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The best of two worlds

How to combine the best of two worlds – the empathy from the health care sector and the mental mindset from the world of banking? For Giordano Romanelli the answer is easy: you become a union representative

1. Dec 2021
4 min

Read more about the union representative election in the box at the bottom of this article

It wasn’t in the cards that Giordano Romanelli – or Gio for short – would be working at a bank. He was born and grew up in Italy and trained as an electrical engineer in his father’s business. But then he got a Danish girlfriend, and after travelling back and forth for a few years, Gio moved to Denmark in 2003.

After having learned Danish, Gio became a social and health care assistant, an assistant nurse in a psychiatric ward for patients with brain damage and dementia and eventually a team coordinator in a nursing home.

No to studying, yes to Nordea
“But the work environment was too hard, so I decided to study to become a nurse at the non-profit health care organisation Diakonissestiftelsen. While I was waiting for my education to start in August 2018, I took at temporary job at Nordea in March. I liked the job so much that I later accepted an offer of a permanent position and dropped out of my studies,” says Gio, who is now a Mortgage Loans Officer in Operations.

It was a big change. It suited Gio well to work in a more goal- og strategy-oriented way, but he missed using his well-developed empathy and care for people.

Well suited to my personality
“So I ran for union representative and was elected with effect from January 2020. To me this role strikes the perfect balance between the mental and empathic aspects and this suits my personality really well,” says Gio.

“When I’ve shown empathy to my colleagues at Nordea they have received it really well, so I would like to do more of that in my role as a union representative.”

It’s important for Gio to make a difference by helping others.

“My well-being and satisfaction are boosted when I can help, and I feel that I’m making a bigger difference as a union representative than as an ordinary employee – also given that I don’t have a background in banking,” says Gio.

Quiet start in corona land
A few months after Gio started as a union representative, the coronavirus hit and nearly everybody worked from home.

“While we worked from home, I had very few enquiries as a union representative. It was a very quiet period. I think it requires more to call or write to somebody you don’t know than if you run into them at the coffee hub. And it takes time to build trust in a new role. Also, I speak with a bit of an accent. Nobody has said so directly, but I imagine that some people might want to size me up before deciding whether I have the right competencies to help them.”

The initial calm has been replaced by a very busy time.

“I’ve received more enquiries over past two months than during the first 18 months.”
Many of the enquiries have been about the new Danish holiday act, but Gio has also helped in other important cases, for example when a member needed help to get a decent severance agreement.

Training gives important skills
New union representatives must complete a special training programme that lasts 17 days divided into several modules and concluding with a final exam.

“It’s quite intense but it’s given me both personal and professional skills that I can use in my personal development as well as in my future career,” says Gio.

But when he was helping his colleague get a severance agreement, he did feel that he was not sufficiently well versed in the legal aspects.

“Luckily I get good help from Finansforbundet in Nordea, but the plan is that I will complete the case worker programme next year, which focuses on precisely these issues. I also want to train as a coach. I’m driven by development – it really motivates me.”

Positive energy is reciprocated
Giordano Romanelli does not hesitate to encourage others to become union representatives.
“If you have the empathy and drive to help others, you should definitely consider it very seriously. I just know that when I help others and send out positive energy, it is reciprocated. It’s a pure win-win situation.”

Time to elect union representatives

The union representative elections are well underway. The members will be electing union representatives for their local areas for the next two years. 

As a union representative you are a spokesperson for your colleagues in all matters great and small towards the management and Finansforbundet in Nordea. In other words, you will become a spokesperson for your colleagues and sounding board for management. You will become a role model, putting issues such as competence development and well-being on the agenda. And you can expect your training as a union representative and membership of various forums to greatly enhance your skills both personally and professionally.

Read more about the union representative elections on

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