Guest Blog for Working Girl: Directing Our Own Futures

I had the privilege to guest blog for the Working Girl. Working Girl is a great blog that focuses on Human Capital Management topics from the perspective of a talent management evangelist, compensation specialist and proud mother of three, Laura Schroeder.

You can find my post at Working Girl site.

Hope you enjoy it!


Give a Damn- Present Yourself!

Even though we’d like to live around the notion of ”I don’t give a damn what other people think of me”, but the truth is that sometimes you should give a damn. And here’s why.

In your life, no matter if it’s your personal life, your career, or other social activities, you will most likely need other people to get to from point A to point B. It’s extremely important to know how you want to come across to other people, and what kind of perception you give out to the world. And remember, bad reputation carries like fire.

Following are few simple tips to better carry and present yourself:

  • Never pretend to be something you aren’t
  • Never use profanity
  • Don’t gossip
  • Listen twice as often as you talk
  • Be on time
  • Be honest, always
  • Be polite- use ”Thank you”, ”Excuse me”, ”Sorry” and ”Please”
  • Show your personality and uniqueness
  • Smile
  • Never compromise your values
  • Dress appropriately, neat and clean
  • Be a resource for others
  • Own your mistakes
Even though these rules are simple ones, it seems that our society easily forgets them. Present yourself with dignity and that will get you far. Promise.

Everyone’s Free (to wear sun screen)

I wanted to share my favorite life advice with you all from Baz Luhrmann. Take it in with great care. Truly powerful.

Here we go:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97. Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience… I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh, never mind, you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until
they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by
chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blind side you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with your’s.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22
what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40. Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can… don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it… it’s the greatest instrument
you’ll ever own.

Dance… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines they will only make you feel UGLY.

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through.Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there. I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there for you. And I’ll be there just helping you out whenever I can.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they might be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography
and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise, Politicians will philander, you too will get old. And when you do, you’ll
fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia; dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Everybody’s free. Everybody’s free.


Don’t you just LOVE this?!

Artist(Band): Baz Luhrmann

The Process of Reinventing Yourself

It’s Spring time. You can feel the new glow in the air. Time to renew. Like a butterfly bound by a cocoon, it’s time to fly. Right?

I personally love Spring. Coming from the Arctic Circle, Lapland, Spring was always the time of huge celebration after the long and dark winter. Spring is seen as the reward of sticking through the rough winter days of candle light, fireplace and sauna (actually doesn’t sound that bad but..). If you are not familiar with the Lapland winters, we get taken over by the Twighlight period for most of the November and through January, where we only enjoy about two hours of sun light a day (and it’s not like blue skies, but more like murky moonlight). So you can imagine, once the days start to get longer and Spring starts showing its sunny face, everything and everyone came to life! The most wonderful time!

Spring is the time that helps me to strive to be who I want to be in life. I’ve been reinventing myself for couple of years now really, an ongoing process and a battle (sometimes). I started few years back by thinking what truly matters in life, to me. Only to me, and forget the norm, opinions, judges and pushers. Due to my reinvention strategies, I’ve shed some unnecessary negatives that impacted my soul and spirits. It has worked amazingly well, I feel free and empowered.

In the context of reinventing myself, I have greatly simplified my life. Simplifying in this context does not have a negative connotation to it, at all. What I mean by simplification, is the refocusing of my energy to what truly matters. I have endorsed my passion of the mountains by picking up Back Country Skiing to extend my passion for Alpine skiing. I take the time to read even more; to self-educate myself as much as possible, hosting family and friends when ever I have the time, planning my next career moves with care, and decided on my adventurous move back to Finland, where I know I truly belong.

Right now, I’m extremely career driven and that’s my priority. I also have to remember that people around me are what matter. What are accomplishments and rewards if you got no one to share it with? What is love if you got no one to give it to?

It’s so important to get our priorities straight. They might change within time periods, but the main ones remain in the background, as the driving force for it all.

Celebrating Spring! How does Spring affect you?

Bless Japan.

Japan has just experienced one of its most drastic catastrophes since the World War II. A devastating 8.9/9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan on March 11, causing damage with blackouts, fire and a tsunami.

Millions of people are still today without water and electricity. Death count is up to 10 000. Pure destruction and more to be afraid of, says the meteorological agency of Japan, stating that there is a 70 percent change there will be a post earthquake with the magnitude of 7.0 richter. People are terrified, and for a reason.

I wanted to share the photo above with you. The girl above can’t be too much older than I am. Could you imagine being in her position? Neither can’t I. She might have just lost her home, and not knowing if her family and friends are even alive. To me that picture is like a clip of a horrible movie, a very unrealistic one. But she is very real. Her pain is real. Her worst nightmares just became reality to her. It took me a minute to realize that.

Me, on the other hand, just got back from a traditional Finnish celebration dinner, joining some other Finns in the area, had a truly pleasant time. My family and friends are safe. And I don’t need to be afraid of anything. I’m good.

How often do we forget to appreciate what we have and take things for granted? Too often. My worries seem quite non-existent compared to the people in Japan right now. Actually, my worries are nothing.

Another reason to live in the moment and to cherish our good lives and loved ones.

Bless Japan. Appreciate.

Bringing Out the Best in People

There are plenty of books we read throughout our educational careers. Some of them do get thrown back to the cycle but the books that make an influence, stay in our book shelves and hearts forever. One of these books that took my heart and I will never get rid off  is entitled as Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel” by Dr. Alan Loy McGinnis. This book is an easy read and definitely ment to be fully enjoyed.

I must first share that I’m an amiable/expressive by nature; a true believer of karma, servant leadership, people lover and an adventurer. This book touched me a great deal because of the sad fact that today, too many people work for bosses that don’t give a damn about you. Such a waste of time and spirits! My career goal is to move people and build connections that do not only help myself to develop as a person but to help others to progress as well and find meaning in their work.

In his book, Dr. McGinnis outlines twelve rules for bringing out the best in people.  Taking into account these twelve powerful principles, one is capable of creating a positive and motivational working environment where the employee productivity comes from the feeling of being appreciated and being part of something better and unique; positive work culture! What a great thing, right?

Rule 1: Expect the Best from the People You Lead

Good leaders look for the positive skills and characteristics in people and strive to encourage and value those particular set of skills in each individual. When showing that you expect the best out of the people around you by encouraging them to excel, this will lead to mutual respect and thus positive results. Nobody wants a boss (or a fellow student, co-worker, a friend to that matter) that is a downer and a watchdog expecting us to fail and just waiting for a mistake to get a change to crash you.

Let’s move one another by encouragement and respect towards each others life and happiness.

”The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire”

 –Ferdinand Foch

How do you strive to move others around you?