Nicole Junkermann is an impressive woman. She has a successful career, travels the world, and is an entrepreneur in her spare time. But it wasn’t always this way for Nicole. As a child, she was the target of bullying and struggled with self-esteem issues until she found her passion for business at age 17. Her business acumen led her to become a partner of the international consulting firm KPMG and move to Zurich, Switzerland. There she met her husband and started two new businesses on the side: one as a personal assistant for VIPs and another as a consultant for start-ups that want to expand into the German market. With these ventures under her belt, she moved back to Germany with her husband and now splits her time between Italy and Germany.
Nicole’s Advice for Women
Nicole Junkermann thinks that the first thing women should do if they want to succeed in business is to have confidence in themselves. In her experience, most women put themselves down instead of putting themselves forward. “I always tell my daughter and my female friends that they shouldn’t be afraid to go after what they want. If they have the skills, they shouldn’t feel like they are not as good as their male counterparts.” Second, she believes that women should not let other people’s expectations decide their lives. “I think that’s a big mistake a lot of women make. They let others define them and where they are going.” Finally, she advises women to stay away from comparing themselves to other people. “I think that’s a trap a lot of people fall into. Having someone to look up to is great and you should always respect and admire other people for what they have achieved.”
Being a Woman in Business
Nicole Junkermann says that she has never felt that being a woman has ever held her back. “I don’t think being a woman has ever been an issue for me in terms of getting ahead. And if it ever was, I never noticed it.” Being a woman in business is not easy, though. Nicole points out that women have to work harder to prove themselves. “Men are raised to be more confident and to have a certain type of personality. Women have to be a bit more careful in the way they present themselves.” She’s also noticed the fact that women sometimes become a bit too emotional in business situations. “I think women are more likely to get emotional in a business situation than men. I’ve seen this happen many times. And it’s not good because it can cloud your judgment and make you do things you don’t want to do.”
Finding Your Passion
Finding your passion is a process, but it can lead to an amazing journey. “I think it’s finding what you’re good at and what comes easy to you and then follow that.” She thinks it’s important to try a lot of things, even if you don’t like them. “Try different things and see what sparks your interest and makes you feel good. But don’t get too frustrated if you don’t find something right away. It can take a while.” If you’re in a career that doesn’t make you happy, Nicole suggests you find a way out of it. “You should always try to do what you love and make money at it. If you’re not happy in your career, you’ll never be happy.”
Bullying and Self-esteem
Like most children, Nicole Junkermann was bullied. She was overweight as a child and got teased for it, which led to low self-esteem. “There was one particular girl who was very vicious to me. I don’t know what I did to deserve that, but I had a very difficult time with it.” She was able to turn things around thanks to basketball. “I was lucky enough to find something I was good at and made me feel good about myself.” She feels that in today’s world, bullying has become more prevalent. “There’s a lot of bullying on social media and other channels. Also, kids are more cruel than they used to be.”
Lessons learned from being a woman in business
Nicole believes that being a woman in business has helped her in many ways. “I think being a woman has been a positive for me in business. I think people trust me more sometimes because I’m a woman.” She also thinks that being a woman has taught her to be more thorough when she’s working on a project. “Women tend to be more thorough, I think. We don’t like to leave things unfinished or half-done.” She warns women against letting their emotions get the best of them. “I think it’s important for women in business not to be emotional. You want to be in control of your emotions and not let them control you.”
Nicole has learned a lot along the way. Her advice for women who want to succeed in business is to be confident in themselves, not let others’ expectations decide their lives, and stay away from comparing themselves to other people. She also thinks it’s important to find your passion and follow it.