see yourself in five years?” That’s so old hat! But I do ask the interviewee how they are, because it’s a nice questions thanks to which they can calm down, exhale, and start talking. And sometimes it’s also good to ask something that shakes them up a bit. That’s when you find out what’s hidden under the surface and their motivation for working in this particular industry. Specifically, for example, “Why should we hire you, of all people?” You can see whose eyes light up with enthusiasm and who sent a universal resume to fifteen companies and is hoping that it’ll work out somewhere. When I had my interview here, I said that it was Invia after all, travel, which I love.
IF YOU COULD PICK ANY OTHER PROFESSION, WHICH WOULD IT BE?
When I was little I really wanted to be a chimney sweep, but I’ve since changed my mind (laughs). Now I think I’d like to have my own travel agency and travel to various destination to check out hotels. Once in a while we get a newsletter, which often contains an offer for employees to open an Invia franchise – and I thought seriously about whether it would work where I live, in Horoměřice, and what it would be like if I opened it. But it’s probably too small for that… (smiles)
But if I could really pick whatever I like and had the appropriate talent, I have to say that recently I was captivated by the world of theatrical direction! Some time ago I met director Pavel Khek, who was rehearsing Hamlet at the Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové. Giving an old play a new life – that’s something I’d enjoy immensely!
Did you like this interview?
Get the Rockaway Insider in your inbox every three weeks.
By clicking on “Subscribe” you agree to subscribe to the Rockaway Insider newsletter using the specified e-mail address. You can cancel your subscription at any time directly in the newsletter.