I believe that we can transform our economy and our society through transforming our jobs.
My vision is to enable as many corporate professionals as possible to do work that matters to them.
This is how I make my vision a reality:
As an educator, I help corporate professionals to redefine their jobs on their terms based on emotional intelligence and business wisdom.
As a speaker, I inspire people with my keynotes about job crafting, sidepreneurship, and how we find meaning in and determine the value of work.
As a change maker, I bring together courageous, inspiring corporate professionals who raise their voices and stand up for their convictions to bring human-centered change to organizations everywhere.
Does that sound a little idealistic? Sure—but that doesn’t mean it’s impractical. I’m very pragmatic about how to get there—and how WE can get there. Want to join forces? I can’t wait to hear from you!
... and this is my story
How did I go from a frustrated young professional to a grounded and inspired person doing the work that matters to me?
I was freaking out. Everyone around me was taking major steps in their careers—and their lives—and I didn't know what to do.
I used to wake up and check my phone first thing in the morning, where I’d see…
... my former co-worker sharing her promotion to Vice President on LinkedIn
... my childhood buddy posting beach pics of his surf school in Bali on Instagram
... my university roommate sending me baby photos of her perfect baby no. 2
I felt like a headless chicken in a golden cage
I know how it is to have a very well-paid job with all the perks you can imagine. Hearing my friends saying: "If I could only have your job...". I work as a management consultant for one of the biggest professional service firms. I sit at the table with management boards and HR directors of global companies to help them define and implement their people strategy. Before that, I worked in investment banks and strategy consulting firms. Gosh, I work for almost a decade in the professional service business.
And for a long time, I felt trapped in this golden cage. A stressed and frustrated young professional suffering from FOMO. I was fed up with the bullshit work which often ended up in the digital garbage bin. I had a little, but a hellish loud voice in my head: "You have to do something, quit your job". I was busier with overthinking my exit strategy than being focused on my work. In the meantime, I was chasing the next promotion to make the suffering bearable: "Only if I climb up the ladder, I will be happier".
I put all my hope in sweaty yoga pants
I had just started getting into yoga when I saw an ad offering a free class—and, well, I didn’t read the fine print. I ended up in a yoga teacher information session. Before I even knew what I was doing, I had enrolled in my first yoga teacher training. I ended up clocking over 600 hours of yoga and movement teacher training all over the world. I made the journey out of my head and into my body (down to my little pinky toes) and beyond. I learned to breathe. And for the first time, I meditated. I recognized that I didn’t have to listen to that sneaky little voice in my head that was always driving me crazy. And sometimes—just for a split second—I was actually able to experience stillness. I liked it a lot.
Now, suddenly, I found myself thinking, “If only I could become a yoga teacher in Bali, then I’d finally be happy.” I had something I could chase again, a light at the end of the tunnel. Perfect, right?
Except…it wasn’t. I denied for a long time that the yoga path didn't bring the fulfillment I had hoped for. I distracted myself by pretending to be the ultimate happy yoga girl on social media—but it wasn’t the truth, and eventually I couldn't stand it any longer. I realized that all I was doing was chasing after the next “if only,” trying to make a change to my external circumstances.
That’s when I arrived at my big “aha!” moment:
I needed to change my internal circumstances.
Peace of mind and fulfillment both from within, and they come from a set of tools and skills that you can build for yourself.
There’s a name for it: emotional intelligence.
What I never expected to happen
I decided to stay in my 9-to-5+ PowerPoint Rockstar job, because leaving it to move to Bali to be a yoga teacher/life coach/blogger felt like running away. I knew that I could only find true peace of mind and fulfillment by changing something inside myself.
I started taking on tons of training, studying all kinds of books and slowly applying the skills I was learning to my workplace. I moved to Amsterdam, got rid of my fancy business suits and dresses and started feeling more like myself. I stopped putting on a professional mask. I spoke my mind (which was a real game-changer). I told my boss and co-workers what kind of work I wanted to do and which topics I wanted to focus on. I refused to do bullshit work.
I expected that my behavior would get me into trouble—but the opposite happened. It was like a miracle. Suddenly, people started seeking me out when they had projects they thought I’d be interested in. I got promoted. I inspired my colleagues and clients to do the same. The changes I see around me are stunning! I redefined work on my terms—and now I’m more successful in my career than ever.
The cherry on the top
I was leaps and bounds ahead of where I’d started—but I still had the feeling I was a few puzzle pieces short of the full picture. There was more that I wanted to create and share with the world. In 2019, I cut back my hours at my corporate job to found my own side business, The Inner Business School—and I started pursuing my dream of studying anthropology.
When I first told people about my anthropology study, the reaction was often a questioning glance. Why anthropology? What it is actually? The relevance of anthropology to my work wasn’t obvious to everyone else—but it is to me.
Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, trying to answer the question: What does it mean to be human? I focus my studies on the cultural differences in how societies find meaning in work and determine the value of work.
If you’re wondering, “how the heck is she doing all of this?” then I’ll tell you: it's hard, and sometimes it can be overwhelming—but if you're passionate about things, you keep going. (At least until your husband pulls the plug on your laptop to make sure you get enough rest!)
What sets me apart
No, I'm not a coach!
I'm just a girl with a laptop and a serious addiction to buying dusty-smelling old science books. If I had to make a recipe for my personality, it’d be this: one cup of Richard Branson, half a cup of Dalai Lama, a spoonful of Carrie Bradshaw, a pinch of Sheldon Cooper, and a sprinkling of wishful thinking on top.
I'm in the same (business) boat as you
I'm not a digital nomad life coach sitting on the beach all day long sipping a drink out of a coconut while telling you how you should be able to thrive in the depths of corporate madness. I'm one of you! A well-educated millennial with a dream to change the world for the better. There’s no “do as I say, not as I do” factor here.
I know how the business wind blows
Over the past ten years, I’ve worked with countless management boards and HR directors. I know what they expect, what they reward and what skills they need for the future. I speak their language—and I can help you with your personal branding to get (almost) everything you want in the corporate world.
I tell it like it is—no sugar-coating
And yes, I know it can be a little confrontational sometimes. I’m here to be a shiny, honest mirror for you, even if it’s not always flattering. I say what I think. I write as I speak. 100% bullshit-free (even though I'm the master of bullshit bingo). I’m not here to play any games.
Imagine a business world in which the majority of us do work that matters to us—and we’re able to land top positions at major companies to influence the business world for the better. A sustainable and fair economy (a "care economy") starts with your fulfillment and inner peace. That is what my work is about.
A few more Svenja facts:
Lives in (and is in love) with Amsterdam
Speaks her own language (a mix of German, Dutch and English)
Obsessed with kimonos (no, no photos on this website)
Used to be a professional swimmer
Loves to eat everything (plant-based only!) out of bowls