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A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:11 am
by saar1978
Hello Scanners Family,
Finally I have found my way home, home to all of you. People who understand me, my identity and my way of thinking.
I am experiencing a bumpy road home, a road with high peaks but even more depths and dangers, which I must conquer as a knight in shining armor.
And in order for you to understand who I am, please let me introduce myself:

I really enjoy the social translation of a culture. I have always traveled this way, by meeting locals and exploring their way of life. Which feels as a door to their hearts, and to mine. I get emotional from people who think in stereotypes and racism.
Since a couple of months I am without a job, and after reading Refuse to Choose, I can easily identify myself with a Wanderer. This identity became even more clear to me, since I am in search of THAT job . One week I think of this, and a few days later I focus on something else.

Through “my everything I don’t want-list”, I noticed that social contact is very important to me, but I want a thorough insight. I want to understand and know about a culture (traditions, their way of life, history…) and by absorbing culture I feel as equal and empathy comes natural to me. I love the experience of culture through social contact. I do not see it as learning, as it comes so natural.
I lived and worked in the UK and Ireland, and while working I improved my English. I have learned Spanish in Guatemala, my underlying purpose was also to travel and to explore the unknown cultures. Once back home, I lost my level of Spanish, as I simply was not motivated to follow evening classes.
With the book on my lap, and open at page 215, I am wondering how my interest in culture can be translated into a job.
I do not see myself as a travel guide, as I perceive it as boring as it is focusing on one topic in depth, and I want to learn more than one aspect. Working at a travel agent, is even more depressing as I am not a computer person, I am a people’s person.
I am interested in people’s food-culture and their social values, the origin of how people live their lives through social interaction. I want to know for instance where the sharia comes from as well as a burka, .. in order to give a comment, a person needs to know the whole story. I would love to experience Thanksgiving, go to a fancy fair, ... and experience culture through the senses of locals, not as a tourist!

From a young age I am interested in culture, and how this could become twisted. At the age of 15, I gave a talk in class on Apartheid. I have been twice to South Africa, bought even more books on the country and gained a better understanding of its history. SA is a beautiful country, but it's culture is even more fascinating.

I am open to idea parties, but keep in mind that there is a time difference between you and me :) . Bringing people together, a team that helps me with ‘my wants and obstacles’ is rather tricky and difficult. A lot of people in my surroundings are focused on accomplishments and less on how a person feels on the insight. If she feels emotional, she is perceived as weak. Therefore I have to admit that bringing a team together is the most difficult task I have.

If you have ideas of a job, please do not hesitate to inform me, I am all ears :D

From a rather cold Belgium, I send you my warm greetings,

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:33 pm
by Andrew_
saar1978 wrote:Bringing people together, a team that helps me with ‘my wants and obstacles’ is rather tricky and difficult. A lot of people in my surroundings are focused on accomplishments and less on how a person feels on the insight. If she feels emotional, she is perceived as weak.

Welcome, Sarah, and thank you for joining the family!

I admire your open, unjudgmental heart. That's such a beautiful story you told about yourself. I can feel the pain in the story, too... (I also am looking for THAT job.)

I think life revolves around accomplishments here, too. I know how it hurts when sometimes even good, helpful people don't understand how you feel, or why they should care how you feel. I can't imagine we're the only ones running into this difficulty. That means we can all empathize with one other.

I wish I had real, concrete ideas to offer right now :-/. But between all of us I'm sure we can get you what you need.

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:09 am
by saar1978
Thank you Andrew.
May I ask in what direction you are looking, and/or if you wish to apply your degree to your job?
Yes I know here is a curious person, but we scanners are I read in the book!


Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:39 pm
by Andrew_
Thank you for your kind answer, Sarah. Of course I don't mind if you're curious, but it's complicated and I don't want to hijack your thread.

I feel bad, because "deafening silence" is frustrating. And there's no way you should be expected to make it by yourself. We have to get you some help.

I wish I had some great ideas, but here's all I have for now:

* - there's been no activity on the website for a few years, but maybe Patty Newbold is still interested in doing this.

* - you could see if the local leaders in France, the Netherlands, or even Germany have ideas or know good people who live closer to you. A formal success team, though, includes at least four in-person meetings. That's a lot of time in the car. :-/

* - I know your interests are broad and finding the right career path has been a challenge, but if you post the most specific wish and obstacles you can, maybe someone over there will have a magic idea!

We have to make your dreams come true somehow. Stay warm over there!

