Working in Luxembourg

Four major career switches

In the In Industrial Design Facility Team of Engineers and Technicians have a Meeting, Female Specialist Leads Briefing, Talks and Draws on Digital Interactive Whiteboard with Car Prototype Concepts Photo: Shutterstock.

In the In Industrial Design Facility Team of Engineers and Technicians have a Meeting, Female Specialist Leads Briefing, Talks and Draws on Digital Interactive Whiteboard with Car Prototype Concepts Photo: Shutterstock.

Taking on a brand-new career path can be a daunting task, but it can also lead to new worlds of possibilities. Delano caught up with four people who took the leap.

Catherine Lebrun, Subtile

An interest both in architecture and business administration had put Catherine Lebrun at a crossroad at an earlier point in her life. She chose to go into the business world, forging a career in investment fund services provider Kneip. Lebrun spent 13 years there, but her love for decoration and aesthetic furniture did not wane.

The turning point came when a yellow vintage sofa ended up in Lebrun’s apartment. Using a new fabric to restore it she was pleasantly surprised by the results of the mustard yellow sofa, which she says was like a “sun shining in her room”. This motivated her to pursue her passion for interior design and open a gallery in Belval called Subtile. Despite opening in 2020 during the pandemic the gallery has received a fair amount of attention, rotating a thematic set of furniture and decoration in collaboration with different artists, while the items are also up for sale. And as for her motivation to take the leap, Lebrun says: “You never fail; in fact, you always learn something. Don’t be afraid to do it. [..] It’s another page in your life”.

Experience in prior job: 13 years

Year of the switch: 2020

Sector left: Finance

Sector joined: Interior design

Anushka Prakash, Moajaza

A love for shoes was instilled in Anushka Prakash from an early age by her father. He would only buy her a pair if she promised to take good care of them. “Shoes, in my opinion, are a true mirror of one’s character, taste and personality,” says Prakash.

However, it wasn’t until rather recently that she decided to turn her passion into a career. A bachelor’s degree in commerce and three years in an accountancy role in India taught Prakash a lot of things, but most of all that she wanted to try something different. After marrying and moving to Luxembourg she began to look for other career options.

After a one-year intensive course at the Instituto Marangoni in Florence and an internship at product design company Idee Partners, the soon-to-be entrepreneur felt it was time to start her own shoe brand--Moajaza. Considering she runs the entire operation by herself, Prakash has come a long way since the brand’s launch in 2020, having partnered with Luxembourg City boutique Ferala to ensure a store presence, while her online store remains the main point of contact for her clients.

Experience in prior job: 3 years

Year of the switch: 2020

Sector left: Accounting

Sector joined: Fashion

Ines Kurschat, Okaju

After over 20 years in journalism, Ines Kurschat transitioned into working as an ombudsperson for children and youngsters (at the Ombudsman fir Kanner a Jugendlecher or “Okaju”). And although she started just in September 2021, her new vocation hasn’t exactly thrust her into unknown territory. She specialised in education as well as children’s and human rights while working for the Lëtzebuerger Land, so her career switch was rather smooth.

In fact, as the press council president and a member of the human rights commission, Kurschat had already taken part in negotiations with the government on issues such as children’s rights. Her contacts as a journalist undoubtedly serve her well now but it was her acquaintance with Charel Schmit, who was also a member of the human rights commission, that ended up having an impact on her career path. Schmit was elected as an ombudsperson for children’s rights in 2020. And as Kurschat admits, knowing his projects and his mindset was a “good incentive to apply” when a new position opened at the Okaju.

Working in a newsroom is undoubtedly exciting and experienced journalists do enjoy a certain degree of freedom to concentrate on topics that are part of their expertise. However, being part of an institution which is an important actor in children’s rights opens the door to having a more tangible influence. “I hope to have an impact now in shaping certain instruments that I couldn’t as a journalist,” says Kurschat.

Experience in prior job: 20+ years

Year of the switch: 2021

Sector left: media

Sector joined: human rights

Patrizia Luchetta, Charlotte in Red

Having held the position of director of new technologies and life sciences at the economy ministry for over eight years, Patrizia Luchetta did not end up in the cultural sector the way most people do. But the contacts she made while freelancing for Tageblatt and RTL at a younger age, as well as having friends who are artists themselves, inadvertently led to the start of Charlotte in Red. The video platform aiming to boost the exposure of female artists was created by Luchetta, Gabriella Moya and Ana Pierucci in 2020 as the pandemic brought an almost complete halt to live dance and music performances.

This switch in career paths was a gradual process and Luchetta admits that she “always wanted to do something on my own”. She got the taste of freedom when she left the ministry in 2015 to become a self-employed strategic communications expert. Two years later, however, marked the turning point. Having recently lost a job and applied to Luxembourg job seekers agency Adem for the first time in her life, she got a phone call from an artist she had brought to Luxembourg a few years back. He was looking for PR representation in Europe and Luchetta had lots of time on her hands. Soon she found other artists who needed some form of representation. In the end, Charlotte in Red turned out to be the culmination of all these efforts, while Luchetta also gets to explore her passion for the visual medium via the artist interviews featured on the platform.

Experience in prior job: 9 years

Launch of Charlotte in Red: 2020

Sector left: public sector

Sector joined: culture

This article was originally published in the Working in Luxembourg supplement of the January 2022 Delano print edition.