The image features a photo of Sharon Ehrlich and Belinda Jurisic. Both women are smiling at the camera. Sharon's dark brown hair is parted to right side and is hanging to just above her shoulders. Belinda has long blong hair. The text reads: Sharon Ehrlich in conversation with Belinda Jurisic, Episode 48, Top Strategies for Women Executives to Overcome Personal and Perceived Limits,


You’re listening to a recording of a live broadcast of the Living While Leading Podcast. In this episode I invited Belinda Jurisic, Vice President of Global SDR at Veeam Software to discuss strategies for overcoming personal and perceived limits.

Discover how this female executive managed to push past her biggest doubts, the sacrifices she made on her way to the top of the IT industry, and instances where she exceeded her own expectations and broke barriers in a male-dominated field.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to find actionable insights to overcome self-doubt, embrace challenges, and achieve professional growth.

Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, shifting careers, or striving to improve your leadership skills, Belinda’s experiences and strategies will deliver value!

Find the full transcript and other resources for women leaders at


Welcome, everybody to the Living While Leading executive corner. My name is Sharon Ehrlich and I’m an executive coach and work with women leaders and empower them to live and work with purpose and intention.

This is a show where I invite top executives and thought leaders to discuss with me a topic that has to do with leadership or the advancement of the careers of women. Today, I’m so lucky to have with me, Belinda Jurisic, who’s dialing in from Singapore. Belinda, why don’t you introduce yourself to our guests.

Belinda (Bel)

Thank you, Sharon. So, as you said, I’m Belinda Jurisic and I work for Veeam software. I head up, the SDR function, sales development representative function, globally for Veeam and I’ve been we’ve been for about seven years now. So, a nice long stint with numerous roles.


First of all, thank you for dialing in so late because I know it’s bedtime where you are now. I certainly appreciate sacrifice on your side. I would really encourage you to listen to the end because Bel is going to reveal some personal sacrifices that she had to make to get to where she is today, and how you can learn from her experience.

I’ve put together a couple of questions just to get started, but let’s just see where the conversation goes. First of all, I’d like to ask you about your journey to become a global sales leader at your organization. Where did it start and how did you get here?


I started my career just over 30 years ago. I think I was 20 When I first got my first role, which was actually working for an IT company but as a traineeship and I worked my way through.

My first leadership position was probably about eight years later, and I spent 12 years, probably the part of my career where I learned the most for the foundation of where I’ve gone is with HP (Hewlett Packard) for about 12 years.

But my roles have always been in channel. HP then went to Citrix and Veeam and always in Australia and always in channel and then a role became available here. In Singapore, I’ve been looking after the channel for APJ (Asia-Pacific-Japan) for Veeam.

After discussions with the family, I decided to apply for the role and was successful and moved to Singapore five years ago. And then was getting to that point where I wasn’t feeling challenged enough and it wasn’t feeling like I was learning anymore.

I spoke to my mentor about what my next step could be. And he really strongly encouraged me to go and have a chat to one of our executives about like what’s next, what else is coming? What would I potentially be suitable for before jumping into anything else do you know have that conversation?

The timing was amazing. It was for 2024 planning — it was back in October last year and just so happened that we were creating a new function globally and he said there are particular things about you from your experience in channel. And what I’ve seen that I think would be ideal for this global position. So, I took that on six months ago. He did say to me it’s long hours, lots of flying and all those sorts of things. But it was a really amazing challenge to take on.


What you mentioned something interesting, and you said you weren’t being challenged and you spoke to your mentor. And that your mentor encouraged you to speak to your boss. Was there any hesitation from your side about having that discussion?


The hesitation was probably more within myself. I was thinking do I really have the right to say I’m not learning anymore? Is there something else for me? I didn’t want it to come across as like ‘give me something else or I’ll leave’. I was very concerned that it sounded like an ultimatum.

