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Fred van Eijk, Who am I to write for International Women’s Day?

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BY FRED VAN EIJK

Who am I to write for International Women’s Day? I was born in a time when women (my mother) were instantly made redundant for falling pregnant. It’s hard to understand that this was once commonplace, but it isn’t lost on me that we wouldn’t be celebrating a day for womankind if women, like my mother, had not paved the way for change.

As a fierce advocate for women, particularly in the workforce, my greatest contribution to the cause are my daughters, Maggy and Annabel. Creative, passionate and independent, their tenacity at work and grace to be the best version of themselves inspires me every day. To me, International Women’s Day is my Daughter’s Day (I also have a son, who is a wonderful champion of women’s rights.)

Now if I could, I would hand the reigns over to my daughter Maggy to pen this piece. An accomplished writer and now published author, Maggy just launched a brave book on mental health titled “Remember This When You’re Sad; A book for mad, sad and glad days.” Her honest account of her own experiences in the workforce as a young woman and tips to counter days when you’re feeling low really resonated with me, and I wanted to share them – because being successful in your career is not only about the highs, but how you manage the lows, and it’s important to remind ourselves of that. Maggy’s tips for what to do when you feel sad at work are:

  • Go outside and stomp around the building. Scream into the wind.
  • Don’t apologise if you’re crying: You’re allowed to cry and be emotional, there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • Arrange something fun to do after work so you know the second time is up, you can bust out of there and do something more interesting.
  • Google other jobs (on the sly) that you can either apply for later or just remind yourself that a job is just a job, and you can get another one – it’s fine.
  • Walk back to your desk and put your headphones on. Play “I Will Survive” and get back to whatever it was you were doing for the remainder of the day.
  • Come in the next day dressed as a F****** queen, power suit and all.

 

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It’s a new era, and I’m glad to be part of a world where women are celebrated for their achievements and that it’s okay to be mad, sad or glad, even at work. Young women like Maggy and Annabel, are continuing to pave that way for generations to come and I couldn’t be prouder to be their Dad. I am also hugely proud of all the great women I work with and feel blessed to be part of a business where the future has no limits. No limits for men. No limits for women.

Fred van Eijk is interim Managing Director Travel Counsellors Australia and founder and Managing Director Travel Counsellors The Netherlands and Belgium.  You can order a copy of his daughter’s book on Amazon.  Remember This When You’re Sad – Maggy Van Eijk

 

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Fred van Eijk – Managing Director Travel Counsellors Australia & General Manager Netherlands and Belgium.

 

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