Career crossroads after a baby
Miriam is Italian with Dutch background.?She has lived in 3 different continents and still keeps a true passion for exploring and discovering new places; she's energetic, stubborn (some say?), positive and has a soft spot for Asian cuisines and travelling by train.
Miriam has now established herself in the Netherlands with her partner where she has started a family with the arrival of her daughter Isabella last year.
What was your last job before you had your daughter?My last job was in an international company in the chemical sector, as customer support for the Southern European and export regions.
What did you enjoy most about it? The great part was working in a big team with many nationalities and language skills. On good days you could feel the energy across the room and the time was flying by with some good laughs between all the tasks to cover. This atmosphere helped a lot when going through the pressure and the challenges of the complex business model we were working with. I also enjoyed the frequent contact with the customers and the interaction with lots of people from the different departments of the company.
If you look back at your work experiences, what are your strengths? Looking back... I see how I've always adapted myself quickly to the new environments/changes and tried to bring positivity and harmony to the teams I worked with. When things were unfolding nicely, I was at peace myself. Some of my colleagues have enjoyed my calmness especially when the going got tough.
How having a baby has changed your lifestyle? What is important for you in this period of your life? What are you looking for in your next role? Since my daughter was born, I am blessed to say I have been spending every single day together with her! It's been intense - oh boy, demanding on any possible level! - though just beautiful, and it?s actually difficult to put it in words. My goal is to keep some of this luxury of having the time with my daughter when I will be going back to work.
I think having a child has enhanced my sense of giving and my sensibility overall. Now I?ve also come to realise that to witness all my daughter?s achievements (and setbacks) overtime before my eyes has awakened an old ?love? of mine: teaching.
My first job as an English teacher was in China, some 15 years ago. I was teaching English to children and adults in a village two hours away from Beijing, in the weekends, while I was studying Mandarin myself at University during the week. Those students may not have known at the time, but they had a lot to give, too. Their dedication, humbleness and genuine approach to learning made my work rewarding and fulfilling like it rarely happens.
And hey, having a class of 30 students singing along to the song ?Imagine? by John Lennon - during a lesson about peace - that's something you'll never forget!
That's only some of the reasons why I would love to get involved with the world of education again at this point of my life.
What do you envision for your career going forward? Having been a language student for most of my life, I know what it takes to learn a foreign language and I would be delighted to teach my native language, Italian. The ideal would be to find a good balance between family and professional life, but I think there?s plenty of possibilities if you are willing to compromise and make it work.
For the long term I have also envisioned myself teaching in Asia again, this time living there with my family, but that?s another story :)
There really is no time like the present... What is the next step you?re going to make today? Well, I am going to grab my (third) cup of coffee and plan the steps for a new career path for myself right away!