My experience comes from both business and education, and my core theme is a love for designing and delivering learning that is stimulating and fun, yet still challenging at individual level.
I started work in a primary school before moving into business and I have enjoyed using my teaching skills when communicating to groups of managers and women returners. I have also tutored on MBA post graduate courses for a University. Use your core skills and passions together and look for ways to express these.
In the tour operating industry I had opportunities to use my love of travel and my talent for languages. I progressed from the bottom up to overseas operations manager within 3 years by using my experience of organizing diverse groups. I managed all recruitment, training, induction & career development and deployment of 100+ staff across 12 resorts and four different countries, in and around the Mediterranean. The importance of team work and providing clear direction is not to be underestimated – you can also do far more with others’ help than you can do alone!
Ultimately, I worked nationally in the UK travel industry and had an opportunity to put in place something that had been missing for me in my experience as a manager – the lack of a recognised career path, and a qualification for all staff working in tour operations. This certification course rolled out at technical college level as one of City & Guilds vocational training programmes. It’s important for employees to have a career path and the opportunity to gain relevant qualifications wherever they work.
The next stage for me was self-employment within the travel business, before I moved on to work with blue chip companies in the retail and financial services sectors. I was already used to designing and delivering management and personal development programmes nationwide, so the next natural step was to consolidate this and work as a training and development consultant. The necessity for building strong working relationships and being trusted was key to customer satisfaction and being asked back.
Over the next few years I matured and took on new roles that continued to offer challenges, but one nearly derailed me. How could I keep growing and working whilst bringing up 2 daughters in my new role as wife and parent? I looked for support and discovered that organisations had few organised career break schemes and there was no support at all for independent professionals like myself on a career break. Surprise -this was the 1990’s not the Dark Ages!
I knew keeping my skills up to date would be key to my job options, so I went back to studying while my children were young. This validated my precious experience and gave me extra credibility and options in the job market, whilst boosting my personal self-confidence. Going back to study again as a mature student, although a bit daunting, turned out to be very life affirming – don’t undervalue the power of learning to validate any experience you have gained so far.
I now had 2 children under 6 and a real thirst for addressing the lack of practical career support for parents. So, I started to research career transitions whilst living it first-hand!
It was then I was asked to design and deliver a series of short courses for professionals on career breaks, by the university I had attended for my Master’s degree. When you are committed to moving forward opportunities will arise so grab them even if don’t have clarity about know where you want to end up.
Over the next few years I built an income stream from private clients by sharing my knowledge on managing career breaks. And, I attracted associate work from companies who recognised the added value of providing career support to executives moving on, especially those planning self-employment for the first time. Never overlook what knowledge you have already and how you can use it in new situations.
I made my business into a company in 2002 and have since enjoyed working with over 500+ executives, professionals and a small number of companies who have sent me individuals to support through a career transition. Along the way I have self-financed extensive coach training, worked as a volunteer business mentor for start-ups and refreshed my psychometric assessment licences. Keep current in your field and be qualified to as high a standard as you can manage.
I remain firmly committed to offering quality training and coaching services to those who really want to feel more fulfilled in their working lives and who are committed to doing the necessary inner work!
My experience comes from both business and education, and my core theme is a love for designing and delivering learning that is stimulating and fun, yet still challenging at individual level