Archive for November, 2017

One life: many careers?

November 28th, 2017

More than one career? How do you deal with it?

Are you a slash? I am!

A slash is someone who has more than one career, who perhaps, has made a second career out of a hobby or passion. A slash can transition you from one stage in life to another or it can accompany your other career through most of your life.

I am a slash and I have friends and family who are also slashes:

My cousin Mark, for example, is an engineer, project manager and coming up towards retirement. He also, along with his wife, makes soda, mainly rootbeer, in a huge pole barn next to his house. Mark Glewwe of Glewwe Castle Brewery produces black cherry, cream, orange, gingerale, raspberry gingerale, and ginger beer besides the spicy adult-flavored rootbeer. He has been doing this for years and is quite famous among the Minnesota rootbeer and other specialty soda fans. Glewwe Castle Brewery is doing well, so well, in fact, that local beer breweries and bars have begun to order his soft drinks for their customers’ use. What is next? Only he and his wife, Laurel, are in the know. We Swiss relatives are hoping for a “factory” here!

My second cousin, Eleanor Glewwe (niece of Mark’s), is a two-time author of YA science fiction and fantasy, publishing with Penguin/Random House. In her other slash, she is getting a PhD in linguistics at UCLA. Her books, Sparkers and Wildings are quite thought provoking and still fun to read. Eleanor may have other slashes in her future. Her personal website says it all: “I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Maryland and Minnesota. I have a BA in Linguistics and Languages (French and Chinese) from Swarthmore College and have also studied at Université Stendhal, Grenoble III. When not doing linguistics, I write books for children. My hobbies include playing the cello (and, more recently, fiddle), folk dancing, shape note singing, and singing in Datvebis Gundi, the UCLA Georgian chorus.”

My friend Doug Brouwer is a pastor and an author. After a very successful 40-year career in ministry, both in the US and Switzerland, Doug is retiring early to concentrate on his other passion, writing. I was honored to have been in a writers’ group with Doug a few years ago. Besides books, Doug writes a blog, too:

Another friend, Sarah Tesnjak, is a singer, a furniture restorer, and a budding coach. She hopes to also add speaker to her slashes. Sarah has also been an event planner and who knows, maybe she will add this to her list of slashes again one day. Her business is called Simply Transformed.

Another friend, Daniel Gargliardi-Paez, is a surfer on the Swiss National Surfing Team, has his own business finishing/shaping and selling surfboards in Switzerland called Force Line Surfboards, Intl., and is a very successful computer specialist the Apple® Team on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.

Hats off to other friends, colleagues and (former and present) clients who have slash careers: Mary Yee, Dilek Cansin, Selime Berk, Olivier Pirlot, Kate Pendergrass Norlander, Holger Hendricks, Brian Sparks, Dina Ioannou, Albert Klein, Jeff and Kristen Kidder, Urs Rey, Melissa Kurtcuoglu, so many others, and especially the supposedly “retired” Dr. Prabhu Guptara.

Now for me: besides being a writer/blogger, I am a business coach/ business communications lecturer and a sometime speaker. I am also a mentor and coach/helper of start-ups and artists and other creatives. What pays? Most of it, because I do what energizes me. Besides teaching here are some of the activities (besides teaching, writing and speaking) that have filled my time recently:

  • General business coaching
  • Executive and management coaching
  • Career and job transition coaching (both at beginning and middle management levels)
  • Life and career choices coaching (for young people, but also for those who are making decisions after about 10-15 years of work)
  • Moving into management coaching
  • Expat coaching (intercultural transition and adjustments)
  • Time management coaching
  • Decision-making coaching
  • Conflicts at work coaching
  • Burnout coaching
  • Coaching people with slash careers
  • Start-up business coaching (both regular and creative businesses)
  • Starting a coaching business coaching and mentoring
  • Assisting friends who are artists and creatives
  • Masterminds (a kind of small group coaching)
  • Life Coaching

So, are you a slash? Maybe I can help you manage some of the and highlight the benefits. Even if we don’t work together at the moment, at least you have a new name for what you are doing: you can say “I have a slash career – one person, multiple jobs.” You are not schizophrenic, you are multifaceted!!! Now you have a name for “what you do”: a slash career. Enjoy the variety!

Patricia Jehle     




Happy Gratefulness!

