#GBOGB: Polina Montano, co-founder of JOB TODAY

Girl Bosses of Great Britain

JOBTODAY is the number one hiring app in the UK, and the fastest growing mobile hiring company in the world for casual jobs, that connects employers with millions of young job seekers in seconds.

In the frontline of an ever-changing work climate, Polina Montano, Co-Founder and spokesperson of JOB TODAY kindly answered a few questions for our #GBOGB feature.

Polina’s path to business success has been anything but smooth, working as a waitress, shop assistant and receptionist all while pursuing her dream. Now, as well as expanding JOB TODAY across the globe she’s encouraging young women to conquer male-dominated industries such as the tech sector, helping them build the confidence to pursue their passions and smash their business goals!

Q. What was the turning point, when you knew that things needed to change in your career?

Originally, I’m actually from Russia and I’m really proud of the fact that my mother was one of the first women to launch a small business in St Petersburg – a rare feat for a woman in Russia in the early 90s! She started up a small travel agency and when I was younger and I always remember watching her working late into the night running her business, facing some of the many challenges that comes with running your own business. But, there were also many highs and in particular, I saw the amazing respect that she had from her staff and it was in that time I knew that running my own business was my dream!

While nearing the end of my degree in Amsterdam, working multiple jobs just to get by and to pay my tuition (!) I knew that all I wanted to do was kick start my career as an entrepreneur. While I had a few ventures in my mind, ranging from the art to fashion industries which actually became full blown businesses a few years down the line, I knew very early on that pursuing my passions and my own businesses would be my lifelong goal.

Q. Why did you go down the route of developing a job app?

A few years after university I started a few different ventures, or side hustles if you will! One was a business that saw me manage several petrol stations, the other was the running of a fashion store. During the substantial growth of these two businesses my biggest challenge was finding staff, fast, to work shifts right around the clock. Facing a high turnover of staff and finding the right people was really hard. Out of this frustration and my own first-hand experience of casual work came JOB TODAY. I realised the hiring system for blue collar, casual and freelance workers was broken, outdated and not working for employers or job seekers. Creating JOB TODAY resolved these problems, making it easier for people to connect quickly by bringing immediacy and efficiency to the hiring process.

Q. JOB TODAY connects over 6 million job seekers in as little as 24-hours, did you envisage that this was how fast your app would be used?

While it’s incredible to see the pace at which both employers and job seekers are advertising and filling roles on our platform, finding the right people for the right position within 24-hours was always the intention for JOB TODAY and I’m so delighted to see this come to fruition. It really is how we stand apart in the market today because it truly meets the needs of the industry.

The jobs market continues to change rapidly. New research we’ve just conducted shows that 2-in-5 Brits now work in part-time or freelance roles and in addition, 1-in-3 Brits say they want to work outside of the standard 9-5 working hours so that they can pursue their passions and side hustles.

This means that more Brits than ever before are actually looking for roles that work for them, helping them to shape a lifestyle that they want. The JOB TODAY platform is helping Brits to do this by offering flexible, freelance and part-time roles to Brits, fast so they can layer multiple roles together – instead of conforming to one ‘job for life’ or the 9-to-5 grind, if that’s not what they want.

Q. Do you remember the very first job that was posted on JOB TODAY, and was that the point that you knew you had developed something brilliant?

In the very early days of JOB TODAY I was a part of our tiny launch team, and that meant I was personally visiting prospective customers and inviting them to use our platform. I remember that in most of those meetings I had to prove to them that the app actually does work and delivers candidates! This meant one thing – the live demo moment.

Basically, the prospective customer would post a job on my phone, I would then lay the phone in the middle of the table and we would wait for the first applicant to apply – remember that we are promising immediate results! Every time this happened I would count down the seconds and hold my breath for that first applicant to come in. I tell you…these are character building times! But, it would happen and every time it was an amazing feeling when you saw the phone buzzing as the applications came in. It truly is an incredible time, to see your original idea, a dream in your head, become a reality. That actually there are people out there miles away, people you don’t even know and have never spoken to, those are the people using the service you’ve created to find jobs that can help to shape their lives.

We also get a lot of thank you’s from applicants that find jobs. I will never forget the first one we received. It was a late at the office in the first few days after the launch of JOB TODAY and you have to remember, these are the days as a co-founder where you are both equally excited and stressed! You’re putting it all out there on the line to launch a service in a country that is your second home and you absolutely ask yourself, ‘am I a lunatic for trying to do this?’

Then, that first simple, ‘thank you’ comes in from a job seeker who has used your service. There is no feeling like it. That’s the moment you feel there is a light at the end of that tunnel, you are on the right track and you will make it. I truly do say, thank you to that first job seeker and to every comment we receive from our users over the last 4 years – they are the reason we do what we do.

Q. We hear that you are a mentor for the Founders institute in Luxembourg, can you tell the House of Coco readers what this entails and how you landed such an exciting role?

I was really happy to be invited onto the program! Being a mentor is all about listening and offering young people and companies advice. As a mentor with this organisation you get offered various topics to pick from that you think could provide the most value to your mentee which mostly covers different aspects of business but in particular serving the needs of very early stage companies. I love meeting entrepreneurs and hearing all their ideas – it truly allows you to see the world through their eyes, and it’s a really interesting world, I can tell you that!

Q. Now that JOB TODAY is flying high, can you see yourself developing any other apps, or dipping your toes into other business ventures?

As an entrepreneur, the bug to dream and come up with new ventures never ever leaves you! This kind of dreaming is what excites me, moves me forward and keep me motivated. However, I still have so many goals and dreams for JOB TODAY to make it even better for Brits – particularly for young job seekers who need a helping hand to first get onto the career ladder and to help them smash their career goals. The reality is, there’s so much left to do and there’s so many opportunities to help drive positive change in this industry!

Q. What business advice would you give someone who has an idea but just doesn’t know how to run with it?

We’re so passionate about helping young Brits go after their dreams and for many this means turning their passions into future career pursuits. But, while I talk to many young Brits who have this yearning to create their own business, they’re struggling with where to start and many just need a small boost to get going.

That’s why as a brand, we’re creating a bunch of initiatives to help Brits go after their business ideas and pursue them with confidence. Just this week we actually partnered with Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur and founder of SB.TV, Jamal Edwards (MBE). Jamal kick-started his incredibly successful music channel in his West London home at the age of 15 and is now reaching new heights with this brand at the age of 26.

Together, we’re giving one young Brit the boost they need to get their passion project off the ground through a chance to win an exclusive, one-on-one mentoring workshop with Jamal in London this summer. It’s incredibly easy to enter! Those interested can head to the @JobToday_UK Instagram page for more or click here to find out more. Good luck!

We would like to thank Polina Montana of JOB TODAY for taking the time to answer our #GBOGB Q&A.

Rachel McAlley

Rachel is currently a UK travel writer and beauty writer for House of Coco, she spends most of the week locked away in her country garden studio watching the world whizz by, and most of the weekend whizzing around the UK!

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