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Inspirational Young Female Professionals Series #3: Introducing Christine Salboudis

Recommending “Positively Profession-Elle” to our cyber parea. A great initiative by Maria Psihogios!

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Good morning my dearest readers! Happy Saturday!

It is with great pleasure that today positively profession-elle continues its “Inspirational Young Female Professionals Series”!!! This is something I continue to be very excited about as it will allow us all to explore strategies for achieving balance in life and gain great insight into fostering meaningful educational and professional careers, through the eyes of some very special and inspirational women!

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you all to Christine Salboudis; an inspirational woman who has dedicated her life to building a stronger community and helping others foster their strengths and abilities to reach their full potential.

Christine is the Founder of the Philo4Thought Professional Mentoring Initiative, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy, Literature and Environmental Ethics at Pace University, and an Administrative Manager and Student Coordinator at Columbia University in New York City.

As someone who draws on a “silver lining” mentality, support from family and friends, faith and humour to find balance in her life, I am beyond certain that each and every one of us will find great motivation and positive energy from her interview with positively profession-elle. Here is what she had to say about the things that bring her strength and the experiences that make her work meaningful…truly inspirational! Thank you Christine!

 "I've learned that making a living is not the same as making a life." ~ Maya Angelou  How has your career path allowed you to find fulfillment and purpose in your life beyond simply 'making a living'? How has your career allowed you to 'make a life'?

My professional path has been laid out gradually based on my overall life experience and my good fortune in having the support of remarkable mentors and family. There is always something to learn, always something to share, and always a choice to make. Fulfillment comes from seeing your professional and personal goals flourish. For me that could be something big – when I learn that someone I helped got to the next level in their careers or studies, when a student understands a complex topic in class, etc. It could also come from a small thing, like making a person smile or laugh when they’re not feeling at their best, visiting a friend and catching up…. I’m very into my “Silver Lining” mentality, so there’s a potential for personal and professional fulfillment in all interactions.

What brings balance to your life? 

I suppose that my sense of humor is the internal quality that helps me maintain a balanced outlook on life. Work-Life balance is not easy to achieve, so having a positive attitude and surrounding yourself with positive and honest people is essential. (Coincidentally, I’m running a new chat group series among work-life coaches to exchange best practices. Our first meeting will be on March 15th.)

Striking a consistent balance – so we don’t get disillusioned with our dreams or burnt out with our work – is definitely a project in itself! In a nutshell, community is at the heart of everything I do. Though I work different jobs and am very active in my community, my main focus is always the same: to help build a stronger community. I’d say that comes from my sense of family and faith. I don’t think I would have such a strong sense of philanthropic giving had it not been for the things I’ve seen growing up both here and abroad. I saw real suffering, and people who were strong enough to strike a balance under impossible circumstances. If they could push through their trials and still manage to carve out time for family, friends and faith, then so should I. People who are able to face their fears and challenges and still smile despite them and make time to provide for others… they are the heroes and role models of work-life balance.

Also, when I feel things getting too complex, I step back and look for a new perspective, but I also try to jump back into the task with solutions, quickly.

Was there a special person, mentor, moment or experience in your past that you drew inspiration from in order to persevere and achieve success in your professional life?

There are SO many people for me to thank, starting with my Mom, Giagia and Papou – my first heroes. They were very strong people. Hard working professionals, convivial hosts, and dedicated volunteers in their community. They always taught me to be direct and fight for what was right, even if others don’t agree. I’m lucky to have learned that lesson from them early on. They also taught me something that I learned – many years and degrees later – was a basic Aristotelian principle. In instruction and in practice, they really provided me with a strong foundation with which to face the world. No matter what I have had to face, I was able to get through it thanks to them.

Having said this, I also had the good fortune to meet several wonderful mentors in school and at work, two of whom will be honored at the conclusion of Philo4Thought’s 2014 HYP Conference on May 2nd in New York City (Philo4Thought2014HYP.eventbrite.com).

What advice would you give Positively Profession-elle readers?

Where can I start? (1) Stick to your dreams; don’t let those who don’t believe in you affect your confidence. (2) Trust the world. (3) Be generous with praise and gratitude. (4) Be open to new information. (5) Don’t wait for the illusion of perfection; take heart in the daily progress and appreciate your final product for what it is. (6) Keep in mind that you are always stronger than you think. (7) Take time out; in work and in life it’s very important to stop and “reboot” on occasion. There’s more on Philo4Thought’s advisory Facebook/Twitter page (@Philo4Thought) and corresponding blog (philoforthought.wordpress.com).

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