My name is Vicky. I’m a 40-year-old single mother from Greece, and I’d like to share my story with you.
Architecture was always a childhood dream. When the time came, I failed to pass all the exams and enter university. Consequently, I realized that the specific exam system didn’t suit me; therefore, I changed my destination.
I decided to visit Luxembourg in order to check any possibilities to work within the European Union, but first I had to learn French! So, I took five hours of French in the morning, and in the evening I was a part-time cashier at a burger house. It took me eight months to travel, and when I did it, I realized that it was not for me. I missed a lot the Greek sunshine and my family. I was 20 by then.
After my Luxembourg experience, I had big fights with my parents. They were worried about my future. I continued working as a full-time cashier in order for me to be independent. After investigating my academic opportunities, I decided to study at University of La Verne Athens Campus. It was an American university extremely expensive for my parents and by Greek standards! It was then, when I asked them to pay for my school, that I was committed to pay them with my work.
After eight to nine hours of work, I was changing my clothes and I was walking up to the university building to attend my courses. After two years and several jobs, I got my first “real” job. I was hired as a sales back-office girl in a big multinational company: Pernod Ricard Hellas. I was up 6 o’clock every morning, at my office at 7:30, and at university from evening until night, every single day except Friday. After a year of hard work, the board of directors proposed that I build and take over a new department in the company: Credit Control. What a challenge, and I was only 23! I carried on the hard work and the university courses, and after two years, a new proposal came up. I took on project management, and it was a experience!
One year before I resigned, I was Business Development Manager, and the company was paying my university tuition. I was 27 when I met my husband. I fell in love deeply and I had to decide either to stay in Athens and follow a career, or to resign and follow my heart and my husband—driving four hours from Athens. After two years, I became the mother of a sweet boy. It took me two more years to leave from the city and return back home.
My husband and I divorced, and I had to return to my parents’ house. I had little money and no job. In 2008, the economic crisis had just begun in Greece. I sent out a couple of resumes, but there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, I had an idea. I created an ironing and delivery company in Athens. I borrowed money from my family; I got loans from the banks in order to make my dream company come true! And guess what? I did it! After three years of living with my son in my childhood bedroom, we managed to rent a small house.
I was working well even during crisis years. Of course, it was hard and I had to overcome many, many obstacles. Together with my company of ten people, I was appointed CEO of another small company. Later on, I studied to become a business and life coach. Another big step.
Now, I still run my business and I’m Chief Empowerment Officer at Resilience& Greece, as well as Country Manager and partner. Lately, I’m working on a project based on women’s empowerment, and I have found what is going to be my job for the upcoming years!
I want to share my power and energy with other women, so that they can see with their eyes an example of how to adapt to changes and be a fighter in life. I’m a human, mother, woman, entrepreneur, professional, and much more. I really enjoy each and every moment, and I take life as a challenge. Of course, sometimes I’m blue, but most of the time I smile and I follow the light! Inside me and outside me. I continually search for the light in others, too! And believe me, bright one, there is light!