Empowering professionals and careers

Veronika Linardi co-founder Qerja.com and CEO Jobs.id

Qerja is Indonesia’s first online community for empowering professionals to make the best decision regarding their careers. By creating a platform for professionals to share knowledge, salary and experiences, Qerja introduces transparency to an otherwise opaque working environment.

Apart from Qerja, Veronika also founded Linardi Associates, an executive recruitment agency which has helped hundreds of multinational and local conglomerates fulfill their talent requirements. Veronika’s unparalleled drive, people skills, and sincerity have granted Linardi Associates a trusted-partner status in many leading companies.

Veronika received her Bachelor of Science in Advertising from University of Texas at Austin and Master’s degree in Strategic Digital Marketing and Management Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University before the age of 21 years old. Before deciding to tread the land of startups, she contributed to the success of CNN, PwC Management Consulting and Charoen Pokphand. When she is not swamped with work, she enjoys yoga, spending time with loved ones eating and cooking.

High point in career

When I first started Qerja, I didn’t have much experience in tech business. I brought to the table my knowledge in HR based on years of working with so many talents and global class companies. I was determined to build a one-stop career platform where we can be impactful in solving problems and answering questions regarding career and self-development. We must be doing something right as the market recognizes us despite our small meagre ad spending.

Almost instantaneously, we got a huge following that supported us with user generated content. It’s as though the market was waiting for something like this, a place for working professionals to express their point of view regarding career and work place, a community where they can share information to fellow professionals, and a place where they can get basic but substantial career intelligence that had been labelled as classified for a long time. This strong user base support has enabled Qerja to be the leading career portal in Indonesia.

I can honestly say that I’m at a pretty high point in my career. Getting seed investment from Kejora Ventures followed by Series A from SoftBank Indosat Fund, being the CEO of a rapidly growing company (106 people in just a year!), having the pleasure to work closely with team and witnessing their transformational growth are some of the highlights. I also enjoy leading a highly disruptive startup in the job market industry. Not to mention all the stellar media exposure we’ve been getting so far!

Most challenging assignment so far

Being a CEO of such a rapidly growing company is pushing the frontier on my comfort zone. The operational role of grooming and empowering a team of mostly millennials to scale Qareer Group Asia to unparalleled heights, while providing the best shareholder value and at the same time, achieving mind body and work life balance has been an interesting journey.

Greatest inspiration

This is a pretty difficult question. I learned a lot from various people. People have different priorities. I personally believe that in order to achieve great milestones in your career, it requires a certain level of compromises in your personal life. Sure, you can hire more people to delegate your tasks, but ultimately your energy and focus are finite. Some people excel at leading companies, while some at achieving work/life balance. I try to learn from everyone I meet and absorb what I can from them.

I look up to my mother the most. She is an amazing, kind, loving and wise woman that I aspire to be. The role that I carved out for myself is pre-dominantly based on the experiences that moulded me into becoming the woman I am today, in addition to sheer determination and hard work ethic endowed by my Mother. Notwithstanding, I’ve come across my fair share of strong, beautiful and inspirational women who fight hard for their families and for causes they are passionate in.

Most important milestone in life 

The first time I ever went to a tech conference was Tech In Asia in Jakarta three years ago. I never imagined that my next time at the Tech In Asia conference would be as a speaker on the Main Stage in November 2015. There I shared about my fascination with technology and how this propelled my breakthrough beyond traditional recruitment into the online realm.

Outside of that specific event, I am honoured and deeply humbled to be the CEO of such an impactful high growth organization. I love that I can also nurture young minds and empower them to create a legacy based on reputation, competence and virtue of solid character.

Despite the craziness of juggling priorities, I find it beautiful that I’m living life vicariously by loving what I do and growing together with the support of a fantastic team. On an average I spend 12 hours in the office.

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

I don’t think women are better or vice versa per se. If someone is better than someone else, I believe it’s not because of their gender, but because of their personality. Your determination and perseverance matter more than your gender.

To be honest, I’ve been very fortunate and blessed regarding my experience and exposure towards gender bias, hence don’t see it as a major problem. That probably stems from my background. In Singapore I spent ten years in a girls’ school, so maybe I am oblivious to such matter. And then in America I went to school in Carnegie Mellon for my Master’s degree,

where the gender ratio is 7 to 1; seven boys to one girl. So I don’t think I take gender bias into consideration. But as a female entrepreneur, of course there will be more challenges than being a male, because intrinsically at home you have more responsibilities to take care of. I don’t even have kids but when I do, I am sure it will be even more of a challenge. So I know gender bias exists, but in my experience, the community has been treating me like how they would treat another human being, and I’m grateful for that.