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My way is not for everyone. But if it helps you along your own career path ... then I'm glad.
I am NOT a workaholic - though I'm often called one! I value a LIFE-Work balance. But, as a New Yorker and a firstborn, I'm ... driven. To succeed, you must find powerful motivation within, which - despite challenges, setbacks, and failures - drives you onward. Creating and maintaining a strong support system - your emotional safety net - and, a deep understanding of and respect for work-life balance - perspective - will help you maintain your physical and mental well-being.
Work is in my blood. My parents worked hard, and I come from a culture which values 'pioneer' and 'self-made'. By age 12, I was babysitting and delivering newspapers; at age 16, still a high school student, I began full-time employment as a nurse's aide in a senior care facility. I worked there for 3-1/2 years.
I've never stopped working. (Single with no children, I've had a purely professional focus.) I worked through university and 2 graduate degrees (psychology), plus a diploma in massage therapy, another in Acupuncture, and many certificate courses. I worked always in healthcare; by age 27, I established my own clinic, selling it 15 years later to move overseas.
January 2016 will mark my 11th anniversary of life abroad. Soon after my 40th birthday and completion of my PhD, I asked myself a 'dangerous' question: What life do I really want? Looking at my very nice life, I knew that I could continue it; or, I could fling myself into a whirlwind of adventure.
Having now lived in 5 countries on 3 continents and traveled extensively, I've faced both challenges and opportunities. Language and cultural differences have brought misunderstanding and frustration, plus immense learning. I no longer have the stability and understanding of homeland, but my life - my psyche - has become a rich tapestry of cultures.
Continuing my clinical work abroad, I've added education and writing, publishing 3 books and 200+ articles (so far!). I've established 4 companies, and been on the startup team for 3 more; in late 2014, I founded my current company, EastWest Psyche Ltd. And, I've always worked for women's empowerment: as a young feminist in New York; in activist and social welfare endeavors; as a healthcare provider.
I first encountered BPW at the age of 25, but only joined in 2011, immediately getting involved at the International level. During the 2011-2014 term, I was congress organizer / program coordinator for the international congress, held on Jeju Island, Korea, where I lived; I co-chaired a Congress Ambassadors taskforce, and served on the Public Relations committee and Peace & Intercultural Understanding taskforce.
In this term (2014-2017), I'm even busier! At the international level, I'm a member of History, Leadership & Lifelong Learning, Peace & Intercultural Understanding, and Twinning taskforces; Development, Training & Employment committee; and, Member-Initiated Taskforces & Projects pilot team.
This year, I've participated in a BPW Kuala Lumpur event (February), BPW Leadership Summit and CSW59 in New York (March), Cross-Cultural Understanding Conference + African Women's Summit in Cairo (April), BPW Sao Paulo event + Global Summit of Women (May), BPW Milan B2B Expo (June), and, BPW Peace taskforce presentation at NGO-UNESCO forum in Beijing (July).
I maintain membership in EPW-NYC. Recently, colleagues and I established a new BPW club in Hong Kong where I now live, and I'm serving as its president. As we develop, we're involving Young BPW as much as possible. Mentorship is one of the primary methods for empowerment, and I've been fortunate to mentor a number of young women along the way. I hope that I can continue to be of help to members of Young BPW.
Above all: I encourage each of you to create your own, vibrant, passionate, handmade life!