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5 Things About Me: Ask Shai Anything Part I

Ask Me Anything ProjectThanks, FMF, for being the first kind and brave soul to help me out with my little experiment. FMF posted 7 questions, and I'm answering the first five in this post (more to come later). So, here 'ya go...

1. Are you married?

No secrets here. Yes, I am. To a true English gentleman (soon to be part Aussie ;-)) --- who swept me off my feet through a romantic whirlwind courtship. In fact, largely attributed to the online world. 'been married for 5.5 years now.

2. Do you have kids?

Yes. Just one kid right now - a boy - who just stole my heart completely and utterly. He's just over a year old at this time. A little rascal - and totally adorable.

3. Where do you live?

In a lovely, new house in a suburb just outside Adelaide, Australia.

4. What’s your work background?

Phooeey! This is a long one. Okay. I'm not sure if you're ready to read a long response here or not. But, a promise is a promise so...

My first "real" work experience was straight off uni (got myself a 4-yr bachelor of psych degree). I was a human resource practitioner, who also did freelance writing on the side (a gig I learned to do since uni days, instead of flipping burgers, etc.). Within one year of graduation, I was promoted to supervisory level (employee relations specialist) in a 9,000-employee strong U.S. company based in Manila. 'got retrenched (along with 4,000+ employees, I believe) after about a year, due to merger and cutback issues.

When I received a great offer, I decided to shift careers and became a communications supervisor in an insurance company. The job didn't last long because I then had an opportunity to spend a year in the U.S. --- where I travelled in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Las Vegas, and spending most of my time around California (mostly LA). I had a job offer there as well, but decided to come back to Manila and set up my own freelance/ communications/ personal development business. I became a teacher-trainer and writer-editor with various clients from multinational companies to individuals.

A few months later, I met my husband. And after getting married, I moved to Singapore to be with him (he was a lecturer there). I then started my graduate studies in psychology, whilst continuously pursuing freelance work online. I also re-discovered my love for painting and creating.

In the 3 years that I lived in Singapore, apart from freelance writing for online and print publications, I also practiced as a psychologist (on a consultancy and full time basis). I also began to sell my artwork to various collectors worldwide. My first book was also published around that time.

Due to my husband's work, we relocated to Australia 2.5 years ago. And, I've continued to pursue my freelance and consultancy work to this day. I received my Masters Degree in Applied Psychology last year (July 2004). But, no, I'm not registered here in Oz just yet.

For an even longer story, check out my work background in psychology, art and writing/communcations. Some info need updating, though.

5. What do you do for fun?

For me, my work is fun. So, I get carried away at times. 🙂 When I'm on a work break, I love to spend time with my boys --- playing, talking, going on outings/travelling, watching TV or videos, listening to music...

And, when I get the chance, I paint or create something. Or read or do some "creative writing." I also dabble with a lot of crafts. This year, I'm really in to scrapbooking and jewellery making.

I also enjoy meeting up with friends occassionally for food and/or chats. And, although I got in to podcasting and video blogging partly because of work, I'm really having fun with those too.

Oh, and I eat lots and lots of chocolates. Definitely F - U - N.

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children’s book.

A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” list.

Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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