Dimitra Karatolou

Since I was a child, I dreamt of pursuing a career through which I would be given the opportunity to explore, create and contribute socially. When I graduated from the German School of Athens, I felt that the ideal profession for me was journalism. Therefore, I aimed at the Communication and Mass Media Department of the University of Athens. While studying, I worked as a journalist at the International News Department of a nationwide broadcasting Greek TV station. Having developed a special interest in psychology, I was thinking how many things I would change in the work environment I was. So, upon my graduation my dreams had changed. I headed for the UK, with a scholarship due to excellent academic performance, to study Social and Organizational Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. For my dissertation I researched the use of emotions in professional roles (emotional labour).

When I returned to Greece, I kept creative writing as a hobby and started working in Human Resources. Quickly I was assigned positions of responsibility at leading national and multinational companies, both in Greece and Germany (retail, automotive, banking and education). Throughout my career in in-house HR roles I have been actively involved in recruiting and selection -until today I have conducted more than 6.000 interviews-, training, performance appraisal, employee surveys and change management. As truly valuable experiences I consider leading the training and certification of a multinational company’s dealer network in Greece, setting up and reorganizing HR Departments, designing innovative systems for cross-cultural communication and carrying out Assessment and Development Centers.

The year 2006 was a milestone in my path because I reconsidered my career and lifestyle. For 6 months I lived in the island of Santorini where I worked as a winery tour guide. In this wonderful natural environment my thoughts and feelings became clear. I started writing again, social and travel articles for Sunday and special magazines, and HR Passport was created in my mind: a holistic personal development service which would act as a teammate throughout the professional pursuits of a person, from school years until she/he continues to feel creative and restless.

This is how I embarked on the challenge of freelancing. Until today, while providing one-to-one career, executive and life coaching and delivering workshops, I have designed and managed organizational development and teambuilding projects for various companies. Aiming constantly also at my own personal and professional development, I invest my energy in self-awareness activities and attend workshops with great enthusiasm, in order to build a holistic coaching approach. I have attended two professional coaching programmes, in Greece and in Belgium, and I am certified as Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation, having more than 1.000 hours of coaching experience. Moreover, I have been trained in Nonviolent Communication and certified in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) by the American Board of Neurolinguistic Programming.

In my free time I travel as much as I can, I write short stories and support animal welfare actions. Meditating and applying alternative healing methods are also part of my life.

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