Interview with Lina Stoumpou

Organisation responsible for the interview:

Country: Greece

Occupation: Mentor in career Guidance / Co-founder / CEO at Instructor at Knowcrunch.

Small Bio/CV:

Mrs Stoumpou is a serial entrepreneur with Computer Engineering background, startupper at mind, artist at heart. She loves transforming digitally companies using a mix of marketing and technology and has more than 10 years of experience on this. She started her career in 2012, when she co-founded Brainbow Development, a web & mobile agency based out of Patras and designed & coded various tech projects there.

Currently, from 2015 and onwards she is cofounder of Susurrus, the leading influencer marketing platform in EMEA, based in UAE, where she today serves as the CMO of the company. She is building a global community of influencers and brands that are working together more efficiently. During the last years she has been honored and participated in design, entrepreneurship, and marketing conferences. Also, a founder of a jewellery company and supporter of women entrepreneurship.

Other info:

Date of the interview: 05.05.2023

Short summary of the interview

The interview with Mrs. Stoumpou provided valuable insights into young people’s career choices. She mentioned that in most cases, she has an understanding of their main orientation, but there are instances where she lacks information and seeks to gather it during the consultation. In her experience, young people often choose careers in technology, marketing-related professions, or jobs that allow them to work abroad. They are influenced by success stories they hear and aspire to replicate them, particularly in the technology sector. Surprisingly, only 10% of the young people she consulted had a clear career path, while the other did not.

Mrs. Stoumpou recognized parents as the main influence on young people’s career choices, with less influence from friends. She observed that young people who are more involved in various activities tend to be less influenced by their families and more influenced by trends, especially those from abroad. Financial aspects and lifestyle are the primary reasons for career decisions. Recently, there has been an increase in young people choosing professions that offer flexibility to work from anywhere and in any country. Initially, many have high expectations of finding work in Greece after graduation, but they often become frustrated with the situation and seek opportunities abroad or in emerging sectors such as IT. Parents often play a role in influencing their children’s choices, particularly when the children feel uncertain about making professional decisions. Parents, unaware of the current labor market conditions, try to steer their children towards what they consider more secure paths, such as traditional professions or jobs in the public sector.

Furthermore, Mrs. Stoumpou highlighted that society has associated certain professions with specific social status, which limits young people’s perspectives. This prevents them from exploring new and promising professions that can be highly profitable if approached professionally. She recommends the same professions to both men and women, but women are more hesitant to pursue high-level positions due to the social challenges they anticipate. She acknowledged a reduction in gender bias in young people’s career choices, but it still exists. Many of the prejudices held by young people stem from a lack of understanding about the changes in the labor market. They often perceive the labor market as if it were still in the 1980s or 1990s.

Mrs. Stoumpou encountered common stereotypes among young people, such as the belief that all doctors are rich, working in the public sector offers the most privileges, or that all successful businessmen are corrupt. These stereotypes influence their career choices, leading them to select professions that may not necessarily align with their true interests or abilities just to conform to societal expectations. Finally, she mentioned that men clearly prefer high-level positions, while women still fear the challenge of balancing a successful career with family responsibilities.