How She Does It | Britta Mues-Walter

March is upon us, and I’m deeply grateful for the first signs of springtime, an era bound to elevate our spirits and ditch all that weird (and seemingly omnipresent!) virus-talk out the window!

On our monthly rendezvous with working Parents, I am proud to host a distinguished representative of the German tribe of working Parents on our How She Does It column, Mrs Britta Mues-Walter.

I haven’t met Britta in person (yet) but her name kept popping up when I was researching the global community seeking for initiatives that actively support working Motherhood. You see, Britta (besides her main full-time occupation as an Executive Search consultant) is one of the Partners of &ahead, a career relaunch forum based in Frankfurt, Germany, bringing companies and aspiring women leaders together, and empowering them to return to the workforce after a career break.

Britta and her Partners at &ahead offer career guidance and consulting services for Moms wishing to rejoin the workforce, while creating mentoring and networking opportunities that aim to re-connect them with the market: a bold, practical and grand contribution to the Motherhood community! Here’s a cool video I found showcasing what those awesome girls do!

Their last workshop was back in October, and their next session is scheduled for May 8th, so pin this date down to your agenda if you find yourself in Frankfurt, Germany, with time on your hands to meet fabulous female professionals eager to keep inspiring the Motherhood community! Here’s a link where you can learn more about the workshop and register!

This year the &ahead ladies have prepared something special too: they have partnered with the FitchGroup to offer their lovely community an opportunity to take part in the CreditPath, a full time internship program that welcomes financial services professionals who are ready to re-enter the workforce in credit analysis, research and related fields after an extended break from their careers.

CreditPath is an amazing “returnship” program whose participants are destined to acquire in-demand skills that will make them competitive for full-time positions located at various Fitch offices! In this paid 10-week program we find combined training, on-the-job learning, mentoring and special projects designed to enhance returning Moms’ knowledge and skills, and prepare them to re-enter the workforce! The curriculum itself covers Credit Analysis on the Ratings side and Product/Sales Strategy or macro analysis on the Solutions side, as well as core professional skills like communication and collaboration. So (yet) another great reason for you to visit &ahead’s May 8th workshop in Frankfurt, Germany, and find out more about how you could apply to join the CreditPath!

Blown away by the continuously good work Britta has been doing in empowering Moms to return to work after their career-break(s), I immediately reached out requesting for an interview. Proud to say that Britta has happily agreed to share with us some of her own insights on being a multi-competent and super-accomplished working Mom, so three (more) cheers for that!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My passion and profession is connecting people and empowering them to reach their full potential, working as a successful headhunter and entrepreneur for the last 15 years. I am also a Partner at &ahead – one career is not enough a dynamic initiative aiming to help individuals (mostly women) to re-launch their career after a longer break, where we guide and support them to return in most of the cases to the corporate world. With my two children 18 and 15 and our dog I am living in Frankfurt. I also love sports (tennis and skiing as well as swimming and running) and nature.

Stemming from your personal experience, what is the toughest part of being a Mom, and how do you manage it?

The toughest part is to balance it all and still put your self first because, if you do not, you will not be able to support neither your kids, partner, friends nor your clients in the long run! The most important thing, after all, is that you are happy and find your purpose and passion first and then are you truly able to give your energy to the people who need it. I had to learn this the hard way: I almost burned out, and with very little energy left, I had to build myself up step by step, rediscovering what is good for me!

Who is (are) your go-to person(s) when you need support as a Mother? What type of support are you mostly in need of?

Very good friends who I look up to in terms of how they raise their children, in terms of their education, being a role model etc.

What’s the No1 Skill (or Ability, or Knowledge) you have found handy in your role as a Mom?

Respecting, accepting and loving your children as they are, and support them as best as you can with their personalities and strengths, but at the same time setting boundaries where you feel is needed!

My son is not an easy character, and does not want to please people especially his parents. Seeing and respecting the fact that he acts and treats people with a different set of values than my own, but at the same time telling him clearly where I see the limits in our family.

Build a minimum set of common values for everyone in the family is key!

What advice do you have for a new Mom?

Being a new Mom is great but you also feel for the first time a new kind of vulnerability: talk early enough with your partner about how you want to raise your children, what is important to you, if -and when- you intend to go back to work and in which way (full time, part time) and talk about how this could be managed together. Only if your partner and former boss are aware about your aspirations and goals can they support you!

Lastly, please ask for help and support from your parents (if they live close by) your partner, your friends. You do not -and should not!- manage it all alone. It’s also good for the young children to be brought up or taken care of different people you rate and trust.