Why Personal Stories Help you Connect with your Audience

In the fall of 2014, I gave an orientation for new international staff at the Dutch university I worked at. In designing the program, I called on 5 years of experience teaching Intercultural Awareness and more than 15 years of experience living abroad. By then, I had lived in 6 countries on 3 continents. I […]

Continue reading

How to craft a personal statement that’s actually about you

About three years ago, I was on vacation with my family staying on the German-Austrian border. We were visiting Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired the Disney castle at the tail end of a family road trip from the Netherlands to Croatia and back home. My husband was working on a grant application at the time […]

Continue reading

Use your story to stand out, not your CV

Every fall, I need a new babysitter. Since my babysitters tend to be busy and hard-working, I usually need a couple. I find them by posting a request on my expat Facebook group. My post gets anywhere from half a dozen two dozen responses every time. After I’ve eliminated anyone who doesn’t meet my basic […]

Continue reading
diagram showing a structure for personal-professional story

A Story Structure for Your Personal-Professional Story

Every workshop I give starts with a story. You’d expect as much. But every workshop I give starts with a personal story, one that often includes my family members and that tells people both who I am and what story can do. For me, there’s no other way to go. When I give a workshop […]

Continue reading

Self-Editing your Social Media

Everyone’s on social media and some people seem to mix the personal and the professional fairly willy-nilly. It’s not just Hollywood stars showing us their kitchens but also entrepreneurs posting gifs of themselves dancing with their babies. The personal and the professional are more intertwined than ever these days. If you’re posting on social media […]

Continue reading

Rituals to Focus on Writing and Other Creative Work

Like a lot of you, I’m still adjusting to being back at work after the holiday season and the inevitable January sick days. Standing right in my path: a world of distractions on top of the winter drags. But I’ve found a trick that’s helping me tremendously: light a candle. Well, technically, I light a […]

Continue reading

My week without reading

I’ve been following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for a few weeks now. It’s a 12-week program to recover your creativity. Every morning, I get up half an hour early, make a cup of coffee, and sit down at my desk to write three pages in my journal. Every Saturday, I spend half an hour […]

Continue reading

Women and Leadership: enter Cinderella

This coming weekend, I’m going to talk to some Arnhem Together ladies about women and leadership. Me. Yeah, the girl who’s never had a formal leadership position, perhaps ever anywhere. For me to talk about leadership, I needed to reframe it. The working world hasn’t been my place for leadership. It probably never will be. […]

Continue reading