I met Ingrid at one of Connecting Women meetings few years back. She has share with me her passion for yoga and tarot. And later on she made me even more curious while she shared the story of her book ”Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat.” As far I see it is a combination between Agatha Christies and ‘‘The Da Vinci Code” stories, very exciting.
Country / city: The Netherlands / The Hague
What is your dream?
I have many dreams, but one dream, a real dream, turned into a dream come true: ‘Bloodlines-Touch Not the Cat’, a genealogy mystery novel that I wrote together with Tom McKerley. It is based on a dream I had almost 3 years ago, about having to solve a mystery that happened in my family 7 generations ago. Tom build a stage for the dream and together we wrote the book.
What is my dream job?
Being a writer.
How did you achieve your goal = dream job? / how do you plan to achieve your goal=dream job?
Living life, no matter what the dream is; is about getting up in the morning and going for it . This may sound cliche; but really; if there’s one thing I’ve found out in this life; its’ that the only way to breath just the way I want is to do it myself and not be dependent on others.
Guidance, friendship and support : yes, but the actual thing called my life is up to me.
What is your tip to others concerning the Dream Job / Life?
Ask yourself what you would do with your life NOW, if nobody and nothing would depend on it but you. Go and do that and make the adjustments afterwards, not before.
Who are you?
Living 23 years in Warsaw, I always thought of my city as a gray, unpleasant and boring place.
Therefore, once arrive to The Netherlands I always suggested to everyone to go to Poland and visit Cracow, Wroclaw or Gdansk – in my opinion most charming places on earth.
10 year has passed by and I have been revisiting my city – Warsaw with more amazement each time.
Every time Warsaw welcomed me with new surprise – new building, new park, new shop etc.
Warsaw become a place to be with its colors, restaurants, shops with goods from all over the world open almost 24 hours.
Last summer I had a chance rediscover Warsaw and for a week be a tour guide and tourist at the same time.
I took my international guests on a trip to my old Warsaw and at the same time together we have discovered places with its history I have never knew about that.
Growing up during and after communism lots of facts were not spoke about . Nowadays, one can spend whole day getting to know Warsaw and its bloody facts during the second world war with the Museum Powstania Warszawskiego (Uprising Museum) or taking a Jewish track. Also since short Warsaw has one fantastic venue to spend time with the whole family, to have fun and to gain knowledge – > Copernicus Science Centre.
For those who are tired of the busyness of the constantly moving city visiting green parts of Warsaw and its surroundings (as Łazienki, Park Saski or Wilanow) is a nice change.
There are lots of child friendly parks. Lots of places to have a romantic walks with your loved one.
Warsaw is preparing for its visitors in June for Euro 2012. In many places one can find Tourism Information with beautiful and professionally prepared booklets about the city in variety of languages.
The year of 2010 was a year of Chopin, walking from Nowy Świat (New World) down to The Old Town (Starówka) one can spot murmur benches with the short description, map of the spotted place and music bottom to hear Chopin. The year 2011 was a year of Maria Skłodowska-Curie. This year will be most likely sport year.
Even though Warsaw is much bigger than most of the Dutch cities (it’s almost as big as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague together), I will recommended to visited it by foot – as that way one will have freedom and opportunity to see places which are not even on the touristic area – and it is worth it.
Do you like to see my city – Warsaw?. There are many possibilities to do so (KLM and LOT are flying daily from Schiphol ), you can go by train (straight from Amsterdam to Warsaw) or by bus or car (about 15 hours drive). Plan your trip and come to discover one of the fast growing city in Europe.
First of all, we were celebrating the first year of JO(B)ANNA existence.
Second of all, we were very international (Spain, Germany, US, UK, Bulgaria, Poland, Venezuela, Kenia, Austria, The Netherlands) group of wonderful women with so different experience yet very similar. As one of them said at the end of the evening: ”amazing how I feel connected to all of you, while listening to your stories I could related to almost each of you, as I have had similar experience or feelings in different stage of my life”.
