About Me

bioPicHi, I’m Emmanuelle. I am a French expat currently living in beautiful Vancouver, BC, on the West coast of Canada.

Hey, where’s the accent from?

I come from a Franco-Belgian family, and I was born and raised in Antibes on the French Riviera.

People ask me on a regular basis if I’m Russian / Dutch / Swedish / Irish / South African, so I guess I don’t really sound French, just foreign (although I do a great Inspector Clouzeau impression, but not during business hours).

I am fully bilingual in English and French, and all my services are available in both languages.

So why exactly should we work with you?

Aha. Good question.

After all, there are at least a half-dozen non-profit organisations ready to help you settle in Vancouver, and chances are the career counsellor they’ll assign you will turn out to be quite competent.

The only problem is that very few of these advisers truly understand motivation - and its corollary, losing steam and giving up, or settling for less than you could aspire to.

They might give you useful tips, have the best intentions in the world and be totally dedicated to their clients… but they’re not going to be there for you when you’ve sent 47 rĂ©sumĂ©s without getting a single interview and you’re completely depressed and you don’t know what to do next.

So do you have to choose between expertise and support? Well, I don’t think it’s fair to ask you to choose. You need both. That’s what I’m here for – to provide both competent advice AND personalized support.

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I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed, and uprooted, and unsure about the future.

Oh yes, I do. I’ve moved 13 times in 20 years. Believe me, what you’re experiencing at the moment – be it fear, elation, panic, or homesickness – I’ve been there too.

I’ve been living in Vancouver since 2001. I made my share of mistakes at the beginning – it took me 3 years of entry-level jobs before I could work my way back up to a managerial position. But I eventually cracked the code and understood how you get the good jobs in this city.

While I was busy trying to get my career back on track, I also learned everything I could about the Canadian workplace culture, the local business networks, the provincial economy, etc.

I became familiar with social media and blogging and all those tools that don’t seem directly career-related but are actually critical to your success, whether you’re looking for a good job or want to be your own boss.

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Am I actually qualified to talk about all of this?

Qualifications – I have a few. I hold a Master’s degree in management and marketing. I have 11 years experience in market research, sales and corporate management, in such diverse environments as the car industry, personal counselling services, and a boutique interior design firm with the most expensive leather couches you’ve ever seen.

I currently own two companies, Winning Away Expat Support and Vitamin Zen Consulting Inc. I have firsthand experience with a variety of business structures (sole proprietorships, incorporated companies and partnerships), so I can guide you through all the paperwork and boring government stuff required to start your own business.

I am a formally trained coach, which means that unlike your run-of-the-mill consultant, I have plenty of tools and techniques to get you back on track when you get stuck, discouraged or overwhelmed. I also happen to be a really, really good listener.

I adhere to the International Coaching Federation’s rigourous Code of Ethics.

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An added bonus (and a warning):

Have you noticed that experts and professional types tend to be boring and overly serious? Yawn. Whereas I’ve been accused of many things, but being boring is not one of them.

While I take my work and my clients very seriously, I believe in having fun. I also believe it’s much easier for you to stay motivated and positive if I don’t sound like a self-important, snooze-inducing guru.

So if you’re allergic to fun or offended by experts who don’t hide behind big words, please don’t hire me. I’ll be happy to refer you to someone more boring than I am ;)

Anything else?

My superpowers include learning obscure languages, and walking scary distances in high heels.

I can often be found singing along to a very strange mix of Gregorian chant, David Bowie and German Industrial music – I’m not really sure what that says about me…

My three favourite cities in the entire world are Vancouver, Berlin and Beirut.

I use entirely* too many adverbs for my own good. I promise to reform my wicked ways, starting tomorrow. Maybe.
* see?

If you’re not exhausted after reading all of this, you can also find me on my blog: Winning Away – Expat Tips & Resources.

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