On a gloomy Munich Friday, last week, I got a note from Sabrina from Global Digital Women that brightened up my day. It read something like: “We would like to feature you as part of this new program we are starting this year called #WomanoftheWeek. Here are 8 questions for you to consider if you would like to participate.”
Oh Sabrina, I’m in!
In classic GDW fashion, this program is another tentacle of the network’s relentless efforts to bring visibility to women’s career in digital worldwide and to provide a platform to empower them to exchange ideas, network and support each other.
See why I am into this fantastic organization?
I didn’t know at the time I would be the first-ever-woman selected to be featured; only late on Monday would Sabrina share this thrilling detail, as we exchanged a few emails about formatting.
I woke up this morning to this wonderful Instagram post, carefully curated by the GDW social media team, announcing not only their new initiative, but featuring me and my thoughts & my creations of the last year or so. WOW! It is truly an honor by which I am sincerely humbled.
As I sit here to compose and share my thoughts, there is one word that rises to the top: unbelievable. In what I call a year of play or my discovery year, 2018, after leaving a “great corporate job” at IBM (read that story here), I chose to do exactly what I wanted to do: write, travel, create, network, connect with people, and explore possibilities for a global career, on my terms.
This accolade from the crew at GDW means so much more to me than those 8 fun questions and answers; this recognition from a network of remarkable women, all of whom I hope will have a turn at this honor, is so much more than visibility.
For me, it is an affirmation that living an authentic life, in alignment with my beliefs, is no longer a desire: it’s my reality. A reality I purposefully and intentionally created for myself, because this is how I chose to live my life and build my career. Completely free to be me.
And with some life-changing events I hope will soon materialize themselves, the timing to reflect on this message couldn’t be better.
Thank you, GDW.
Now, here is the Q & A.
1. Who do you admire the most?
My mom, Francine. When I reflect on how different our paths are, I marvel at her determination, courage and adventurousness even more. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her love, care, influence and support. Je t’aime maman.
2. #Sisterhood: One piece of career advice for other women in your field?
Channel your emotions positively. Too often, as women, we are pejoratively labeled “emotional”. Newsflash: all humans are! So, ladies, find out how your emotions can become a productive asset as fast as possible and use them as a differentiator in crafting your career’s tale.
3. What’s your karaoke song?
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston (1987). I definitely can’t hit all the notes, but I love seeing the crowd get into it.
Kareoke is my JAM, BTW.
4. What’s the best thing about your job?
The honor I have to be able to inspire others. Whether it’s helping organizations think of creative and innovative solutions or working with individuals in their personal and professional development, I thrive in the chance and luxury I have to deeply connect with humans.
5. What motivates you when you’re feeling down?
History. I often revisit my roots in French Canada, my journey and accomplishments as an immigrant in the US, and my goals for a global career. While I allow myself to feel what I feel in the moment, I use my history as a motivator to keep going.
6. What’s your favourite tool for work?
Ironically, it’s not a digital tool… Call me old-fashioned but I love using a smooth-gliding pen to fill a beautiful notebook with stories, ideas and notes. Bonus: it’s never considered rude to pull out a notebook and ask a client: “Do you mind if I take notes?”
7. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt?
To trust my instinct: herein lies my ability to follow my curiosity and discover my passions to live the life I dream of.
8. Who would you like to see featured as #WomanoftheWeek?
I can only pick one?! I’ve met so many splendid women in the GDW community! Though, I’d really like to know Maren Martschenko’s karaoke song!