I spent almost my entire professional life in a corporate job in the automotive industry. That happened because when I was much younger, I moved to Detroit, and that’s the heart of the automotive industry, the world capital of building cars (Motown and Motor City being 2 of the most famous nicknames for this city). Even though I studied and graduated as an architectural designer, I found myself in the very heart of automotive, so I made the best out of it and joined this industry, learned, developed, gained experience, became an automotive professional in a variety of positions, mainly working as a project manager. Which means in this case, I led a project from first concept to launch into serial production, following the standard automotive processes. The products I worked with were mainly exhaust systems. I’ve worked for several of the big names in this industry, OEM’s and suppliers alike.
On a side note, when I got to the US, I also discovered to my horror that everyone, including architects and builders (so my potential employers), were using the imperial measurement system – except the auto industry, they use metric. So I didn’t even look for a job as an architectural designer, and plunged straight into the automotive world.
Over the years I moved to other countries as well, and hence gained a lot of valuable experience, both professional and cultural, and 2 years ago I started working for yet another automotive supplier located in the Stuttgart area, in the south of Germany. Now I was only a 5-hour car drive away from my hometown in Belgium, 5 hours away from my home, my family and my friends, which had become very important to me, because I had also realized that I’ve become homesick.
I pursued my hobbies of photographing scenery and nature on the many trips I made, created digital paintings, set up a blog for posting and sharing my creations, and read, as is normal for me, a ton of books. I even wrote a novel (unpublished as of yet) and illustrated it with my own water colors.
So how did I get to where I am right now, you ask?
Well the corporate world can be a cruel place and getting to the level of my knowledge and expertise means that I was also getting expensive in the job market. Which is why many companies make a decision at some point in their employees’ careers, which is to simply replace them with young professionals, often fresh out of college, people that are much more low cost but hungry to climb the corporate ladder and willing to put in the work, the long hours and then some in order to move ahead.
In the U.S. I would have simply been disposed of, but here in Europe there are regulations in place to protect workers from that kind of treatment. So I was offered a deal that would allow me to support myself financially for a certain amount of time, and so I decided this would be the time for me to do my own thing. If not now, then when? As they say, if one door closes, another one opens, and my door is to be this business of mine, and so I set out to come up with the concept and a business plan that would include all of my skills, talents, knowledge and past professional experience, bought a domain, set up this website, did the logo creation and branding, created a portfolio, grew my Instagram to showcase my work, learned everything I could about online business and marketing (and still feel like I have barely scratched the surface), and here I am, ready to offer my services to creative professionals like you, and all according to the motto:
Dream Big, Work Hard, Make it Happen …