Konstantina Christodoulou talks to us

Katheti’s volunteer Konstantina Christodoulou talks to us about her life, her work, her relationship with the area and her volunteer work. Konstantina is an important addition to Katheti’s team for the past year, offering Greek language lessons and more. With the contribution of Konstantina, as with that of all our volunteers, we become better and we can achieve even more.

Τell us about your work.

When I lived in Athens, I worked as a secretary and a counsellor in the insurance field. Office work, 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. A very interesting job, as I used to interact with many people with different needs and I had to recommend the most appropriate insurance to each one of them, and always according to their financial ability.

Now that I’m living in Galatas, I am working at a local tourist accommodation establishment, in the cleaning department. And this is really wonderful for many reasons! Firstly, I am in a harmonious environment and I collaborate with remarkable people! Secondly, it’s really a position with a lot of responsibility, as one of the first things that someone is interested in when renting a place for their holidays, apart from the location and the provisions, is cleanliness. And I am really happy that I am contributing to the success of this business! Finally, I feel incredibly free with this job, as nobody imposes the working hours on me, as my relationship with the owners relies on trust and respect!

What is your relationship with the local area?

I’ve been here since December 2016. I am totally a love immigrant! I never had an issue leaving bustling Athens and settling down in the countryside, as on the one hand I was very sure about my partner and on the other hand, the prospect of having a quality life never was a dilemma for me as to whether I would go for it or not!

My relationship with the area relies on respect. Both in terms of the place and of the residents. The place is a miniature of Heaven to my eyes. The combination of sea and mountain constitutes the perfect therapy for anyone who’s lucky enough to enjoy them every day, without having the need to take any days off work. 

Among the residents, I have met some remarkable people and every day I realize that there are many who are interested in the common good of this area and I feel really blessed to be given the opportunity to contribute to this too. I love this place and it seems to love me, too!

Which of your knowledge and personality traits have been most useful to you in your professional life?

 In all my jobs but also in my daily life, what has proved to be useful is respect and awareness. I believe that they are very essential elements of any kind of success, apart from the knowledge that every profession requires. Respect requires you to be a good listener and thus, a good conversationalist. By listening to the person you’re talking to, you often discover a new way of thinking and new ways of handling many situations. And after that comes the awareness, as you realize that, in the end, you don’t have to be stuck to certain ideas. You listen, you compare, you substantiate, you learn and you finally realize how many possibilities you have as a person. So, when you realize your possibilities, you will love yourself every day more and more and you will of course trust yourself. So, no matter what your academic knowledge is, if you’re not ok with yourself, you can’t unfold your skills and capabilities so that you can perform well, in any profession or personal relationship.

What would you like to improve in your personality or work? What are your weaknesses and how have they influenced you?

I try daily to improve my response to whatever I deem unfair. Feeling something is unfair is the worst feeling for me. But I understand it’s very subjective and, thankfully, because I have learnt to listen to the person with whom I’m talking first and then make conclusions, I give myself time to think and then respond. So, every day I work on the saying:

Don’t make promises when you’re happy.

Don’t speak when you’re angry.

Don’t make decisions when you’re disappointed.

Of course, I don’t always manage to do it and this has affected many of my relationships, 

whether professional or personal, but through failure comes success!

What would you do differently and what do you consider as right steps in your career?

I wouldn’t do anything differently because I like regretting something I’ve done, rather than something I haven’t done. I don’t like unfulfilled wishes and I made sure I don’t have any!

What I have done well and the result shows it, is that I haven’t closed any doors to any former employer! I have been working since I was 18 and I am still in contact with everyone I worked with, as I respect the jobs that were offered to me and I never left any loose ends. I consider this a great success.

What piece of advice would you give to a young person who would like to do what you do?

No job and no career can bring about any success, if we’re not ok with ourselves. I would advise them to love themselves a lot and try daily to improve elements of their personality which don’t let them sleep peacefully at night. Love brings love and hatred brings hatred. That’s a law.

What are your plans for the future, short-term and long-term ones?

My plan is to continue keeping my daily life at a quality level and contributing to the good of my family, my friends and my area whenever and in any way I can. 

What else would you like to add?

Leave more space in your lives for music, books, colors, and, if it’s possible, add a pet to your home:

  • Music and books are a way of escape. (We all have the need not to think of anything even for five minutes in the day!)
  • Colors send the frequent grey of our mood away. Use them on the wall in your home, on your clothes and your bed sheets. The difference in your mood will surprise you!
  • The pet will make you laugh many more times daily than usual and you will feel what selfless love is to the fullest!

Talking about selfless love, I couldn’t forget to mention volunteering. Offer yourselves this wonderful gift, to feel the joy of offering and participating. Dedicate some of your free time into participating in the effort to improve our community. Create better conditions in the lives of our fellow people, in the environment or to animals.

It’s much easier than we think and the emotional reward is much more valuable than the monetary one. Through volunteering, you will come into contact with people of different cultures and civilizations, you will develop your skills and broaden your horizons, you will make new friendships, you will be thanked many times and receive a lot of smiles, you will feel the joy of creating something and, most importantly, you will get to know sides of yourself that you didn’t even know they existed!

Try it at least once in your life… and only then will you realize what I mean!!

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30 September 2020
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