2 months ago I started a new job after finishing my Master Thesis (which also happens to be the reason that I did not blog that much lately – sorry for that!).
So far I have to say that I simply love it! I have the feeling that I am building the future for myself and the company, both driving the company to the next level of innovation and preparing myself for the awesome job of sharing, enabling and promoting opportunities for personal and professional development as a business model. But how does this actually all pan out? Bear with me as I go through the different points of explaining the setting, the changes, and the outcome for both the company, my business model and innovation…
I just watched the movie “machine gun preacher” and besides it being an intense movie based on true events, it also raised another consideration again in me. The main character is helping kids in Sudan against the by-now-famous Kony and LRA, but he is mainly also torn between his family back home and his “new family” in Sudan.
As several of you might know I have already been in several different countries around the globe for a longer time – the US (Texas), Togo and Brazil for a year each. Often people say that it must be quite awesome to get to travel that much. But there are also some rather longer-term downsides. I by no means want to leave the impression that they outweigh the benefits, but they seem to be not so visible to the non-travellers. I already explained the potential loss of a “home” to come back to in another post. It might also have the aspect that you have several homes and obviously you cannot be in all at once – with all the friends you made there.
But I am not talking about the direct impact, like getting Malaria or being stuck in bureaucratic processes – which make life rather more interesting!
Just take relationships e.g., which either become long distance or take longer to build up in my experience – since they often evolve in environments where you are comfortable and can be yourself, which takes a while in new environments. And when you have finally found somebody – they tend to have the same passion as you and are thus probably abroad once you finally got some time back home. 😛 But obviously there are also some good side about it as this blog posts beautifully states – “date a girl that travels“. Of course you can also take somebody with you during the journey – but also that has pros and cons. 🙂
Then, depending on how much you travel, your best friends might be all over the world, in different time zones and difficult to visit again (although it becomes easier and cheaper to travel these days).
Personality and Understanding
You also change a bit every time you leave, which is not a bad thing in itself, but it may become more problematic blending in again. I always need some internationality in my life now (which is easily served by further travelling and studying an international master), but it also becomes more difficult for people to understand you sometimes. Especially family.
My mother has also already been backpacking in India in the 70ies, hitch-hiking around France with sometimes just about 23 cents left in her pocket, being robbed in Paris under the bridge and asking via collect call for more money from home. She was also hosting international students at her house later, so I think so got the same bug I did, but still sometimes it becomes difficult to really grasp what I am telling her. Might also be due to parents and their kids having generation differences, but still …
For more impressions on this topic also read other interesting blog posts (not by me):
They provide some insights from a constant traveller / nomad. I personally still love more to have a place that I can call home and do not just “check up on” as some other people have the tendency to do after they have been abroad for too long – they simply cannot settle anywhere for a longer time anymore but “have to keep going”. It gives me the impression that the beforementioned blogger already has the tendency to do so. It took me several years abroad and also some good talks with e.g. children of diplomats (that have to change the country every 3-5 years) to see how much I want to be mobile and where I draw my limits. Right now I see that I want to at least have a fixed place called “home” that I can and do come back to at least every week on average. But obviously it also depends on whom I call my family – a wife and such – that I want to be closest to. If they are there it does not really matter all that much …
Sometimes your life might also change forever after your experiences – but then mostly for the better. 🙂 Check out this blogpost if you want to travel just for some time and then get back on track and really do your thing …
Did you have similar experiences? Did I miss something? Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments! Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂
This post has become a little longer again – sorry for that but I hope you still enjoy it! For sure there are also some complementary videos that should be interesting 😉
After I have already been writing about the general tasks of a chair and my experiences with it – here comes some more detail in case you are about to consider or even do it yourself or are just interested in a deeper explanation – and some further experiences (I just chaired another conference in Poland :))
As a chair, you are not there to use the right tools, make everything perfect and then leave, but to inspire, share your experience and challenge people by providing a different perspective. Bring something different. Something either from you personally or your country that they have never heard or thought of before. Let them try it themselves! Maybe some German words?
Also contribute personal learnings that will have to do with something you consider a failure for yourself. When you learned something from it, that can be quite worth sharing!
For about 3 years now I have a personal coach and he has definitely brought me forward! We do not talk every day but still every once in a while.
He does not provide me with answers but rather the right questions to come to conclusions by myself. There have been several bigger crossroads in my life in these 3 years that have been heavily influenced that way. He lives in the UK but works in different countries, soon being Mongolia! When we talk, it works over Skype and upon needs rather on short notice. I also just met him physically again last week – yay! Once again, it was a very interesting and insightful evening that both of us enjoyed. Before I met him physically in Brazil in 2008 and in Malaysia in 2009.
After now already posting about ‘Preparing for Job that does not exist yet‘ (where I described what my dream job lookes like and how I got to find it) I also want to stress the importance of living your dream! I am doing it as you maybe have already discovered in the aforementioned post. It took me some 5 years to know ever more exactly what I do NOT want. This helped me in becoming more clear in my goal but does not mean I became more narrow minded – quite the opposite! I learned to listen and embrace others and it is in my opinion more important to be inspired than to inspire. Otherwise you will soon become too fond of yourself. 😉 “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!” as Steve Jobs quoted. And that is what I do.
Not everything I try out succeeds right away. Sometimes taken new paths can be painful. Successes are what motivates us but hardships bring us forward and shape our character. So it is not only about finding your dream job but also finding yourself! But more on those in some other posts …
While I am currently still on my way there are some people who already are done with the safe haven of studying and the like and make a living based on their ideas. So f*** yeah – I even brought some great examples who can also bring YOU forward! 😀
As you might have figured, this was a process that developed over time and I must admit that it also had to do with AIESEC – amongst others. Due to several steps (see headlines) this post is also a bit longer than the others – I hope you enjoy the time until getting there! I surely did living it! 🙂
Well, this one is not exactly going to be about Johnny Cash, but rather about the difficulty of keeping the balance in emotional situations when dealing with others. The past weekend has again shown me a lot about this and those are experiences I do not want to miss!
Some days ago I told you about my experience in chairing a conference in Denmark – this time I chaired a conference in Germany for the Local Committees of Kaiserslautern and Karlsruhe for their new members and some more experienced ones with about 80 delegates.
As I mentioned in the previous article, the job of a chair is to keep the overall mood, provide inspiration and personal challenge and ensure the flow of the agenda.
So after I said in my post about 5 years in AIESEC that I do not have any active position in AIESEC anymore this held true. Yet there are some occasional opportunities still coming up – like training and chairing conferences!
So I was asked to be Chair of a national conference in Denmark. But so
So it has now been about 5 active years of AIESEC until left my last active (operational) role some weeks ago. So what has AIESEC actually given me in this time? Actually quite a lot – otherwise I would not have stayed for 5 years I guess. 😉
The Start of It All
I started in November 2006 in Hamburg, Germany actually rather looking for a way to promote international experiences to my fellow co-students but getting more than I had bargained for! I started as a member of the Talent Management Team (HR) and Local Information Manager. I loved the athmosphere of living in a very international team (just 2 Germans in a group of 10) and saw the different facets of working in a multicultural team.