The Life of a Remote President, with Biljana Bogoevska
Biljana was a high school exchange student when she traveled from Macedonia to Atlanta, Georgia by herself. Undeterred by the language barrier, which she soon mastered, she eventually came to call America home. She never would have imagined that her life in the USA would lead her to the impressive career that she’s had so far.
If her journey to America at just 17 years old wasn’t evident enough, Biljana is without a doubt a self-starter with unmatched levels of determination and work ethic. When describing the roadblocks that she’s faced in her career, she quickly says that she never saw any roadblocks, only redirection. As an example of that, when she desperately struggled with commercial real estate, she redirected all her efforts and became successful in residential real estate instead.
As a naturally social person, when she took on the role with GrooveDigital’s sister company, it was her first experience with working from home. She had her reservations, but she soon found the benefits once she made the shift last year. Especially so when it came to her family.
Today, she is mother to three beautiful children (ages 6, 10 & 13), and she fondly remembers a time when her father was a successful developer in Macedonia and her mother had her own successful career as an attorney.
Biljana securely knew, thanks to the example set by her mother, that she could grow up to have both a career and a family – should she choose to. So, she set out to do just that, and she has admirably found great happiness and success in both.
Although it might sound like a job straight out of a movie, Biljana moved on from real estate and went on to become a special investigator for the federal government. The job involved conducting interviews that allowed her to develop a razor-sharp skill set in avoiding risk and fraud, and conducting thorough research. All seemingly random skills, that are now directly applicable to her current role dealing with finance and payment processing at GroovePay™ merchant processing,.
The industry is challenging as it’s ever-changing and banks are constantly evolving too, but she is passionate about focusing on building relationships with people as a bridge to overcome these obstacles.
As it happens, many parents have been facing the reality of working from home for the first time this year. There is a definite pressure to perfectly balance it all and keep up with appearances while your professional and personal lives collide. But Biljana thinks of how her mother would always remind her of the beauty in making one’s life simple – and that is what she lives by now. She aptly says that she would advise other parents, especially mothers, to worry less about how to get everything looking perfect, and focus more on the importance of feeling happy.
Biljana, you have three kids. What do mornings look like for you?
As you can imagine, most days are busy. So, I just have to get an early start! I start working before I have to wake up my kiddos and get them all ready for school.
How do you manage to stay on the go like that?
Well, I usually eat lunch in front of the computer! So it does get chaotic. But I have the support of my husband, and we prepare dinner together and just spend time together as a family each evening (or we’re driving the kids up and down to their activities!). But I do like to squeeze in a quick workout in the mornings, if I have time.
As an executive, what has been your experience in managing a remote workforce?
Although my personality type is such that I miss the social aspect of working in an office, managing the GroovePay™ Team remotely has been an excellent experience so far.
I have implemented daily calls on Skype in the mornings and found effective ways of communicating throughout the day to promote a successful team. I would say communication, effective training, and productive processes are the most important aspects of leading a remote team.
If you had to hire your replacement, what is essential for success in your role?
To be completely honest, this is a difficult question because it would be really challenging to replace me! :-)
However, there are some things that are required for success in my position. I’d definitely look for someone who has excellent communication skills, is a fast learner, can adapt quickly, is a natural leader, and is comfortable with a super-fast-paced environment.
Is there anything about your job that people usually don’t know?
Yes, people are often surprised to learn that there is underwriting involved when you are getting approved for payment processing.
What advice do you have for women in senior management, particularly in tech, when it comes to career advancement?
Never give up and follow your career dreams! Speaking from my own experience, women may come across a few speed bumps in their careers due to becoming mothers and dedicating time to their families.
And thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Biljana. It’s inspiring!
I truly believe that there is time for everything. And if you were to just keep trying and growing as a person, you will achieve the advancement that you seek in your career. In my opinion, and I’m sure you’d agree, women can be successful in all areas of their lives!
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