Hello, I'm Jojanneke van den Bosch, 39 years old. In everyday life, I work as an online communications consultant in my company Eos Online Comm. I develop smart and social e-learning about online strategy and social media, and train companies in online presence and I regularly speak at conventions about my profession. We've been in business since April 1st (not a joke) 2006. My e-learning course is (thus far) the only social e-learning program about online strategy and social media in the world. But since it's in Dutch (I live in the Netherlands), 'the world' is limited to sixteen million people. Nevertheless: I love my work. And life.
In 1998, I graduated from the Art Academy in Rotterdam, in graphic and interactive design. I worked in several communication jobs (municipality, B2B, not-for-profit etcetera), after several years designing corporate identities. I just loved the internet much more. And telling stories. I'm grateful that I can combine these two things in my work. And I have a knack for impersonations. But I'll spare you those for now.
Quite uppity, for an orphan, right? Right.
In 2007, I felt the need to give something back to the world. A good place to start was giving something that I myself had needed so much: information about how to make a life for yourself without parents. Because my life and career were not handed to me on a silver platter. My parents passed away when I was fourteen. My sister and I were on our own; not much help was provided. It was a struggle. After eighteen months, I decided to leave town and move to the other side of the country. There, I have found some amazing people, who were willing to share their wisdom and practical insights about taking care of oneself. These people are my foster parents. I lived with them for about three months. But they have made all the difference in my world.
When your parents pass away when you are young, it has an enormous impact on your life. For instance: the concept of 'unconditionality' has vanished. You have to find a way to deal with that in your life. And you have to take care of legal matters. And daily routines...they're up to you.
To make this process a little bit easier for kids who have to take care of themselves at a young age, I have written a book. The book is for people around orphans. Believe me, orphans themselves know already how they feel; they really do not need my book to discover that. The book hands suggestions to people around orphans. Because for them, often it's hard to think of something to say or do. That's awkward. And it does not have to be that way at all. Trust me. It isn't even really hard.
Many people have asked me: 'Why do you share that much vulnerable information about yourself? You have a good career! Aren't you afraid it will damage all that?' In short: no. I'm not afraid of that at all. If there is one lesson I've learned from the past, it's that true strength comes from the ability and willingness to show your vulnerability. As a matter of fact, I'm inclined to say: I cannot not share this.
And yes, fortunately businesses still call me for online strategy advice. :-)
I'd love to connect.