Being deaf and having a dream job – is that even possible? Indeed, it is. Slavka Stierankova is an example of courageous woman who followed her passion and turned her dream job into a business despite her disability and relocating to a new country.
“ Start even if you are not ready. If you wait for the moment you are … this moment never comes.”
Shares Slavka Stierankova – the owner of Expert stitches and expert in tailoring despite her hearing disability.
When Slavka and her husband moved to England in 2006, she had to start over again – from finding the right place to live to learning sign langugage in English. Determined to make their adventure a great experience, Slavka and her husband succeeded. They settled in Glasgow.
But the journey to Slavka’s dream wasn’t straight forward. She had changed several jobs as a tailor. Slavka loves tailoring from clothes alterations to designing dress from dresses to tuxedo and wedding dresses. Slavka has dreamt of her own business since her school time and that dream came true in her fifties. She got an offer to purchase the shop where she was employed.
In our interview Slavka shared about her journey and how she made her career dreams come true despite the hearing problems and recolation.
Where do you come from and where are you based now?
I was born in Slovakia, and I was living there until 2006. We decided to move to Scotland for better living conditions.
We were both working back home, earning nice money, but it was still struggle. That’s why we packed our car and went on adventure. We just told ourselves: “If not now, then never!” and we didn’t want to think one day we didn’t try it!
As a child did you have a dream job?
Since I was a child, I loved making dresses for my dolls. I always wanted to be a tailor or designer and that is what I do for living these days. So yes, I can say I am one of the lucky ones that I do what I love and makes me happy.
When and how did you discover direction for your ideal job, career or business?
As I said in previous question, when I was a child. It was always fun to play with my sowing machine, creating something, using my imagination.
How did you recognize your genius – what are you best at doing in your career or business?
And when I was growing up, I was always going in this direction, so for me it was straight forward.
In school for deaf there is not as many job opportunities to choose from, thankfully my choice was there and probably this will be my choice even in case I hear.
What is your job or position in business now? Why you do what you do right now?
I was working in the shop that I own just now. Previous owner decided to move to different city, and he asked me if I would like to buy and take over his business as he sees potential in me.
Work and life balance – what does it mean to you and how do you keep it?
For me to create work and life balance is very natural thing. Of course, if you own your business you need to be ready to step in even in your days off, but in general I can switch off from work, enjoy my life, go for a trip, enjoy my grandchildren, and relax.
What have you learned on your dream job journey? What were the most difficult things you had to overcome?
Beginnings was difficult even though I knew what I was doing. I knew how to fix, make, design clothes, but I didn’t know much about business and policies, so I had to learn all that. After some time it was easier and easier, but those things can be a bit stressful at the beginning.
Another thing what I was always worried about communication with people as I was worried, I am not going to understand what they want me to do, but I need to say people over here are amazing.
They are very friendly, polite and understandable and I don’t have any huge problems with communication, if there is a bit issue, they write it down on paper and problem is solved.
British Deaf Association interview Slavka – role model for other deaf people that fulfilling career dreams is possible
How did you manage starting your business financially?
I had some savings and help from family. I really believed it was going to work so I was ready to take the risk.
I had passion for my job and the gentleman that owned my business before seen potential in me. When you do something you love, it’s always comes naturally as new ideas come easier.
Which 3 tips would you give to someone who is right now considering changing jobs, career or starting freelance?
- My advice would be probably to overcome fear. As everyone is scared of big changes, new things but no one was born knowing everything. So my advice would be start when you are not ready, as if you wait for moment you are, this moment never comes.
- We are all learning in process and one day we will completely forget that some of those things was difficult for us before.
- We all make mistakes time to time and that is ok, until we learn throughout them.
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Author: AdriAna Kosovska
I work with women in 30s and 40s to help them to find and thrive in their dream career so their career not only looks good on the outside but also feels great inside.
Certified coach, founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB and TALENTED WOMAN