I was actually kind of thinking okay, let’s just listen. And if that if I don’t hear anything that sounds appropriate, then maybe I should be looking for what else I could be doing. It was my mentor who said no, you need to set a meeting while you’re there — I was in the US at the time for this global meeting — to talk about next year’s plans. He said set a meeting it was my boss’s boss, actually.

I set the meeting and I said, ‘hey, I’ve been here the last few days I’ve heard about what’s going on and some of the things that are coming and it’s really exciting. And this is where I want to be I want to be in Veeam, but I also want to continue my learning journey. Do you think there’s anything else and it’s okay, if there’s not, that’s up to me then to decide what I do next.’

And he straightaway just jumped in and said, Yep, fantastic. I’ve been trying to work out who would be the right person for this role. Like it was one of those moments.


You touched on something that I think is quite interesting. You said you didn’t know if you have the right and that ties into the question I wanted to ask you about doubts. What were some of the biggest doubts you faced in your career journey? And how did you manage to overcome them?


I think the doubts probably stemmed from me. My career has always been channel. I had this idea in my mind for a very long time that I was very pigeonholed and that they weren’t skills necessarily interchangeable for me to go and do other things.

I approached a CEO of a very large organization and said, ‘I’ve got one mentor, but I think that there are some things that I’d like to learn from you could you mentor me for a while?’ I remember having conversation with him about my boss’s job. And he said, ‘well, why aren’t you aspiring to that?’ And I said, ‘my experiences are in the channel. I haven’t like led just a pure sales organization. I’ve led inside sales.

He was like, ‘What are you talking about? Do you understand that the skills that you have, that you’ve perfected in channel, how interchangeable they are?’ Then he started listing them all.

It was a real moment for me to go, I’m selling myself short. It’s something that you hear as well like you actually being in channel. I don’t know if that happens in other areas, but you hear a lot of ‘you’ve just got channeled experienced, that’s all you can do, that’s your path’. That was a really good moment to have someone sort of remind me what those skills were that I have that actually can go in and do anything really,


The word that got me in what you were just explaining is that you ‘just’ have channel skills. I worked in the channel years ago when I started my career in IT for IBM, and I know that ‘just’ in channel don’t go in the same sentence.

It’s so complex, and it’s such a challenging business to work in. I just think it’s amazing how someone as switched on is you — and I know you and I know how amazing you are — that you would diminish the impact of all of the skills that you’ve accumulated over the course of the years.


I was not diminishing it in my ability to look for roles or to strengthen what I was doing in channel. During my five years here, 4 of them in my previous role, I actually asked for other things. I started just looking after one part of the channel business for APJ and then over time, I said can I have this, can I have that.

I think these things all work together and I want to expand the portfolio of what I manage. I knew within channel, I could broaden it but I hadn’t done that real linear like I’m going to go here. That was a really great moment to have those two different mentors at different times. Kind of give me that sort of little nudge.


As you know, I’m a coach and I work with women in top executive roles. And one of the conversations that comes up very often is about the skills and the knowledge that was acquired in a certain domain, and how they can actually be so valuable in a completely different space.

But sometimes, folks need a thinking partner to help them think that through. There’s not a single skill that you have that you couldn’t use in a nonprofit, for example, or a completely different industry for that matter.

We talked about your expectations of yourself. But let’s talk about other people’s expectations of you. Can you give me an example of a time when you surpassed someone’s expectations in your professional life? And what impact did that have on your career trajectory?


I feel like if I really go depth into the 30 years, I’ll find many of them, but I think the most pivotal one for me was moving here to Singapore. When I did interview for the role. I know that the person who I’d be working for, the person who interviewed really thought she’s channel, she’s Australia.

He had also pigeonholed me of potentially not having the ability to move into Asia Pacific and to be able to step in and understand the different countries and the needs etc. And when I interviewed with him, he let it be known then that down the track actually said to me that he finished that interview and called his boss straightaway and said, ‘I didn’t necessarily want her to be it because I thought no, I don’t want an Australian with just this view of just Australia’.

