Monika Grygiel – Project Manager in the Project Management Office at Franklin Templeton Investments. For six years she had lived and worked in Great Britain. In 2011 she moved to Poznań with her whole family.
Why is it worth coming back to Poland? To Poznań?
My personal motivation to come back was my family as well as cultural differences.
It was worth coming back to Poland because this is where our family is and after all family is the most important thing in life. Work is also important and together with one’s family it makes the whole package. When you start building your family and children come along it suddenly turns out that the presence of grandparents, uncles and aunts as well as the family support is necessary to function in a normal way and bring up the children.
Our Polish culture is different from English one to such an extent that there were moments when we had problems finding our feet in the reality there. Actually, it is only in Poland that we feel at home. We were brought up here – in this culture, values and tradition.
What was most difficult about the decision to come back? Why was taking this risk worthwhile?
Our decision was closely connected with finding a job that would guarantee us a good life after returning to Poland. Seven years ago it wasn’t so easy. At the moment the job market in Poznań is different. When we came back the only English speaking company that offered decent money was Franklin Templeton Investments which was starting its operations here.
We knew we wanted to come back and it wasn’t up for discussion. Difficulties started in Poland, when we realised that working hours were longer (40 hours a week instead of 35). These five additional hours is quite a lot when you have children. We had to adjust to the new lifestyle and of course we did it! (laughter)
The second thing was that salaries in Poland are still slightly lower. Even when you compare them with the expenses, the conversion factor is better in Great Britain. And this is what we had to learn from scratch – how to manage our budget to make ends meet. And again, we did it! It suddenly turns out that you can organise everything to have money left for holidays and other pleasures.
A more difficult moment in the first year was finding a house, a place where we could live. After a year, when the bank saw regular incomes being transferred to our account and our company established its position as a reliable and trustworthy employer on the Poznań market, we had no problems with getting a credit.
Of course, there are also positive aspects of our return. For those six years when we lived in Great Britain we used every holiday time to come to Poland, which means that we didn’t really have too much time to rest. We were constantly on the move visiting family and friends. A great advantage now we are back to Poland is the fact that we finally have time for real holidays, to go away somewhere and relax. This is a real mental break for us.
Another huge advantage is the presence of grandparents who will look after our children when needed. We don’t have to worry whom to leave them with any more.
When you were coming back to Poland did you already know you would work for Franklin Templeton Investments?
Of course I knew it. I’m a person who would never allow herself to live in uncertainty. Finding a job was the main and absolute condition for moving back to Poland! Therefore, while still in Edinburgh, I applied for a job in Poznań. It just happened that Franklin Templeton Investments has its office in Edinburgh and the recruitment process could start there.
What does working at Franklin Templeton Investments give you?
First of all, the possibility of professional development. In Great Britain I was a junior analyst and I also started as an analyst here. I worked in different teams gaining new experiences and competencies. It is a very good solution – if someone doesn’t feel well in a given department or team one can look for new opportunities in another department in the process of internal recruitment. Currently I work as Project Manager in the Project Management Office, which proves that a promotion is possible.
Secondly, stable working conditions and the awareness that when I go through the recruitment process and a three-month trial period I can stay at the company for ever.
An important advantage of working at Franklin Templeton Investments is also the possibility of using English on a daily basis. English is the main language of communication within the company and in this way I’m not losing the skills gained in Great Britain.
Besides, together with the job we receive various benefits, such as insurance, medical care and, considering the Polish market conditions, a good salary.
Another positive for me as a mother are flexible working hours. Of course, they depend on the specific character of tasks on a given position. I can adjust my working time and, depending on my needs, work either in the office or at home from time to time. This is a very convenient solution when you have children.
If you were to choose only one thing why you appreciate Franklin Templeton Investments what would that be?
Definitely stable working conditions, including the salary. In the second place I would mention possibilities to develop.
What do you like about Poznań?
Poznań has many places and spaces where you can spend family time outdoors, such as the beautiful zoo, which provides animals with the conditions similar to the natural ones, or the renovated Old Square where many cultural events are organised. If someone likes contact with nature, the area around Poznań is also worth a visit.
When we came to Poland we missed open spaces we had in Edinburgh – the hills and the greenery. I was looking for such a sanctuary here and I found it in Rogalin, Kórnik, Marcelin and Puszczykowo where one can ride a bike and spend time actively.
If you were to make a decision about coming back to Poland and working in Poznań again, would you make the same one?
Yes! Definitely so, because life in Poland is our life. It represents our culture and our values. This is where our family is. And there are no problems that we left behind in 2005. Having a Master’s Degree at that time it was difficult to find a job in Poznań that would make professional development possible. There are so many possibilities for young people now. I wouldn’t change my decision about coming back. It was one of the best decisions my husband and I have ever made!
Photo © from private archive of Monika Grygiel
The interview was prepared in cooperation with Franklin Templeton Investments Poland – Poznań.