Monthly Archives: May 2017

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 22: No update

Jean-Paul Sartre

What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey

as it unfolds…

 Went to London last week

I do love going back

A packed schedule of meetings

Felt smart and on track!

Weather was good

No delays with the flight

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Situation 41: work area versus personality

Mi An’s office is highly cozy: lots of photos of her family, flowers and a huge collection of porcelain dogs and cats in all kind of sizes. Mansy advises her to re-consider the office decoration.

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Is comfortable with herself and has high self-esteem;
  • Is authentic in her dealings with others, demonstrating clear values, a clear purpose and strong work ethic. She is not afraid to show her true personality at work;
  • Conveys her professionalism in her actions and interactions with others.

How to best handle the situation:

We spend a lot of time at work and research has shown that people perform better when they work in a pleasant environment, clean offices, with natural light, plants, comfortable furniture etc. (see, for example, and are able to customize their work space to some degree. In fact, we see a lot of firms (Hubspot, Dropbox, Skype, Evernote, AirBnB etc. that design work spaces that reflect the company culture and often provide ‘play’ areas as well as quiet spaces to give their employees the freedom to move between different work environments that suit their needs and moods.

It is important that you remain true to yourself when you are at work rather than hide your true personality to fit a work ‘ideal’. If you are a warm, homely person it is fine to convey that to your work colleagues. However, be aware that your style may not come across well to everyone you meet and that some people may overlook you if they do not see you as leadership material or capable of working on special assignments. Tune in to how others behave towards you and continually sense how you are coming across.

Study how other people decorate their offices; do they personalize them with photos of loved ones, drawings by their children, art, etc. or do they stick to company-supplied pictures and posters, business awards or nothing at all? If most people tend towards a more neutral, business-like environment then you might consider toning down your own office décor without eliminating all traces of your personal life. If you are unsure, ask a trusted colleague for his/her honest opinion.

Learning suggestions:

  • How you decorate your office does say something about you and can be a conversation starter when unfamiliar people visit you, so it is worth considering what subtle messages you want to convey and the topics you are happy to discuss with strangers.
  • It is good to have individuals within an organization who are different from the norm since they can provide refreshing perspectives and challenge the status quo and ‘groupthink’. If you are individualistic and happy to be out on a limb, celebrate and remember the value that you bring by being different.
  • Reflect on your personal values; what is important to you? How well are you living your values at work? What areas, if any, do you need to change so that you are acting in congruence with your values?


  • Embrace your own personal style and ways of expressing yourself – the way you dress, your office décor, how you communicate etc. – whilst remaining within the bounds of professionalism.

Femcommunity tips:

We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.

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Your success does not mean another woman’s failure!


By: Anja Uitdehaag

Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, co-authors of “Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional when Things get Personal” state: “women are complicated. While most of us want to be kind and nurturing, we struggle with our darker side – feelings of jealousy, envy and competition. While men tend to compete in an overt manner – jockeying for position and fight to be crowned “winners” – women often compete more covertly and behind the scenes. This covert competition is at the heart of mean behavior among women at work”.

Healthy competition and confidence are encouraged in boys but often seen as undesirable traits in girls. Continue reading

Lindsay’s In Business: Part 21: Review and rethink


What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I consider that work to set up the Mirror Mirror business began properly in September 2016.

And now here we are. Eight months later. All set up … and a first client.

You might read that and think – ok great, you’re on your way.

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What impression do you want to make? 

elastigirl-the-incrediblesBy: Anja Uitdehaag

The first thing we do if we want to find out more about a first date, a potential employer or a new colleague is googling the person concerned. And what we’ll discover is his/her personal brand.

A ‘personal brand’ is in many ways synonymous with our reputation. It refers to the way we are seen by the world, including clients, investors, peers, boss, friends, etc.

If you are not conscious of what your personal brand is and not deliberately branding yourself, the outside world is branding you.

Thus, if you are quiet you could be branded as passive; if you’re too caring of others’ feelings you might be branded as weak; if you’re too open to learning new things, you may be branded as naïve; and, perhaps most unfairly, if you’re aggressively proactive, you could very well be branded as “mannish.”

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Continuous creative growth is crucial to me



ALEKSANDRA POPOVSKA was born in south of Serbia in 1975, in a family of Macedonian emigrants and has been living and working in Holland since 2004. She studied Music Pedagogy and Theory at the Faculty of Music in Skopje ( Ss.Cyril & Methodius University in Skopje. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Performance and Production and European Master Media in Arts from the Utrecht School of Arts. In 2010, she completed her Mphil studies in Voice Performance and Applied Composition at the University of Portshmouth, UK. Since 2000 she was devoted to research and practice of Macedonian traditional music which influenced her music career and later work as well. With the ensamble Dragan Dautovski Quartet she performed hundreds of concerts across Europe.

Besides her activities as a vocalist and composer, she teaches music in various schools and music centers (Korenhuis- Den Haag, American International School Den-Haag, Grace Music International).

Aleksandra speaks about the importance of creative self-reflection and learning.

Which 3 words would describe who you are?

Creativity, diligence, dedication. Continue reading

Welcome to my kaleidoscope world.


By: Matheen

In 2015, I’ve been medically and clinically diagnosed as living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and Paranoia. I’m currently taking medication for my mental illnesses. I also go for my monthly counselling with a registered Psychiatrist. My family and a few close friends do not feel sorry for me — instead, they have been supportive; they have shown understanding and compassion. In social media, I often posts articles about mental illness and encourage others not to make fun of people living with mental illness — it’s not cool to joke about someone and label them as “retarded”, “abnormal”, “paranoid”, “mental”, or even casually using “OCD” as if having it means you’re cool and fashionable to have it; au contraire, you are so not cool if you are guilty of such actions. I always think that one should always put oneself on other people’s shoes to be able to comprehend and empathize. Simply put, how would you like it if someone labeled you as such?

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Lindsay’s In Business: part 20: YAY – WE REALLY HAVE A CLIENT!


What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Yes, as everyone says – it is pretty tough getting a new venture off the ground. Although we’ve had very encouraging responses since we started spreading the word in January, as just blogged on LinkedIn, two team runs were organized but then postponed at the last minute, due to one thing or another. So disappointing.

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Situation 40: Standing your ground

Femsy presents a proposal in the Management Meeting. She knows her material inside and out since she spent a lot of time researching the feasibility and its impact on the company. As soon as she is questioned during the meeting she backs into “Maybe you are right”. As a result, no decision was taken about the proposal during the meeting. Boss calls Femsy into his room furiously: although Femsy was absolutely right she created a situation where it would be very hard to get the team believing in her idea.

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size) Continue reading