Braving through Difficulties with the Right Support System: Maria Stajic’s Story
Family always comes first. You can be sure of that at Shell. This is the story of Maria Stajic, a Resource Analyst and, more importantly, a Mum.
Background on Maria’s Many Roles
Every day, I put on two suits — a productive Resource Analyst for Shell, and a dependable mum of two. Every single day is a handful, but it is bearable with the right support.
I started with Shell in 2012 as a Technical Assistant and have worked my way up to becoming the Resource Analyst in the Development Planning & HCM Team.
Married for 23 years, my husband and I are blessed with two beautiful children: Ilija, 22, my eldest son, and Sofia, 20, my daughter who was born with a rare brain and vascular disease, which resulted to damage her intellectual abilities.
Despite these challenges, we carry on as a happy family and find our own ways to efficiently balance family, life, and work.
How do I manage to balance family and work?
Having the flexibility to be on call at any time is very important to me. In case of emergencies, it is extremely crucial for me to be able to attend to Sofia and care for my mum when she was still here without having to sacrifice career. Luckily at Shell, balance can be achieved through the flexi-work policy — a benefit extended to all employees.
I feel so blessed to have found a wonderful team that lends a hand without question when times get tough. Both my personal and professional struggles have been heard and aided since day one at Shell, especially when my mum passed away three years ago. Honestly, I wouldn’t have managed without their immense support.
How does a supportive community benefit your work?
It is important for one to be heard and supported by a legitimate community when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Shell’s inclusive culture understands my story and allows me to balance work and time with my loved ones. They have seen me struggle during my mother’s last days and during my mourning. It wasn’t easy juggling all those emotions and responsibilities but my team has managed to help me get up each day to work and support Sofia.
Right now, I have a four-day work week which makes it possible for me to tend to my family’s needs and stay productive even when out of the office.
How does Shell support me as I care for Sofia?
Despite Sofia’s challenges, she continues to dream and achieve goals as if nothing is holding her back. With me by her side, I get to witness her different passions for sports, dance, and even our family holidays.
Right now she is currently taking courses to find out which career she wants to pursue. In the meantime, she is looking for volunteer work to contribute to her community.
Sofia possesses an enthusiasm for a variety of things, which cannot be boxed by any impairment.
This struck me. If more companies promote awareness and understanding among its employees, no impairment nor disability would be taken against professional abilities.
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Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the individuals featured and are not representative of the views of the Shell group of companies and their affiliates.
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