Over the years, I have faced and overcome many unique challenges. While some might say I have a gift for turning lemons into lemonade, I find it more rewarding to harvest the lemons, get out all the juice I can and use the seeds to help others build their lemonade stands.
One of the earliest examples of this ability took place while I was away at college. During that time, my father lost what amounted to a small fortune and I was forced to take a job selling books door to door to pay for my schooling. While it was difficult work to be sure, it taught me how to listen on a whole new level and to look beyond people’s words in order to discover their true motivations and desires. Once I had mastered this skill, I quickly rose through the ranks, and finished in the top ten nationwide.
Upon graduating, I married and moved to NYC. I defied the odds—not to mention the advice of my peers—and landed a job with one of New York’s boutique financial recruiting firms. While the position was 100% commission based, I readily accepted the challenge and was soon identifying and recruiting top performers for my clients, while coaching executives on how to screen in top talent.
For years, I enjoyed a highly lucrative and rewarding career. When my husband was offered a tremendous opportunity of his own, I accepted the adventure and challenge of transitioning and moved to Memphis, TN where I joined Human Resources with a Fortune 100 firm. It was my chance to work from the inside and I used my skills to navigate my way through the bureaucratic challenges. I made the most of the opportunity and eventually found my niche as Corporate Manager in EEO and OFCCP Compliance. Helping the corporation's business succeed and it's people thrive was always at my core. Before long I was working side by side with legal to design, develop and implement company wide compliance programs and training for HR managers. I managed government audits and from time to time defended the corporation's position when audited. Fully certified as a Train-the-Trainer/Corporate Facilitator, Quality Process Trainer, Diversity Trainer, and EEO/OFCCP Compliance Trainer I trained hundreds of managers and corporate executives.
I was promoted and transferred to Boston to manage a messy sales office with EEO issues. One year later the office was on track and I was approached by a global pharmaceutical firm and offered a sales management position. This cutting edge industy intrigued me. Although I had no pharmacological training or scientific background, I educated myself and became the first to break into the HMO market. I was approached by corporate and asked to train other districts on the "How To's".
Once again my husband was offered a unique opportunity to work in Europe - Brussels, Belgium, I trusted in my ability to embrace change and soon found myself living in another world. I surrounded myself with wonderful people and focused on the opportunities before me. Determined to thrive, I immersed myself in the local culture, learned and spoke French and helped create and present programs for fellow Americans/expatriates struggling with transition. During this time, I found talents and interests I never knew I had. During our third year in Brussels, I gave birth to my first child.
The years in Belgium flew and once again we were offered the chance to move to an even more exotic location, Poland! It was an exciting time to make the transition, since the Poles were making one of their own – the transition from communism to capitalism. I worked to learn Polish and embraced the culture and people...great people.
As U.S. companies flooded into this new market, I saw an opportunity for my services. Through networking, I landed several consulting jobs with Polish companies and organizations. The task was to help them understand and develop the skills to work with "the Western mind set". Shortly after, Western companies were contacting me needing "Transition Workshops" for overseas executives and their employees on how to do business in Eastern Europe. Transition programs for spouses soon followed, I was now the official "Transition Coach".
I LOVED my life not to mention we were expecting our 2nd child. When at 6-1/2 months a complication occurred and the baby died, I was told it would not be possible for more children and after many international visits to doctors was convinced that a full hysterectomy would be wise. UGGH!!!!
Once again, four years passed too quickly and we were promoted home to the states. By now I had spent half my married life in Europe and loved it. I was not sure how the repatriation process would go. Hurting from the loss of a child, having to leave a country and people I loved poured salt in the wound. But as the lemon was squeezed new juice was flowing and new seeds would soon be planted. I prepared for the next adventure.
A few months into our new state and new home we decided to "have another child". We weighed all our options and adopted our 2nd child from China.
My life continues to grow in more creative ways and gets bigger and better with each transition. Transition is about designing options and designing structures that support growth.
You now know most of my story. I have accomplished so many of my personal and professional goals, I consider it my mission to help others do the same.