Marne Platt Unplugged: Insights From A Ms Career Girl Columnist
From age 5, I dreamed of being a veterinarian, taking care of horses. Thanks to persistence and very supportive parents, I achieved that dream in May 1993, and I loved it. Then allergies forced me to stop, and my real adventures began.
Moving into corporate life, I began to change jobs, even countries – and that changed my outlook tremendously. When the parent corporation sold my company, I took 2 years off to fulfill another dream, and wrote a book, Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way . I’m back in the corporate world now, chasing my next dream: leading a startup in human or veterinary medicine.
My life philosophy has 2 pillars: keep learning, and don’t let life be boring. I’ve always dreaded the idea of looking back on my life from my 90s and thinking ‘that was dull!’ Key points of my life philosophy:
- Keep learning: Life is full of new experiences. Explore them!
- Surround yourself with interesting people: Friends are the glitter that makes life sparkle
- Laugh at yourself: We all do silly things or make mistakes. Laugh, learn, then move on.
- Do what interests you: Try for a job that stimulates your brain. If yours doesn’t, use your non-working time to do what you love
- Take smart risks: push yourself a bit; you’ll be surprised at what you can do
- Be independent: Make up your own mind, plan for your own future. Don’t rely on anyone else to do it for you.
- Be kind: simple and old-fashioned, but I believe that most people are friendly and interesting. Just treat them as you want them to treat you.
I’m smart about risks – no solo trekking through North Korea for me- and yet I push myself a little bit each time, following my interests. Living in 4 different countries, waltzing at a Viennese ball, getting lost driving through the mountains of Slovenia, writing a book: all experiences that would never have occurred to me, had I remained in veterinary practice. Taking smart chances has paid off!
Sure, I’ve made mistakes; who hasn’t? I learned to laugh at myself, and not dwell on them too much. Just extract the lesson and move on. As a friend says, ‘put on your big girl panties and deal with it.’
Speaking of friends, mine have diverse backgrounds, interests and points of view. My friends teach me, share celebrations and sorrows, and build memories. My life is more interesting with them in it.
Work matters too: for a sense of accomplishment, to contribute to society, to teach me new skills, and of course for money. Work took me to dozens of countries, introduced me to hundreds of people. I’ve learned that work’s place in your life evolves. I approach it differently now than I did in my 20s.
My 2 proudest accomplishments are becoming a veterinarian, and publishing my book, Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way Both took persistence and hard work, pushed me beyond my internal limitations, and helped me to do a little good in the world.
Writing Living Singlish and blogging for Ms. Career Girl help me pass on the lessons I’ve learned, to support the women coming behind me. Helping other women to build their dream lives is, for me, the ultimate way of ‘paying it forward.’