But the fact that I was able to talk much more broadly about how my knowledge. It was not just about the Australian market. It’s about the foundation of channel and, what my skills were. He was really surprised at that level of thinking that I could actually jump in and be aware of how to develop the channel in countries that are all at different levels. That’s really pivoted my career. Moving to Singapore and then obviously in the global role, so that was definitely a really big one.


What I would say is, hats off to that person who interviewed you for taking the interview. You can imagine how often that happens to women candidates and others where someone just looks at your CV on paper and just says no, they’re not the right person, and they don’t pay attention to it. And it’s just such a lost opportunity, isn’t it?


It is and you know, what really surprised me was I did have a few other people, who disappointingly, who were like, ‘well, are you sure about this? Do you understand that you’re moving that your family?’ I was like would you be saying this to a male making those same decisions? It was really interesting how much they were very much pushing me to really think about whether it was the right thing for your husband? Is it right thing for the family to be moving countries and it was an interesting experience.


So how did you handle that skepticism from others?


One thing that is that I really worked on for myself. I know myself exceptionally well. I had an opportunity to take six months off work because burnout, and I was able to spend six months really going back to the basics of who am I, what do I want to do, all of those sorts of things.

When I do face skepticism, I do kind of have that strength of knowing myself and knowing what I’m capable of. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get to me. I’ve definitely had moments of breaking down and kind of going ‘I can’t believe this this person. I thought they were my supporter and they’re questioning whether I’m capable’.

I definitely have had those moments. I do just kind of draw breath and go okay, but hold on a sec. You know, you know exactly what you’re looking to achieve. And I’m very much about just reminding myself of what’s the big picture. What am I trying to achieve? What’s the milestones and really kind of grounding myself in that.

Don’t get me wrong, I had crying in the shower or when you know, someone who I thought was a supporter kind of going I don’t know why you’ve got this job. I’ve had those moments and they’re really upsetting. They’re really, really hard to deal with. And it just means that you just have to remember that’s not a reflection on you. That’s a reflection on them.


Thanks for sharing that. I think it’s so important to not create a facade, that all of these kinds of things just roll off our backs and we power forward. We have emotions and we’re allowed to feel our feelings about them. Then the key as you described it, is to understand what you’re bringing to the table and figure out how you’re going to work through that and move on which is really important.

You mentioned your career is a 30-year career at this point. What personal development practices have you adopted to continually grow in the industry that is changing and hyper speed?


That six months that I did take off really did make me have a lot of self-reflection about not being so tied to only what I’m achieving in that role and not actually thinking about me. There was a time where I did get burnt out because of just thinking I just had to keep doing everything that was thrown at me and without thinking about what was right for me and what was right for my development.

I do very simple things. I keep on top of everything that’s going in the market. I read every single day. I look at LinkedIn every day to see what are some of the things that people have top of mind. Like just making sure that I keep a curiosity at all times of what’s going on. It’s really critically important to never to say I know everything — you don’t.

I’m one of those people that just asks 100 questions about everything. So definitely just really making sure that I don’t get too relaxed and too, blasé about things. And making sure that there’s that little bit of the competition is fierce. We can be number one and we are number one, but hey, you don’t stay there by just dismissing what’s happening around us. I’m definitely someone who questions, is curious, reads and networks.

I take the time to talk to people that are outside of the area I’m in to get different perspectives as well. We have a fantastic thing at Veeam where you can do Coffee Connects. It’s like this mystery coffee. Every two weeks you get an email that says this person is your next coffee person and you reach out and spend 30 minutes just chatting to them. I have learned so much not just about our company, but different roles. You know, I just think that’s really invaluable as well.


It really expands your world, doesn’t it? Because it’s very easy when you start to reach the level that you’ve achieved in an organization to only swim in that space and become disconnected from other parts of the business. That’s a wonderful initiative.

