Anyone like me who was born into a working-class family in the idyllic Sauerland region just before the beginning of the 1960s was not necessarily born with the prospect of a successful international career, as I see it in retrospect.

In the countryside, there were only very limited leisure activities like those we take for granted today. However, the often church youth work was very popular. And here, in the Kolping family, I also found my approach to working with people and found that the commitment to the individual or the group gave me great pleasure.

Giving something and getting much more in return fulfilled me and awakened the desire to turn what was then a hobby into a profession.

So I started studying education, during which my enthusiasm for psychology and the question of how people function also developed.

As part of the baby boomer generation, however, it was not a matter of course to find a job that corresponded to my profession after successfully completing my studies.

Fortunately, I was able to enter the business world and find my first job in retail as a personnel manager in training, in one of four large department stores' chains at the time. This also kept me true to my intention of staying close to people.

Probably the learning experiences of my youth and the value system of my generation helped me to follow a consistent and successful career path with diligence, passion, the willingness to overcome setbacks and sometimes having to grit my teeth.

While I applied for the first position, I was brought into all other positions by headhunters.

After the trading experience, I got to know the tourism industry, first with a tour operator, then in a group with European tour operators and the largest travel agency chain in Germany at the time.

From there, I moved on to a world that ticks in a completely different way: the IT industry. B2B trade and a connected production with the promise to deliver the computer, individually configured according to the customer's wishes, to him within five days, no matter where in Europe, characterised the business.

From there it was off to the longest and at the same time last assignment as personnel manager of a globally operating pharmaceutical company. Here I was allowed to act as a permanent member of the global HR leadership team and as the overall HR manager for Europe.

After 40 years of professional involvement in predominantly HR management functions, as a member of the management and authorised signatory responsibility, as a board member of a provident fund or employer representative in collective bargaining in a wide variety of industries and companies, I have retired from active, functional company life.

I can now devote myself fully to what I have always enjoyed most: dealing directly with people through coaching and counselling.

You can also find my professional profile on LinkedIn.