MY CAREER STORY
Why I do what I do
Like so many other young graduates, I left University with a mountain of debt, three years' worth of hangovers (if you’ve been to Leeds Uni, you’ve done the Otley Run, I need say no more…), and no idea about what I wanted to do for a career. I chose to take on fixed term contracts to try out what I wanted out of a job and the type of employer I wanted to work for. It was during this time that I was employed on an FTC where I organised professional development courses for teachers. This was a management programme, covering topics like leadership, coaching and emotional intelligence. I observed world class trainers and fell in love with the magic of the training room, how group work and one-to-one support sessions could make such a difference to people’s lives. It is a love affair I have never looked back from.
Over the years I have worked in public and private sectors, done jobs I’ve loved and those I’ve struggled to motivate myself for. I’ve watched teenagers grasping what it’s like in the ‘real world’ as I explain I’m not just going to give them the answers, that complex problem solving and decision making is part of their business simulation activity. I’ve had similar conversations with seasoned professionals looking for guidance on managing difficult conversations. But I have always focused on how I can build rapport with my customer, how I can support them and how I can support the establishment they are in.
If you want the professional speak then; I have strong skills and experience in coaching and mentoring, delivering training with impact and working successfully with stakeholders. If you want the honest speak; I care, I listen and I like working with and supporting people to achieve their goals.
Born in 1981, I am at the…let’s call it ‘more seasoned’ end of the Millennial spectrum! But I do understand some of the things that research tells us Millennials are looking for in a career. I know what it’s like to start out in a career, trying to find your feet and find meaning in the work you do. I definitely understand not wanting to settle and always looking for the next 'move'. I remember how it feels when you want to make career changes after you’ve established yourself and how overwhelming it can be when you feel ‘stuck’. I also know how hard it is for busy HR teams and hiring managers to find the right staff, with the right skills and experience with the right attitude and culture fit, who’ll accept a role on the right salary…the list just goes on!
So, let’s dispel 5 common myths;
You can’t teach culture fit. Oh yes you can! Hire for attitude and willingness to learn and change, adapting to what the culture needs, the rest will come
It takes too long for new starters to develop skills. Oh no, it doesn’t! If you do it right, which means putting in early interventions, quick wins and outsourcing when you can.
Induction and onboarding are a waste of time. Oh no they aren’t (and they’re different things by the way)! It is literally the most important development activity you will complete if you want to engage staff, build loyalty, skills and knowledge. Invest now.
There is no talent pipeline for my business. Oh yes there is! In buckets. You just need a different take on it, with a longer term strategy. Which may involve scary things like working with schools and universities but it will be SO worth it! Trust me.
My company is too small for a graduate programme or similar. Oh no, it isn't! By joining forces with other organisations for a co-ordinated programme by The Talent Cycle, you can achieve development programmes which dreams are made of and sharing the cost means you won't break the bank either.
Want to know more about me and what I do to support businesses and individuals with their career struggles? Get in touch, I’d love to chat this all through and see how I can support you harness the amazing talent you already have and that which is waiting for your call.
I reduce mental health and wellbeing issues caused by a lack of workplace skills, lack of understanding of the workplace or a strong feeling of being stuck either in the wrong career, or not managing to move forward in the right one.
MY MISSION STATEMENT (WHAT I DO):
I continually learn and develop myself, so that I can help empower individuals and businesses to focus on their development. I write inspiring content; planning online sessions and great face to face training activities which I always review to check I would engage with if I was completing the activity and ask myself; 'would I be happy giving my time to take part in this?'. If the answer is anything but a resounding 'YES!', then nobody else will see it! I enjoy working with others and I think it's really important to listen to feedback and encourage my cohorts of learners to do the same, whether it's coming from me, their loved ones, their business, the cohort, or most importantly, themselves. I value working with groups as well as supporting clients in a one-to-one setting.
MY VALUES (MY WHY):
I'm self employed which means I AM my business so the business values are my personal values and therefore ones I truly believe in; I live and breathe these every day. My values are:
Helping individuals and businesses achieve their goals is at the core of everything I do. It is what makes my work feel meaningful to me and why I work so hard at it.
I often have two clients in one; the business paying for the course and the delegate on it. I know how to balance these two needs and it is important to me that both walk away feeling that they got value out of it.
I believe in quality customer service and this includes a guarantee you'll get nothing but honesty and integrity from me.
I am so over 'imposter syndrome' - I'll only say 'yes I can do that' if I really believe I can! I am always learning and challenging myself but I won't put myself or you at risk by taking on unrealistic work that is not in my skillset/expertise. I do have a huge network of contacts so if I can't do it, I probably know someone else who can!
I'll ask for an honest day's pay for an honest day's work; no less, no more. I didn't start this business to become a millionaire, I started it to help people in the way I wanted to help them (whilst being able to pay my mortgage...and, well, let's face it...be able to buy handbags too).
I don't discriminate. I don't care who you are, your gender, your nationality and certainly not your age. If you want help and I think I have it in my skillset to do that, then I will. But spoiler alert: I won't let you get away with limiting self beliefs like 'I'm too old for a career change' or 'I'm too young to go for that promotion'. We'll get there, together.
I've done the whole career journey - from starting out wondering where to start, to dealing with the challenges of a big promotion. I've suffered with those I've worked for or with and dealt with the fact some could say that about me too. I've despaired over job hunting and felt totally stuck, desperate for a career change and had some success and exciting times in between. Everyone's story is different but I believe I can help you with yours and it's one of my values to do that in a way that works for you.
I'm always learning, changing, growing and 'tweaking' so don't be surprised if you see some changes to the business along the way. I make no apology for that, it is all about continually improving the business and the support I can offer my clients.