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:20 am
by saar1978
Andrew, you are really nice for giving me an insight into how this website and bulletin board works.

To be honest I am lost. And that has all to do with people who want to help you, but have clearly now connection nor an understanding with your, and after 'their help' you are 'lost in space'. In Belgium and probably also in the US, you can get help (paid of course) by a career counselor, and by a certain way of working, they 'advise' you on a possible career option.
They do no look at what you have done in your past of work, but look at your competencies and values, and then they think they have figured it all out, and suggest jobs. The first job that was suggested, based on my competencies (loves taking initiative, loves to travel, worked abroad, a good organizer/planner and a net-worker) was being a counselor abroad for Belgian University students who take part in an exchange programme... nice job, I know. The only difficulty is that this is impossible for Belgians to do, as an inhabitant of that country takes over abroad. End of story nr. 1

Nr. 2, was organising as a P.A., which is fun, as I love organizing and finding out how something works from A to Z, but again I do not want to be stuck at a desk, as then I get bored withing a few weeks.

And now I am at nr. 6, not knowing what to do next.
A true wanderer has been awoken in myself.

I am going to give it a try, and see where I end up, and hopefully we meet again on this board somewhere!!!

greetz Sarah

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:25 pm
by Andrew_
I know well the feeling of being lost. I wish I had some quick, good solutions for you, Sarah. It always helps to know oneself better, but you've clearly put in lots of hard thinking already. We'll need to find you some kind, caring people who can help you better than those career counselors can. That way you won't feel so alone.

The last thing I want to do is judge you or tell you what to do. I just want to listen. But maybe one of these thoughts strikes a chord with you in the meantime:

Would you be interested in helping small companies tailor their ads/web services/press for new markets? Or advocating for diversity, making sure everyone's voice is heard.

Are you more at home helping many clients short-term instead of full employment at one place?

Do you think it's more workable to counsel foreign students who are visiting Belgium? Especially a small school might value someone without cultural prejudice who can make visitors feel welcome.

What do you think of teaching Dutch or French to new immigrants, or abroad (again, maybe in a short-term program)?

Maybe there's a more diversified sort of travel guide. Maybe there's someone who serves a group of travelers on a months-long trip or cruise to many places.

There's *some* work that you'd love doing. We just need to get the right people and ideas in the right place at the right time.

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:19 am
by Elaine Glimme
Andrew and saar, would you consider a job - not THAT job but a "good enough job"? Not the job of your dreams but a job that' okay, and that allows you to learn skills, meet people and helps you to advance to THAT job. Also, with a "good enough" job you can do other things on the side that fulfill the scanner part of you, and can be useful when you apply for THAT job.

I had THAT job for twenty years. But before that, I had a "good enough" job (also a couple of terrible jobs, if I'm honest.) But I could never have gotten THAT job without doing the other jobs first.

Job hunting is hard, no matter what, and I wish you courage, perseverance and good fortune.

I don't know what the situation is in Belgium. A woman from Germany said that if you get a "good enough" job it's almost impossible to change your career track. That is not true in the United States. I don't know if it's true in Belgium.

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:52 pm
by Andrew_
Thank you for your kindness, Elaine. That's a wise plan and I want to take it fully seriously, but I'm still not quite sure how to look or what to look for.

I'll send you a message so we can keep this thread free for Sarah's projects.

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:38 am
by Elaine Glimme
saar and Andrew GO FOR IT.

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:44 pm
by BarbaraSher
Wish I understood better what the problem is, Saar et al. Can you tell us more? Is it all about finding the right job? Can you tell us what work you've done before that you don't want to do again? Help us get to know you a bit. It will pay off.

Re: A lost Belgian wanderer

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:57 am
by saar1978
Dear Andrew & Elaine,

I am sorry for the delay in responding, my laptop refused to work for a couple of weeks, so I had to buy a new one. Took a bit longer than expected, but anyhow... here I am.

A lot has happened while waiting for a new pc, mainly in the 'thinking department'. I have been realising for a long time, what triggers me, what makes me happy. But never realised that this happiness would lead to a job. I have not found it yet, but I am so happy thinking about it, reading about it, ...
Not sure yet how to translate it into a job but I will figure it out.

It has all to do with foreigners, their culture, intercultural communication and their values, habits, ... a bit on anthropology.

In the meantime, I want to thank you once more for advising me, giving me pointers and reading my comments.

I wish you all the best,

Saar (my nickname) x