November 22nd, 2017


Tomorrow is the USA’s biggest celebration: Thanksgiving. It lasts four days, but tomorrow is the official holiday. ‘Tis the season to be thankful! I realize it would be beneficial for your – and my – health and well-being to really take some time and count our blessings, but this year I am rather sad about a few circumstances, and yet I am grateful about many others.


I have family and friends who are ill, very ill indeed, unemployed, underemployed, and others have major issues like depression and deaths in the immediate family. These are hard circumstances and they make my mini ups and downs at work seem rather weak. The kinds of work issues I have can usually be “overcome” with a little bit of reflection and change in my thoughts and behavior.


My friends and family have other bigger problems, though. Thinking one’s way out of stage three cancer and other major problems is unadvisable. Instead, I need to “be there” for my family and friends as much as I can, though I am often far away from them. This is hard for me, being so far away. Maybe you can relate.


Even though your (and my) life is sometimes hard, it is still important to make that shift from “pity party” to thankful thinking as much and as often as possible. Because this can be difficult to do, I have given you some ideas:


Here are SIX things we can all do to be more grateful:


1-Visit someone that has made a positive influence in your life and specifically thank them. I was thinking I might try one a week before Christmas—tea is always good at these times, which reminds me of “A Cup of Christmas Tea”, a wonderful book/poem about relationships: – the gratefulness journal and jar I have already talked about in previous blogs, so I won’t go there.


2-And do remember to smile– your body will feel happier, so smile. The world may just smile with you, and even if they don’t, you will feel better. Your body reacts to the way you carry it, and this includes smiling (or frowning).


3-Set a gratefulness alarm and do something. My nephew-in-law, for example, takes a photo every day at 3pm and it’s become a kind of portfolio of his various projects. He posts the pics on Facebook—and I am quite pleased to see them. We, too, could do this: take a photo every day at a certain time of something that we are grateful for. The dog, the warm sofa, the cookies on the table, the fire in the fireplace.


4-Keep track of how many times you gripe in a day/in a week, and for every complaint, think of two positives that have happened. Keep everything in a positive balance. It is very easy to get into the negative thinking habit and this little check-up might help to keep you thinking more positively.


5-Thank someone like the postal carrier, the garbage collector, or whoever else you may feel is overlooked, but essential to our lives. Thank the bus driver or the the cashier. It will make both your days.


6- Remember to ask yourself what you are grateful for, preferably every day. I do a gratefulness check at the end of the day- what am I grateful for, and what can I improve tomorrow. I usually write my “thankfulness list” down and put the paper in a gratitude jar that is my kitchen.


Here is my Thanksgiving Gratefulness list for tomorrow: Family, near and far; Friends (ditto); a great slash career: lecturer/coach/writer; cool students and clients; I love my dog; my creature comforts (home, health, food); Swiss public transportation; and the amazing fall weather we have been having; not to mention books and further training this fall.


What’s on your gratefulness list?


Of course, it is also a good idea to take time this weekend and think about what you are grateful for — and what you can change in your circle of influence.


Wishing Happy Thanksgiving to all, those in the US, and those who are not. Think of all the things that you are thankful for and give thanks.



Patricia Jehle            


Take time to give thanks

Have a Hygge Time!

November 15th, 2017

A walk can help you think and enjoy the weather


Hygge: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)

  • Oxford Dictionary


My Danish “Hygge” ancestry must be calling me this fall. As the days get shorter and colder here in the northern hemisphere, my thoughts turn to cozy activities and the, things that make me happy in the wintertime:


Fires, tea and cookies and continued dog walks


Our wood stove is firing up and warming the living room with its radiant heat. The windows in the stove shine with firey golden light. We take great pleasure in the comfort of this stove in the winter months. While we watch the fire, we drink cinnamon tea and eat (Christmas and other) cookies, preferably homemade ones. This morning the frost shown silver on the grass as I walked the dog in the “early” morning light. It gets light at about 7am at the moment, and the sun disappears from the village at about 4pm with darkness arriving just after 5pm. Activities like lighting fires in the woodstove, drinking tea and cookies and taking walks when it is light are part of my seasonal Hygge time. These comforting activities give me and my family great pleasure during fall and winter.


