“Coming to the beach?” Two words I have never used during a work day (…unfortunately). But there are some lucky ladies that call the beach their office and the sun their desk lamp running their career to its light.
As part of the article series about career women who inspire me, this week I decided to host an impressive woman who made the sea in to a glorious career. A real champion with awards (!!!) – Attorney Vered Bouskila, former Olympic sailor and vice president of business development and project management at the Israeli Olympic Committee.
I met Vered in law school, but while I was writing papers and studying for exams, she participated in competitions, won prizes, medals and achievements. Dressed in sportswear, even before Valentino and Fendi put them on the runways, she was all laughter and amazing energy, reserved only for those who breathed beach fresh air every day.
So far beyond the fact that this is a woman who excels in every field she puts her mind to, Vered has recently got another impressive achievement under her tool belt by speaking candidly about her glamorous failures in "FuckUp Nights" – a series of lectures by leading entrepreneurs, cultural and public figures on the less successful moments of their lives. In the case of Vered, it’s about dealing with being overweight in an uncompromising industry like the competitive sports sector. I admit that I was moved to tears when I heard her story and immediately invited her to meet for coffee.
Where will we find you every morning at eight-thirty?
“The thing I like most about my routine is that there is not one fixed answer. The only thing that comes to mind is that every morning I take my daughter (two years old) to school. We have a tradition where we start the day together in a cafe and from there, each day is very different. Twice a week I practice Thai boxing with my incredible coach Danny, and during the rest of the week I am in meetings or just in the office".
If you weren’t a former Olympic athlete and vice president of the Olympic Committee today, you would certainly be…?
"Honestly, I can’t imagine a different professional life. I was active in sports from the age of eight to the age of thirty, and I feel that in this respect I have fulfilled my mission. Today, five years after I retired from competitive sports, I know my abilities and talents well and I would probably use them in some way in the business world. I love pressure, competition, goals and intensive work. Failures encourage me, people and trips overseas are my comfort zone. I would probably put it all together into an unconventional role".
What is the most useful item in your closet?
“Jeans, unequivocally. On a normal day I can combine them with sneakers or "Upgrade" the look a bit with high heels and a cool shirt for a more serious meeting. It feels the youngest and most right for me. Recently, especially in meetings abroad, I discovered that sportswear is fashionable. It’s precisely at these very important meetings that this dress code suits me best. I go into the room and immediately people know who I am. The garment is already beginning to tell my story and it's a very strong thing. Today I try to bring sportswear items into my closet that will help me diversify the elegant, formal look".
What will you never wear for work?
“Short skirt – I don’t have the legs to pull it off".
Plastics, take away or lunch outside?
“Lunch outside. If I happen to be in the office I get food from outside. One of the things that shocked me the most in the "Life After Sport" is that there is a lunch break, as if, all day!!! As in for the purpose of actually having lunch :-)
This was a crazy WOW moment for me. In sports there is no such thing. The maximum I would eat is a sandwich while working on the boat or an energy snack at sea in between training. It's a real treat for me to stop everything and eat, both socially and as a business meeting, and I'm still get excited by it".
Do you have any tips for successful career management?
“You know that old cliché – "Do only what you love"? So that's it, turns out that it’s super accurate. I don’t know anything else. If there is no passion in my work I have no motivation to succeed. I need satisfaction in doing like I need air for breathing. Since I've been involved in competitive sports all my life, it's very similar to running a business only the business is yourself. The amount of investment is limitless, there is no separation between work and private life, everything mixes. But that's how I like it. My work must be part of my life and I don’t need breaks. On the contrary, the deeper I dive into my work, the more gratified I am.
Though if I have to give one tip – I would say – celebrate achievements, both small and big. I've learned that in every process there are many more failures than successes, and that's fine because there I'm growing and developing, challenging myself and feeling alive. As an adult, I learned that we should enjoy those moments when we feel we have succeeded. Not taking everything for granted or looking for what didn’t go right. Celebrate, enjoy, mark it done and move on full of energy".
Do you Tip for managing a successful wardrobe?
“For years I've been trying to buy a few expensive and fancy garments instead of many items at reasonable prices. Every season I think about how I feel like turning my closet into a small yet exact boutique. So far, I haven’t been able to accomplish the task. I love diversity. I like to buy clothes and can’t afford to buy at the pace I want.
I find the combination of fashion and practicality at the prices that I can afford, especially when I shop in Europe at Massimo Dutti, Zara, Topshop, Mango and H&M. Each season I have my winning jeans with the perfect shoes and I vary my top and accessories. What's more, I invest in basics – “awesome looking for a few seasons".
Thank you Vered Bouskila
Vered's look – JACKET & sweater: fila / TROUSERS & SUNGLASSES: PERSONAL COLLECTION
my look – JACKET & sweater: fila / skirt: H&M / jewelry: finem / Sunglasses: ray ban – luxottica / heels & PINK SOCKS : zara