Finally, it was amazing to hear all the stories: why did they come to the meeting; what job they would like to have; what experience do they have and how did they experienced the meeting itself. Seeing all women sincerely care for each other, actively listening one another giving an advise and support, gave me a feeling of achieving something more than special. I was able to do that, I was able to connect all of us and that felt (still is) rewarding and fantastic. They all were sparkling, sometimes I needed to stop them from chatting as they found each other so entertaining they were drifting away from the group (luckily only for a moment so the group could work and cooperate further).
For such moments, I love to facilitate group meetings. An fabulous opportunity to meet people, I would probably never meet and have a chance to learn from a living encyclopedia. Where else I could sit in my living room having women from all over the world cheering and opening themselves to each other.
Some tips from tonight:
- Get out from your comfort zone
- Be ambitious and go for what you really desire
- Once you loose yourself, reach for help, for other people, share your stories with those who will understand
And finally focus not only on – ”What can you do” but also on – ”What want you to do”.
Last Friday The Guest Card organized another monthly networking Cocktail held in The Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague. Very cozy and specific place to visit. I personally like the round, huge bar, where everyone can connect and chat. To be honest with you the music played last Friday, was bringing a sense of relaxation and happiness too.
The idea is to meet after work and have fun with expats and network. I did go only for a moment and end up staying longer and meeting very interesting people. Nothing better than good, meaningful talk after busy and stressful week.
Great idea of The Guest Card, if you haven’t been there yet – its about time to join and simply enjoy your Friday evening.
One of the surprising thing was meeting a young musician who was promoting a benefit concert (where he will be playing as well). I found it very inspiring and very important to spread a word about it, as I do like the idea. You go for a concert, enjoy your time with classic music and at the end of the evening you donate as much money as you wish and you thing the concert was worth for a good cause.
”The concert takes place in the name of „Stop Tetanus”. „Stop Tetanus” is a joint venture charity project of Kiwanis international and UNICEF. As the name describes, the goal is to eliminate tetanus on the whole world. Of coarse this is an ambitious project but we are convinced that already small donations help. It that sense you’re warmly invited to come to the benefit concert: you are supporting „Stop Tetanus” and at the same time you can enjoy fresh interpretations of Early Music!”
Recently, I have been watching Polish news, one year after Japan tsunami. And here is a thought, why are we all running to get more, to earn more, to have more if the Earth needs only one minute to destroy it all, to take it all away from us.
I am only a person, same as everyone around having feelings and having needs and dreams. Which means that from time to time I also have my ups and downs with some destructive thoughts.
Living abroad alone, far away from a family, searching for a job and getting rejected, trying to find out what one shall do with its life, having no friendly people around … can be hard.
Than watching such a program like reconstruction of tsunami or massacre in Afghanistan give us different view on our life. Though some may say – ‘’ooo ya I do not care what happened here or over there as I am here and I have to take care of myself’’. That is also true, we do need to take care of ourselves in order to function every day. If we are happy everything around sounds better and we do better job and than maybe some of us may even help others.
I have met in my journey, people who were having so little, who were alone on their life journey (due to life circumstances, war and etc ) and yet they were the most energized, happy and inspired people. I could only wish to have such a positive and strong spirit as them.
Therefore, nowadays every time I am down with my feelings and thought, I think of those people and I am grateful for my life.
Write down on a piece of paper, and look at it every time you are sad or you doubt in yourself :
- What are you grateful for in your life?
- What have you achieve in your life till now?
It does not need to be a brand new BMW or Chanel perfume (as those things are only unnecessary cherry to our life pie). The fact that you are healthy, that you have place to sleep, that you have something to eat, that you have a friend (many people around you do not necessary mean you have lots of friends), those things are crucial for all of us to be able to achieve and get more after all…
Watching at the same time video of Steve Jobs talking about taking every day as it is the last one, enjoy your life because you never know what can happened tomorrow: ‘’Remembering that you going to die, is the best tool to go forward with your life…Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’’ – was also like a special, inspirational message from the other side. See how much he achieved and even now when he is gone, people take his advice into consideration.
