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from junior to leader- climbing the career ladder

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

Which direction should I choose? What role would suit me best? How beneficial is this to my career? Is it even worth it? These are just some of the questions running through a junior employee's mind when starting out. But sometimes something beautiful happens, and that short three-month internship or entry-level role turns into your dream job, which turns into your first leadership position.


At the female factor, we love to develop our interns and turn them into leaders. Speaking to our partner ARTUS, we found out they do too! Here are 5 stories from people who started in junior roles and are now leaders at the same company.


And no pressure to be planning your first leadership position during an internship, we know that can feel very far ahead. Sometimes it doesn’t work out like that, and anyway, non-linear career paths are becoming the norm now, didn’t you know?


Olena Kondratenko

Product Lead, the female factor

Former Project Management Intern


I decided to change my career path to project management, but I didn't have any experience at the time. I saw a job ad saying the female factor was looking for people who were willing to learn and could design their own internships. That was the sign I had been looking for! What made me stay was the freedom to do what I wanted and the possibility to grow within the company. I also absolutely love our team - a bunch of amazing leaders, awesome professionals, and risk-takers.


Something that helped me progress in the company was my willingness to learn from my mistakes. I also used my junior role as an opportunity to try everything I could. Of course, I had my fair share of challenges, and I found that the best way to deal with them is not to be afraid to ask questions. Once you know the details, you can go step-by-step toward your goal.


I believe that great leaders, managers, and professionals are made, not born. The one piece of advice I’d give to aspiring leaders is to continuously learn and develop yourself. You are the only thing standing in the way of the best version of yourself.




Maryna Kovalyova

Community Lead, the female factor

Former Entrepreneur-In-Residence Intern


When I was first interviewing at the female factor, the job I wanted was already taken, but I really clicked with the interviewer, and she suggested testing the waters as an intern. I heard about a project they were planning, and I really loved the idea behind it, so I decided to contribute.


I fell in love with the people I worked with, how the leaders lead, the culture, and the impact we make in our community. My passion for traveling was complemented by the flexibility of the role. I tried to be proactive and contribute more by jumping in when needed. When you see the impact you're making through hearing other people's stories - it makes you want to grow, evolve, and do even more. Everyone messes up, but you can be honest, admit it, and fix it - not everyone does that. There are always ups and downs, and you can’t constantly be at peak performance, but if you are honest with yourself and your team, you know your limits, and can set boundaries - you can overcome every challenge on your way.


My top piece of advice for aspiring leaders would be: don't be afraid of sharing your professional background and goals with other people - you never know which connection might be useful for your future self.



Maria Hofer

Tax Advisor & Senior Manager

ARTUS Tax Consultancy

Former Intern


I wanted to gain experience in tax consulting during my degree and ARTUS offered me a position which I could flexibly combine with my studies. That's why I chose them. They offered different opportunities to suit individual needs such as further education, career growth options, and flexibility with working time, and that's why I decided to stay with them. Some of the things that enabled me to step into a higher role were positive feedback from colleagues, supervisors and clients, my desire for further personal development and the chance to implement my learnings.


My top advice for aspiring leaders would be to stay informed and make yourself visible.



Paula Timofte

Tax Advisor & Senior Manager

ARTUS Tax Consultancy

Former Associate


Originally I chose ARTUS because of the location. As a working mom it can be hard to manage your time well, and the location of the employer is crucial in supporting that. As I started out in my position I was given a lot of freedom to fulfill my tasks. I always felt appreciated for my work and this ultimately gave me a lot of joy. The most important thing for me is respect and appreciation. If I feel heard in my workplace, I grow to do my tasks with joy and I am a lot more motivated. The second thing is time management. I have learned to implement more productive workflows in our team. The third thing is dedication. I strongly believe in never giving up when things get tough. I believe in speaking your truth, speaking up, and fighting for the things that are worth fighting for.


I think in every journey in life, you will be faced with challenges. I love the saying: you can't control how others feel or behave, but you can control how it affects you. I love to take the positive outcomes of every situation and turn them into learnings. Something that won't affect you in three years shouldn't affect you today.


Stay true to yourself, address topics others would not address and love your job. If you don't love what you do, then it's probably not the right journey.



Valentina Wiedermann

Tax Advisor & Senior Manager

ARTUS Tax Consultancy

Former Associate


I chose ARTUS because I was looking for a company that was large enough to offer exciting and varied tasks in different fields, whilst simultaneously, small enough for me to learn personally from experienced colleagues and advance my career. I was able to use my previous experience in the best possible way and constantly learn new things, which also supported me on the way to my professional license as a tax advisor. In addition to my personal commitment and high ambition, ARTUS has enabled me to pursue my personal goals, provided me with the space for professional development, and given me personal encouragement and support even during tough study periods. It's always a question of time - balancing work and education with family and time for yourself is never easy.


Once you find what you love to do, it's worth investing in it- every investment comes back multiple times. It's a great feeling to build your own success.


Looking to find a job where you can climb the career ladder? Check out open positions at our partner, ARTUS Tax Consulting.



about ARTUS Tax Consulting

ARTUS is an Austrian company specializing in tax consulting, HR management, auditing, accounting, and management consulting. Dedicated to their clients' economic success with enthusiasm and devotion, the ARTUS team provides individual solutions and supports both companies and individuals in making important, correct decisions.


With extensive expertise in everything connected to employee issues, including national tax and labor law matters relating to payroll accounting and home office, as well as international matters such as permanent establishments, expats and consignments, they commit to providing the highest quality, extensive specialist advice to support you on your path to success.

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