1. Who is Naida Trkić- Izmirlija?

First of all, I am a person for myself, an individual. Then a wife, mother, and daughter, a friend, and someone trying to contribute to the well-being of the wider community.

 

2. How to explain in a simple way what a public finance consultant does?

 

It depends on what precisely the public finance consultant is doing. I specifically help the ministries, primarily the ministries of finance, but also other ministries, to spend public funds, specifically public money in the most efficient and effective way.

 

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of working for large organizations such as the IMF, that you work for?

 

I only work for the IMF as a short-term consultant, so I am far from having a permanent position there. I think there is no flaw, specifically in my context since I have all the freedoms in my life and my professional engagement as a freelancer, I can accept whatever job I want. So there are no flaws, except that sometimes it requires more bureaucracy than it would be if a person worked for a smaller company. Specifically about contracting work, about signing everything, justifying at the end of the month, the results that were expected for some engagement to be charged. And the advantages are that I can learn a lot from colleagues and the structure of the organization about methodologies, countries we work with, that this organization brings certain credibility that allows me to realize some ideas in my work than I could as an individual.

 

 

4. Many freelancers claim that this type of work requires a special kind of discipline in order to maintain a balance between work and private life because in this format these boundaries are often erased...What is your advice?

 

I have tremendous family support. My children have learned that sometimes mommy is gone for a month and they have learned when mom, who is with them when she is not on a mission,  says you will go somewhere with your grandmother that it is normal and that it does not mean that mom does not love them or is not available but simply that they have a mom who unlike many other moms is otherwise available except then. They know that when that happens they will have their mom those 8 hours a day when other moms are at work. All possible support mechanisms available to man should be used. My mom takes on my role when I’m on a mission - she takes care of the kids, my husband also takes on a big part of my role, they coordinate with each other so the kids don’t suffer, a somewhat ugly expression but you know what I mean. When it comes to organizing things, I think that any casual behavior, lack of discipline, could only work short term, considering that in the long run no one will reach out for you, and you won't be able to achieve that unless you impose discipline on yourself. One of the ways I have imposed that discipline on myself is that I come to tershouse. I come in the morning and leave in the afternoon, I am in a work environment, where others work, where there is socializing if a person chooses so, if that is the case you can use rooms provided for that, but if you are not there you are expected to work and there are no distractions which a person would have at home or if he/ she would drink coffees all day.


 

5. You have traveled a lot as part of your job…You have visited a lot of continents, and I guess there have been culture shocks, can you share with us some interesting anecdotes?

 

I remember, for example, in Namibia, a colleague and I worked with an Indian who was employed there, and who had a family from India who believed in several gods. It was very interesting to me when we went to their home for dinner, we brought a bottle of wine, and the host gave us a special look when we realized "well maybe that bottle of wine will not be for them", then he told us to feel at home which we did; we took off our shoes, went in, behaved very casually, then he told us again to behave like at home, which we understood only when we saw our host eating with both hands and feet, as they would say. In front of him was a very messy plate, while my colleague and I ate normally, with a fork and a knife. Then I realized what he meant by telling us to feel at home, at least in that respect, when it comes to eating.

 


6. You mentioned that networking is very weak in your industry, how to find jobs?

 

Since my job is largely about arranging a job and looking for a job, that’s a priority. Because all the engagements I do are short-term engagements and then you work 80 days a year and the rest of the year you work to pull the next 80 days for the next year and I have to do that, since my kids and husband are here, I can’t afford to work somewhere long term. And then, since my business relationships had already weakened and I didn't dedicate myself to relationships because I had more things in private life, I felt the need to explore how a person as a consultant in international development can get secure jobs. A lot of websites that are job portals have webinars on the subject and the recommendation is that you need a perfect elevator pitch that I neither have nor I think I need and the second is most important-networking, and they say that although they are the organizers of these websites, few people find jobs through these websites. This does not mean that I did not try, I used those websites a lot, but what brought me jobs are acquaintances, which is unfortunately very difficult to maintain from here in BiH. It can't happen that you go out for coffee and meet someone who can provide you with some kind of International development job abroad, it would be different if we were in London, Brussels, Washington. However, this pandemic and generally digitalization of everything has made it easier, now it is quite normal that there are even job and career fairs that happen digitally, you hear people stay in touch, via zoom or other platforms, which is different than doing it via email.

 

                                                                                       

7. Life motto?

 

I had one in high school when we were making the Yearbook, that read “Lebe deine Träume, träume nicht dein Leben”, which means live your dreams, do not dream your life, and that is somehow my life motto or would be.