I would like to ask you about self-doubt. What advice would you give to young professionals or any professional for that matter who’s struggling with self-doubt that’s keeping them from throwing their name in the hat, raising their hand for opportunities to work on projects for promotions, etc.


I think we all definitely suffer from that. I think it’s just the acknowledgement that you’re not alone. Most people I speak to will admit to that — even very senior people in organizations do have that.

The ones that actually feel comfortable with vulnerability will admit that they do suffer from self-doubt. I think it’s just not making that something that stops you from where you’re moving forward to. Acknowledging that you have it, but don’t let it hold you back. And I think just making sure that you do put yourself out there.

One of the most favorite sayings ever is that I’m not what happened to me, I’m what I chose to become. It’s really just taking ownership and taking responsibility of what you do want to achieve. You always hear that, women, look at a job description and have to be like 100% before they apply for it, we all know that.

But a mentor put it in a different way to me once where he said to me, I want you to actually list out all the things that you can do. And then think about like where you want to go and what role would you like. Or what sort of areas you’re looking to go into and identify those things that you don’t have? Start thinking about how you get to those places. How do you proactively actually start developing skills or knowledge in areas that you want to move in? Before the opportunity actually arises.

When you go for a role, acknowledge what you don’t have today and then say this is how I’m going to learn in the role. When I was offered the role from my manager last year he said to me, I need to know really quickly.

I said, okay, let’s chat and I called him and I said, before I give you an answer, I need you to tell me what are the three things you think that I absolutely can do today in this role? And what are the three things that you think that I need to learn? And that made me stop doubting whether I could do it because he articulated and made it very clear what it was that I needed to work on and made it very clear what he could see in these.

So, acknowledge it and then also just be really proactive about finding what those things are that are holding you back.


That’s fantastic advice. One of the things that I’ve noticed with a lot of my coaching clients is they’re very hard on themselves. Women tend to be very hard on themselves. They have a difficult time articulating how much of a rockstar they really are. This exercise that you just mentioned of taking an inventory of your skills and your capabilities is actually something that I send them off to do as it as a homework assignment.

Sometimes I don’t think it’s that obvious to any of us, especially if you’ve had a career that exceeded 10 plus years. There’s so much that we’ve all done related to developing people, developing markets sales, etc. You just sort of say ‘well, yeah, I did it’ and you don’t look back, but sometimes you do need to look back and get that inventory in black and white so you can see it and understand that you really bring a tremendous amount to the table.

You mentioned putting yourself out there. Can you give our listeners some ideas on how to put yourself out there whether that means doing it in the physical space? Or online or any other guidance who might be able to give our listeners.


Being a little brave, asking for help or asking for an opportunity to have a discussion. I think it is about taking complete control. Like every mentor I’ve had it hasn’t been someone who’s come to me and said, can I be your mentor?

It’s me going to them and saying what’s the worst thing they could say? If they say no, that’s okay. And it is quite scary sometimes to have those conversations and approach them, but I think it is about taking control and having those conversations.

The fact that I say it all just happened at the moment when I spoke to my new leader last year. It was me talking to him a year ago and saying, ‘hey, I just want to let you know that I am starting to feel as though my learning is not there as much. I’m not saying I’m leaving tomorrow, but I’m going to revisit this conversation with you in 12 months’.

Just making sure that you don’t just come one day and say this is where I’m at but actually having some of those really active conversations. When I’m mentoring people, I go this person would be so good for you to connect with, send them a message and say, hey, can we have a Coffee Connect?

Even if you’re not in the program. I just encourage people just to reach out and what are they going to say if they say no I don’t have time, then that’s the worst that’s going to happen from you being able to ask them for that opportunity to have a discussion. I’ve never had someone say no.


How do you engage in online or digitally? Are you on any platforms? Is there any particular space or platform you use to get yourself out there as well?


