Bianca Eder

Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Upfield

1. Who was your favourite teacher at school? What did you learn from that person?

Herr Pfeifer, he was our History and German teacher. He was very funny and different to all the other teachers.He came across very relaxed but yet was strict and ensured everybody did what he asked. He just got me, and understood how to deal and talk to me. He always told fun and interesting stories about his travels. I got into trouble quite a lot and he made us learn poems. I can still recite the first lines of : “Der ring des Polykrates” because he made me learn the whole thing by heart…many many many times. Look it up it’s a long piece

2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?

When my mother passed away, I was quite lost. I talked to a friend and she told me she was going to London for an au-pair job. In that one 15 minute call I decided to do the same. I didn’t think it through and just sent an application. Got matched with a family and it really changed my life. I don’t think I would be where I am today or who I am today without that 15 min call.

3. When was the last time you changed your mind about something really important? What was it and what led you to change your view?

That I want to be outspoken about LGTBQ issues. I have always been out out, but there was a long time when I distanced myself from it. I was living in a hetero world with only straight friends. I didn’t like Pride and then I realised I am part of it and why it its so important to be truly “ I am here, I am queer and I am not going anywhere” it helps others and it creates more understanding

4. Name a well-known person you admire and explain why you hold them high esteem?

There is not one person, but I love how musicians can get emotions across and really touch you at any given moment. Some songs when I hear them they can literally make me shed a tear , whatever I do or where I am. I think it is amazing to be able to write something like that.

5. If you wrote a ‘user manual’ for how people should interact with you, what would be the most important point in the manual?

Being authoritarian is not going to work with me, throwing your job title at me and thinking that will make me respect you. Is not working with me – at all. Humor , being able to laugh at yourself is mostly all that really works with me.

6. What personality trait has got you in the most trouble? What kind of trouble does it get you in?

I don’t have much filter, sometimes what I think comes out of my mouth so quickly and usually by looking at others people reactions then I think “ Oh I shouldn’t have said that or I should have said it differently” It gets me in the kind of trouble that I have to go back and apologize and have lengthy conversations of what I actually meant. Well I meant what I said but I could have said it in a more diplomatic way As my girlfriend would answer when I ask her “ Babe, what’s the thing that I am not?” and she will always say “ Diplomatic. I even forget the word.

7. Have you always had the same political beliefs? If so, why do you think you have held them so long?

If not, what event caused you to change your view? Yes, I always have had them, I come from quite a liberal family and my father was quite vocal about it as well. Because these liberal views have an impact on my life as well.

8. When was the last time you felt like an outsider in a group? What/How did you learn?

To be honest I never feel like I am an outsider , sometimes I feel that I am the odd one out. But I just don’t care about that so much, I can feel uncomfortable but I have learnt that it is ok to be uncomfortable or insecure. But being an outsider is sometimes nice because nobody expects a lot from you and you can just do your own thing.

9. What is the best purchase you’ve made recently? Why?

A huge freezer, which is big enough for a family of 6. It enables me to cook in quantities and I love cooking as if 15 people would rock up to my house. I love my freezer, I love it so much. If I could I would just turn one room in my house into a walk in fridge/freezer and it would still be filled and I would scramble for space. I love cooking.

10. What’s your favourite meal? Can you say why?

Everything from my home country Austria. Because it reminds me of home and takes me back to my childhood. But mostly it keeps me connected with home.

11. If you were to survive the zombie apocalypse, what role would you play in the new society that would follow?

First of all, it is not IF …I would survive it because I know what we have to do to survive. Not that I am big headed but I would probably be in the leadership team but also the cook for my community. A mix of Carol, Rick and Darryl… I lean more towards Darryl

12. Aside from family & friends, if you could invite any 3 people - living or dead - to your final dinner party before the end of the world, who would they be and why?

BB King, Aretha Franklin and Buddy Guy – let’s go out swinging

13. Can you give an example of a time when you had to learn the lesson the hard way?

I had a burn out at the beginning of 2019 and was cold stopped in my tracks. Just the thought of the postmen ringing the doorbell or emptying the dishwasher stressed me out. I just worked a lot, didn’t balance and really didn’t listen to myself or my body. I can’t say that I work less now, or balance better but I am more aware when I need to stop. It was a huge lesson how you can go from 100 – 0. Also, that having a burn out is not shameful, not weak and that everybody can have it. Before it I was more blase about it.

14. What decision makes you say, “What was I thinking??” when you look back on your career?

When I started working for a tech company and I really really didn’t understand what the product did. I had to have quite some technical conversations with architects about our product and I just didn’t understand a word I was saying. So I just went away from selling the actual product and started selling the subscription instead. I was so unfit for that job.

15. What role do you find yourself playing when you join a newly formed team?

Can you explain why this happens? I am usually the outspoken one and the joker. This usually happens because I am myself from the get go. I just fling open the door and go “ here I am this is me, let’s get the job done”

16. Have you ever been the weakest member of a team? How did you handle it?

Sure, I usually say “ Listen , I am not good at this so I do what I can” I just be open about things that are not my strongest point. What’s the point in pretending

17. Do you have a secret tip, tool or trick that’s contributed to your success?

Work hard 😉 , get in there , build a network – love what you do. Talent Acquisition is actually a real profession. It’s not a first step towards becoming a HR BP. There you go thats my tip.

18. What is the number one thing you would recommend every person in the world to practice from now on in order to increase their happiness and wellbeing?

Don’t worry so much what other people think of you. You are good enough and you do enough. Be you – unapologetically, it’s a magical place to be in

19. If you could add a question for the next person to answer, what would it be?

What’s your advice to someone who starts in Recruitment today, what should they definitely do or definitely stay away from ?

20. Who would you recommend to do the next 20 Questions With … ?

Koos Wurzer… because he is Koos and he made the switch from Recruitment to Employer branding.

Thank you to Bianca Eder for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune.

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