If you told seven-year old Natasha that some day she would be switching out cosmopolitan Singapore for a remote island, a nine-hour flight away from Moscow called Sakhalin, she would have laughed at you.
Tracing back the steps to how I got here and sharing the best and lesser moments along this 20-year journey on today’s blog post.
Letting Go Of My Plans
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an investigative journalist. I loved solving things and writing – combining the two seemed like a match made in heaven. So I studied Mass Communications, setting my sights on the world of media and creativity.
I would go to the UK to do university, adventure the world. Travel fiercely.
My best laid plans were not meant to be but I knew I wanted to leave the comforts of my hometown in search of my future.
As life would have it, I met my first husband – a Dutchman on the internet and moved to The Netherlands!
It’s A Man’s World
After turning down a dreamy job offer at a Dutch radio station, my younger self felt resigned to choosing either Shell or Philips – the two companies where English was the working language.
I landed at Shell down a marketing career that eventually led me to Change Management. My first five pivotal years forced me to grow up quickly.
Some of my favourite moments were organising a team away day at a castle where we all dressed up in medieval clothing and dined while playing a game.
Or publishing Shell’s first Portfolio Book, summarising all the technical software we had.
But I also recall crying to an elder colleague after feeling bullied.
I realised just how masculine my career path was when I ended up on a project in Cairo, Egypt with 30 grown men and just me.
Globetrotting Career Path
My years in Shell were exciting. I worked with the most intelligent people but most importantly, my projects opened my eyes to the world of corporate travel.
I went to London for a course, travelled to Brunei, Kuala Lumpur, Miri, New Orleans, Cairo, Muscat and Qatar. I even spent two years working in Oman.
While I was growing in my career and making serious money, my life began to fall apart.
I got divorced along the way and met my current husband.
Achieving My North Star
As a new couple, we landed in Houston as our first home.
Within two weeks, I was headhunted by Deloitte – a big four consulting firm that was my North Star to achieve for my career.
I didn’t take the offer then because I needed a rest from traveling.
Instead, I did freelance consulting work and joined a smaller consulting firm for awhile.
When I was ready, I was referred to at Deloitte and got in. I was elated.
My time at Deloitte was transformative. As a management consultant, our work was deep yet high level. I truly learned the value of teamwork and saw firsthand how colleagues with no talent managed to survive years long at the firm.
The Mid-Career Blues
The reality was though, I had no concept of boundaries and bit off way more than I could chew.
Around the same time, my husband received his next assignment in Scotland and so we were set to move.
I was burnt out by the time I left Deloitte – both from living in America, working and life in general.
As any overachiever would, I then plunged myself into a Master’s Degree program to simply pass the time.
Along the way, I travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal – my own version of Eat, Pray, Love. I saw Mount Everest at sunrise, did yoga on a mountaintop shrine and ate momo’s with some friends I made during the week I was there.
I did some freelance work for clients in London and Aberdeen but my passion for the corporate life was fading.
Living + Experimenting
Not long after that season of life, I became a mother and my whole perspective of my life’s mission changed. My relationship with achievement itself shifted.
I began experimenting with entrepreneurship, dabbling deep into a line of tartan and tweed clutches and finally deciding that the business of inventory and logistics was not for me.
That led me to the online business world. My deep love of fashion and style prompted me to start a blog and while it was fun when it lasted, I questioned my higher purpose.
Becoming a fashion influencer felt like doing multi-level marketing online for everyday products. Did I really want to share how comfortable every top is and that it comes in seven colours?
A Female Career Revolution
That season of life, living and experimenting led me to founding The Careerist – a platform for ambitious, mid-career women who want to play big and break into the executive path.
My career was built on mentoring other women along my journey so I felt a quiet calling to pay it forward.
I saw a gap in the career and executive development space that lacked a structured framework women can adapt and tailor to their goals.
That’s how the Female Career Revolution framework was born.
In 10 modules that spell out a succinct success system designed specifically with women in mind, I share strategies, resources, examples, tips and actionable takeaways.
Manifesting My Future
I’ve never been in a hurry now that I’m a mother. I’m patient with success.
What matters more to me is bringing something to market that truly aligns with my soul, my higher purpose that feels meaningful.
A legacy I can proudly leave behind for my daughter.
After we left Aberdeen, we spent eight months in The Netherlands amid Covid while waiting for our visas to Russia.
It was a fun season of learning and growing despite failing to fully kick off The Careerist.
When we finally moved to Sakhalin Island, I was fatigued from trying so I gave myself permission to let go for a whole year.
After we landed in Oslo, having been evacuated from Russia after the war broke out, I felt called to revisit my business.
Calling All Careeristas
Today, I proudly share our platform with you with offers I’m beyond proud of.
Our stories are never finished. We just keep on writing, starting new chapters, closing old ones or even starting brand new books.
The future is truly limitless.