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17 and a Half Questions with Matilda von Gierke

We ask inspiring people 17 and a half questions. This week we have Matilda von Gierke, Founder and Managing Director of ZALVUS GmbH. Her personal mantras include: "Nobody cares. Work harder!" and "hire people who are smarter than you!"

This article is also available in German

1. What I like about my job

I always say that as a founder I have the “greatest job in the world” – it creates value, it’s varied, exciting, highly challenging and definitely not boring.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

The constant pressure, but six years after founding my company, nothing really shocks me anymore. There’s a reason my favorite shirt says, “Nobody cares. Work harder!”

3. My secret dream job

Since we can all learn a lot from children (especially unsparing frankness), possibly teaching at a school or kindergarten.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

Make a game plan that includes bright spots.

5. How I get into the flow

By working together with my co-founder Flo(w)rian – we complement each other perfectly and we’re a well-oiled team 😉

6. Biggest success so far

That in 2015 I dared to quit my secure job to pursue my mission: “the revolution of recruiting”. And that this decision was absolutely the right one, even with a little perspective and regardless of what happens in the future.

7. Biggest defeat

Defeats are part of the game. And I grow with every defeat.

8. Worst buzzword

CSR – since the heart of corporate social responsibility is unfortunately so often misunderstood (and marketed).

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

A proper workout (preferably LesMills) and then collapse into bed. And maybe a vino in between 😊

10. Home office or in-house

Until mid-March 2020 – in-house. Thanks to Corona – no preference at all. It’s all about variety.

11.  Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

Understanding that “Hire people who are smarter than you!” is the best principle

12. My creative hack

Thanks to Corona, taking walks is one of my new hobbies.

13. First website to check in the morning

Tagesschau (or rather, the app instead of the website).

14. Favorite digital tool

Our so-called ZMS – the Zalvus Management System (a development of our in-house IT).

15. The book or series from which I have learned the most for my (work) life

Actually, from a TedTalk called Vulnerability and Resilience.

16. A series, book or podcast I can generally recommend

I’ll go out on a limb and mention the Zalvus Tuesday Clubhouse series we recently launched – a great format to chat with top-notch speakers about hot topics surrounding “the future of work.”

17. Most prominent follower on a social media channel?

Even if not “most prominent” by definition: Janina Kugel – an insanely inspiring woman who (unknowingly) had a huge impact on the development of my company and by extension on me.

17 and a half: What has always…

…made me laugh: the meme that says: “80% of all arguments start because someone hasn’t eaten yet”! There’s something to it 😊

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