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144: EMEA Recruitment Podcast #144 – How we Present Ourselves at Work – Katja Kovalgina

September 21st, 2022

Thank you to Katja Kovalgina, Client Service Director at IQ-EQ, for joining us on the EMEA Recruitment podcast.

The episode begins with a discussion about the small positives that were experienced during the pandemic. For most, this was of course devastating, but for some, this period was a time of reflection and introspection on their journey through life. Katja likes the new trend of working from home; the flexibility and, subsequently, the freedom.  

Paul Toms asks Katja for the last thing that made her smile. She shares an experience with an employee about an error in spelling. Katja tends to smile a lot, which is something she learned during COVID-19, teaching herself to move forward and take life less seriously.

This new attitude has helped Katja in her role, as it has completely changed the way she presents herself in the workplace. When Katja was new to IQ-EQ, she appeared very formal and cold, due to feeling like this was what was expected as a young woman in the business world. That attitude worked for a while, but doesn’t work anymore, as it creates a wall and a difficult environment to work in. She believes that creating an atmosphere for free discussion will usually open people up.

Now, Katja enjoys an environment in which people can talk to each other and generates successful relationships with clients; people are too caught up in getting through the agenda and not actually listening to each other, which inevitably makes the solution to the problem harder, she explains. 

Listeners will hear about how Katja feels in her role as Director of Client Services. She describes feeling like a savior, adding that the role is very rewarding. This is due to having the ability to solve things easily where some of her employees, clients and shareholders may struggle. 

Within her role, time management is lead by other people’s agendas. Trying to control the day is difficult when the role requires you to be a people manager. Katja explains that she plans for meetings and delivery dates, but it’s easier to accept the fact that things pop up and go with the flow. 

Katja finds the topic of searching for quality people to be hard to tackle at the moment, due to the current trend of people changing jobs more regularly, or being hired due to charisma and not actually the ability to do the job. Another issue is when employees don’t want to stick to the function they are hired for long enough and want the next step-up too promptly.

Katja later discusses what she enjoys about IQ-EQ. She acknowledges that the business is positioned in a growing, interesting industry, but the overarching thing she cherishes is being given the chance to grow and evolve into her role, and now the ability to contribute to the company. 

Interestingly, with business intelligence and data becoming a regular topic on the EMEA Recruitment podcast, Katja shares the more negative side to its introduction. She explains that it has changed the way people conduct their jobs completely and there are generations who struggle keeping up to date. This affects deliverables and costs money. Data is stored on multiple platforms, creating confusion and, instead of employees working with clients, they are looking at the screen and filling in forms continuously. 

The episode ends with Katja sharing her skydiving experience, which she recommends to all who are able.


If you’re looking for a particular part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

01:30: The positives from the pandemic 04:00: Katja’s hobbies outside of work06:00: The last thing that made Katja smile07:30: How people can learn to smile more09:50: The way Katja presents herself at work 13:05: Creating successful relationships with clients18:10: Being Client Service Director 20:40: How Katja prioritises her time at IQ-EQ25:00: Sourcing quality people for roles 32:00: What Katia enjoys about IQ-EQ36:55: The effect of BI & data on the HR function 42:00: The next thing on Katja’s bucket list 43:00: Katja’s skydiving experience 

If you’d like to contact Katja, find her on LinkedIn


This episode is hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Rose Jinks, Senior Marketing Executive.

Learn more about our professional services recruitment through our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/ 

Or keep up to date with us via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/ 

If you’d like to contact Paul, get in touch with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/ 

Or follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms 


If there are any topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes of the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please get in touch with Rose: rose.jinks@emearecruitment.com 


#emearecruitment #emearecruitmentpodcast #katjakovalgina #paultoms #operationsmile #clientservices #iqeq

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