Generally, for me, it is more LinkedIn and I do a lot of personal messages. There was actually someone here in Singapore who I followed her career for quite a long time. She was also very much a strong person within the channel and then she took a role that was very outside of that and taken that step last year. I was watching with interest, and I had sent her congratulations. And I was really watching her because I was like, that’s kind of what I want to do.
When I got this role, I reached out and sent a note and said I’ve been following you. And I just want to say you inspired me. I read your story, and it made me do this.

I think it’s also about reaching out to those people and who you see, and that you read about their careers. And like I said, any opportunity I have to read about someone that I kind of go oh, they’re doing something interesting. I will delve into it and try to understand that and happily reach out on LinkedIn as a personal message. That one you don’t always get a response on. Networking is something that I love, to be honest. That’s something that I really, really enjoy.


I also got over myself when it comes to reaching out to people. As a matter of fact, I did it today. I listened to a podcast and the guest on the podcast was really impactful in the messaging that they were driving forward. It was about B2B marketing, and I thought it was very exciting.

I wrote to that person telling them I heard you on a podcast and I thought what you said was great, too. I don’t expect that person and I are going to be best buddies. Probably not. But on the other hand, that may be somebody that enters my sphere of being a contact where I get to see what’s going on more actively in my feed.

They might get to see what’s happening and what I’m posting. So, I’ve gotten over my hesitation about doing it and you’re right, you don’t get a response 100% of the time, but I can tell you, most of the time I get responses when I contact people.

I think folks should not be afraid to reach out online, not in a salesy way. I think you have to be very authentic about what your message is, not trying to impose whatever you’re selling or solutions are on them because people certainly don’t appreciate that kind of behavior.

I wanted to ask you a question that’s a little bit personal. On your rise to the top, what personal sacrifices have you had to make? And looking back is there anything that you would have done differently?


Definitely. Some of the sacrifices I’ve made probably the latter half of my career— those sacrifices have been more a joint decision with my husband and it’s something that’s affected both. Early in my career, when I was at HP I did get burned out.

I did work too hard. I took on too much. I definitely kind of just thought I can do everything, didn’t say no to anything. I did at one stage, go to my leader, and say I can’t, I need some time off and it was like no, I can’t give it to you. I made the decision to just resign and leave.

I’ve got three stepchildren who were in my life at that time. I put work over them when they were around. If work was too much and I was flying to another city and then it was kids’ weekend, and I just couldn’t handle it. I just couldn’t take on anything else. I would stay away.

That’s when I eventually realized this is not living. If you can’t even go home and be part of home life. Because you can’t handle the pressure of anyone else needing something from you. That’s not a good place to be. And that was a really difficult realization that I probably let that go on too long.

Thankfully, they’re awesome humans and they’re amazing adults and have great relationships with them. So, it hasn’t killed that at all. But I do regret kind of putting my professional life too much ahead of everything, seven days a week. It was just absolutely ridiculous. I would definitely not do that again. I wouldn’t get to that burnout point.

I wish I had asked for a mentor. I wish I’d asked people what I could do differently. And you know, even when I did resign my boss’s boss at the time contacted me and asked ‘what are you doing?’ And I said, I’m burnt out I can’t do this anymore. I was at the doctor’s all the time. I had like all these different illnesses.

I was just really not in a good place, and he said to me, why didn’t you ask for time off? And I said I did. But I didn’t get it. And he’s like, well, I’ll give it to you now and I said I just have to go now like it’s in my mind.

And so that’s probably something that I wish there I had done things a little bit differently and had asked for help a lot earlier. And not just I asked for help for my leader, because she didn’t understand it. And she just dismissed it.

Then when I resigned, she said oh I need to replace you with two people. It’s too big a job as you did it. I don’t have regrets. It’s just I would have done that differently. Whereas this time, there was a full discussion about moving to Singapore, how we would do it, how would impact the family all of those sorts of things was just so much better.


Thank you for that answer and for your vulnerability. That’s quite a personal story and I really appreciate what you had to say there. Well, we’ve come to the end of our time together. Bel thank you so much for being here with us.