This is the best price of life. Someone gets recognized for his/hers actions. One is respected and people wish to follow him/her because he/she does give a good example of his/hers own life.
Therefore, follow Steve Jobs words: (…) ‘’ Stay hungry, stay foolish ….’’
In order to have something interesting to do except work and / or studying; in order to get to know like minded and interesting people; in order to be able to find a job and in order to do your business, we should network.
Networking for me is nothing more or less than social gathering where one talk with another, having fun and enjoying yourself, and what eventually bring some benefit for both parties (while connecting you further with a person or company of your interest).
However it does sound easy, not so many people do know how to network.
I have seen so many time, people coming to the event with bulk of business flyer’s and business cards. Instead of engaging in an interesting and meaningful conversation those people where immediately attacking others, filling their hands with the flyer and or business card. Why shall anyone even bother to look at it if one was attacked (not the nicest feeling ever and definitely not the best first impression) and interrupted (while having a good time with others who were actually listening or telling something one could learn or simply enjoy from).
It’s amazing how many people do not even look at you if you are not a ‘’Very Important Person’’, during the networking events (luckily not all of them). Pity, as the person who is not a ‘VIP’’ may actually be the best thing what could happened to you that evening. The ‘’VIP’’ person has lots to do and lots of people around them, however since that person is so much occupy, is he/she really willing to do something for you? Or the ‘’VIP’’ is only just shining in the spotlight of surrounded people?
People tend to not to listen one another unless there is something beneficial for them in return. It is sad as getting to know others give you the best present and if than through your future friendship you are able to gain something for your work / business connection than its only a plus. People want an easy and quick fixed to their desire and do not want to engage in more that its require.
I was looking for a job while ago and have been joining all kind of events. My early stage of networking, I have back than totally different view than I have it now, though I believe I have still the same approach.
One of the very first networking events, here in The Netherlands, was Connecting Women. I arrived to the meeting not knowing what to expect and not knowing anyone. I was thrilled to sit down at the same table with the woman, I have met a month before at one of Webster University event. Nice surprise. I was so energized and inspired by the whole meeting that I decided to join and become a member. Couple of months later, the woman I set at the table, recommended me to become a PR Coordinator at the board where she was one of the board members herself. So not knowing how and what can happened, I went for a meeting (networking) and I stayed ever since. I met lots of inspiring, international, challenging and brave women. Thanks of some I was brave enough to start my own business.
One coach woman, I met (during some networking event) took me under her wings when I told her about my desire to become a coach and she explained me everything. When I asked her why is she so freely giving away her knowledge and experience she said: ‘’I believe that there is enough to all of us’’ – a wise woman, who enable me to be who I am now.
So actually not knowing anything about networking (back than) was my best weapon, as I listen, paid attention to others and truly enjoyed the company. Now knowing what and how, I tend to say hello to everyone I do know at the event (as it is great to see familiar faces and also due to the fact that everybody is busy best way to stay in touch) and at the end I tend to talk to few – so I can enjoy the evening and get to know them.
Do not worry about the fact you do not know how to network and that you are stress of meeting new people. Be yourself and simply have fun. Those who enjoy themselves, project a positive energy and people tend to want to be around them (even if you are not the ‘’VIP’’).
If you are still stress because you do not know anyone, use the social media. Social media nowadays actually are helping tremendously. If you sign in for an event on line most of the time you do see other participants, so nothing more easy than checking them out. Maybe you know someone, or maybe somebody has the same interest as you so you can actually approach that person during the actual networking event and start talking about your common interest.
Therefore, do not worry any more, go out and have fun – the job and/ or the business will come along.