When you decided on your course of study, it was likely a mix of your academic talents and what you thought would fit you as a career. After that, you took the next right step (or misstep) and you kept on learning and growing.
You never know what the full journey will be as you embark up on it — nor is that the point!
I first met Olga as a babysitter for my two children while she was studying medicine at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. I was immediately impressed by her bright enthusiasm and kindness, but was also super-impressed that she was so personable and fun-loving yet studying medicine, which I had always thought of as very serious.
As Olga transitioned into her career, she told me one of her goals was to work with me on her personal style. Of course, I was honored! It has been a joy and a privilege to watch her take each step on her journey.
As your personal style coach, I love sharing client’s stories with you — not only to raise my amazing clients up and celebrate their accomplishments, but also to serve as models of possibility for you. When Olga began her work with me, she did not know she would become a highly-prized content specialist in STEM. However, she knew she wanted to feel comfortable in her own skin and in how she shows up each day — and I’m guessing that desire resonates with you.
Together, Olga and I co-created a personal style that works to lift her up and support her — and that can be true for you, too!
Interview: Olga Fedorova
1. How do you think your first impression ties into your success?
I hope that from the first impression, people that meet me get a sense of who I am and what I stand for. I like to wear clothes that are feminine, comfortable and have bright colours. My passion is to empower women, so with my first impression I hope to attract like-minded people that are empowering and uplifting like me and repel those who will drag me down.
2. You were pre-med and have gotten into healthcare and data science — why? Is this a growth market? What types of opportunities do you see here?
With the rise of artificial intelligence and automation, more and more healthcare experts are needed to validate data applications and analysis. There are not many people who have studied medicine and yet do not work in that field but combine a completely different set of skills. In that way I am in quite a of unique, specialized position in the market.
What I really aspire to, however, is to move away from corporate and become an entrepreneur. Freedom and allocating my own time is one of my core values and unfortunately corporate does not really provide that. But I do have a plan on how to achieve that with the help of corporate in the next couple of years.
3. What prompted you to decide to work on your personal style?
I always found a lot of clothes uncomfortable: jeans, tops, tights, skirts, wearing layers. At certain point I caught myself wearing leggings and sweaters almost exclusively and I was getting close to crossing over to pajamas for almost everything except work.
Also, Fall and Winter also would always affect me in a bad way. Already finding so many clothes uncomfortable I could never figure out how to dress appropriately for winter: cute, festive, warm and comfortable.
4. Was there a roadblock that initially got in your way of working on your personal style — and how did you clear it?
My biggest roadblock were finances. I was really afraid to spend ‘so much’ money on a personal styling course. I cleared it because of something that my mother encouraged me to do. She always said that you need to invest money in yourself, whatever that means to you! And that it always pays off in the end.
Looking back at it and making an actual calculation in my personal finance excel sheet, I KNOW that the money that I spend on the course is insignificant to the amount of money that I spent and would have spent (without doing this course) on disorganized shopping, e.g. buying clothes that look bad on me, never wearing them or ‘forcing’ myself to wear them, buying more clothes that look bad on me and don’t fit each other and do not make complete outfits. That vicious cycle of ‘unconscious’ buying of more and more clothes is much more expensive!
5. Do you have a passion or purpose my readers can help you amplify?
Yes! In this time that so many women are speaking out about aggression and sexual harassment, the time has come for us to do something about that and teach ourselves and others how to protect ourselves from this. Dressing in a way that makes you feel confident, empowered and strong IS already a way to ward off aggressors! Eliminating doubt and being 100% in sync with yourself and your personal style is a big step in either protecting yourself or overcoming obstacles on your way to achieving your full potential!
How We Make It Happen
When you hear the call to feel strong and confident, it is your soul calling to you telling you to take that next step.
For many of my clients, this next step happens in the transition from corporate to entrepreneurship — the need to be visible for your brand drives a desire to feel empowered every day. Whether you are working in corporate or have already started your business, it doesn’t matter.
For Olga, the feeling that she can call in empowerment and, in turn, empower others is central to her journey. What might that call to confidence be for you?
- Hear the call. You know you’re capable of bigger things than you’re doing right now. It is not about doing more, but rather about taking on more responsibility. If you are currently in corporate and want to take the next step or are marshaling your resources like Olga, know that you can honor the journey — and your own special skill set.
- How will you honor that call? In Olga’s case, she is doubling-down on her expertise to carve out a special niche in the marketplace. She knows her value — and knows that simply being who she is and standing strongly in that space is its own purpose. She also knows she’ll be taking a next step — and she’ll be ready for it when she’s ready for it.
- What’s the next step? Whether it’s figuring out what your special sauce is or signing up for my newsletter to learn more about how to feel empowered every day, there are myriad ways to take your next step. You just need to decide which one — and take it! As Martin Luther King said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”