The most seminal experience of my career was living and working overseas for nine years. My late husband and I were international school teachers in Ecuador and Malaysia, and our two sons were with us. Being teachers, we had many opportunities to travel during the school holidays. I visited over 30 countries and gained many insights through my international experiences.
I became a widow at the age of 46 after 23 years of marriage. After my husband died, I started a memorial foundation in dedication to my husband with the University of Hawaii development office. Instead of dwelling on the negative, of losing my young husband, I focused on keeping his work and memory alive. I continued to make advances in my career, and moved from Hawaii to Austin, TX.
I have worked throughout my whole adult life and am working now. After teaching I began working in the education non-profit sector, which I have been doing continuously for over 20 years. I have held many roles in the non-profit sector including senior management positions, with a primary focus on building relationships, development, and communications. I recently took the Strengths Finder assessment which gave me insight into my top 5 strengths. They are learner, communications, arranger, harmony and woo, which stands for winning others over. I have high standards, am hard-working, flexible, and am enthusiastic about my work. I take initiative, and care about my colleagues. I am driven to succeed at what I do, and want the whole organization to be a success. I enjoy collaborating with my colleagues, and getting the best ideas from everyone. As the leader of my team, I inspire the people who work with me to do their best work, by giving ownership, yet being their to support them. In Austin, I worked with an architect and builder to design a guest house on my property, that I rent out through HomeAway and Airbnb-an entreprenurial project
My advice is to stay resilient, optimistic, and focused on learning and the positive things in life.