News and Events
May 27, 2022

An encourager who shows how it can be done

Opportunities that arise often come at the worst possible time, Barbara Fahrner once heard from a supervisor. He encouraged her to seize a professional opportunity that presented itself. Today she is a department head at Raiffeisen Salzburg, a mother of two boys and an encourager for other women to dare to do something.

"I always see it as a double joy, not as a double burden," says Barbara Fahrner about her life as a mother and manager, beaming: "For me, work and private life are one. The 35-year-old from Flachgau, who grew up at Lake Wolfgang and now lives with her husband and two children in Bad Ischl, studied business administration at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and then came to the Raiffeisenverband Salzburg via an internship, where she now heads the Raiffeisen bank consulting department. She and her team support independent Raiffeisen banks in getting fit for the future and optimising business management or organisational issues.

At home, her two sons Jef and Jack - actually Josef and Jakob - make sure that Barbara does not get bored. They are four and one and a half years old. "I already learned flexibility during my studies. That helps me a lot now," Barbara says: "There are days when professional issues have absolute priority and others when the lantern festival at the kindergarten is the most important thing." It helps that she has a lot of support from the whole family, that she can do some things in her home office or that she can take her time for professional agendas in the evening when the two boys are already in bed, regardless of regular working hours.

It was already important to the Salzburg native to get into the swing of things before an exam and then enjoy a more leisurely time again. She has never regretted her decision to study business administration. Business administration with all its facets from finances to human resources, marketing, logistics to organisational and project topics is very important to her. She can now put this broad knowledge to good use in advising the banks.

After the internship, Barbara was offered a job - first part-time, then full-time. "I felt really well received right away," she says. After two years, she was offered the position of head of process management. The fact that she trusted herself with the task is also thanks to the encouragement from her superiors. "Opportunities always come at the worst possible time," her boss at the time told her. Barbara asked for two days to think it over and agreed. "Decisions that are well thought out last," the Salzburg native is convinced. What is important? "You have to seize opportunities," Barbara advises young colleagues. And she has another tip for staying on the ball professionally even with children: she always kept in touch with her department even during her maternity leave. "I never let the threads break and stayed up to date," she says. And so she has succeeded in making a seamless return to work, including a career leap.