Warm woolen mittens and other cozy clothes

I have finally gotten out my flannel lined chinos, my woolen pants, my thick winter socks. My boots have been waterproofed once again. I love these Hygge-days for the comfort of fluffy woolen clothes and the fact I can wear my boots again. I long for some REAL snow, here in the Swiss midlands, where it is still as green as green can be. Maybe a visit to the snowy mountains is in order.


Home made soups, casseroles, and fondue

I have discovered soup season again this fall, making turnip, pumpkin, beetroot and other soups. At the moment the crockpot is cooking some bone broth, too. And of course, there’s always chili con carne. I make mine with black beans, and not kidney beans, and topped with Edamer cheese. Soups warm a soul like nothing else can on cold rainy nights.


Friends, meals together and game nights

Now is the time to get together for warm meals with friends and family. It’s time for hot-dish. Where I come from hot-dish is what one calls a casserole in most other parts of the English speaking world. My sons say that hot-dish is just another word for leftovers, and often this is true. With all of these foodie nights, there come also game nights. Last year friends introduced us to two rather “Indie” games: Coup and Hanabe. Both are quite fun, and then add “Exploding Kittens” and “Dominion” and you’ve got an evening of laughter and silliness mixed with some strategy, too. This past weekend my daughter and her friends joined in playing some of these games in our cozy kitchen.

Long ago, in Minnesota, we read our favorite (short) stories together

Why not spend a night with a few friends reading short stories together? I did this once and that wonderful experience has accompanied me for over a quarter of a century. I suggest you try it. Hygge is meant to be shared with other people, and why not a meal (or cookies and tea) with story telling afterwards?


Whatever you choose to do, if you want to do it the hygge (pronounced “hoo-ge”, I have read), way you must find a comfy cozy way of doing something that brings you warmth and comfort, and then you share that activity with others. The coziness is meant to be a communal feeling.


Wishing you many hygge moments this fall and winter!


Patricia Jehle


ps: for recipes, just write me!

Rough Life? Look at the Stars!

November 8th, 2017

So you’ve had a bad day, a bad week, a bad…. And you’ve thought about it long enough: What went wrong, what was my part, what I had no control over. You know what went wrong (or at least mostly). You’ve gone through the grief process long enough. Now what?

Get out of Your Own Way

Take Action

Time to take back your life and the control you have over yourself and your future, Set-backs and failure are a part of live and wallowing is the first step to change. But don’t stay there, or your wallowing in your failure can become (self-)obession! So, look up-

Look at the Stars

A friend of mine told me last weekend that once when she was fired her girlfriend said to her, “You have two choices, burry your head in the sand and go nowhere or look at the stars.” My friend chose to look at the stars and all the uncountable possibilities in her life. She has never regretted her posture, nor has she looked back. Onward and upward! You, too, should look at all your possibilities. Maybe you know that the writer of the song “Jingle Bells” had failed at a lot of things before writing this world famous song. This particular song was sung at me in a refugee camp some three decades ago by little kids who didn’t speak English and had never seen snow. “Jingle Bells” is a testimony to looking up and seeing the stars.

Look at the stars!

Get Creative

Everyone has part of themselves that holds a childlike wonder. Find that part of you and your inner child will help you become more creative with your possibilities because part of creativity is experimentation and play with options, sometimes wildly crazy ones. On Monday I went to the Female Founder Summit in Zürich and one of the speakers talked about how the “outliers”, the “crazy people” are looked for by business angels and venture capitalists, at least some of these types prefer outliers. Those are the people who are in touch with the child within them and are ready to play a bit, to experiment, to do something new. Maybe you need to play games, more. Maybe a walk in the woods paying attention to the changing seasons would be more you. Finally, maybe you want to draw (or doodle) your future as you would like it, and remember to include all aspects of your life.

Know Thyself

Remember to take time to listen to yourself, the stories you tell yourself and check them for accuracy. Often we tell ourselves stories that are partially (or even fully) incorrect. Remember to fact-check those stories with your accomplishments, experience, training, goals, and values. Remember your emotions are 1) neutral and 2) fleeting, so do not make choices mostly on your emotions, although a “gut feeling” is not the same thing, and that you should consider. A good exercise on values clarification might be a good place to begin getting to know yourself better.

I can help you with most of these above activities as a coach, and am happy to walk through your failures with you to help you look at the stars.

I wish you a great time of reflection and star gazing!


Patricia Jehle