I'm hugely passionate about helping others to tap into their true potential and have greater satisfaction in their careers. Something that aligns with some of my core values - personal development, growth, optimism, persistence & creativity.
When I think about my own career pathway, I never had one. I couldn't wait to leave school but I only had 3 GCSEs in my hand and no idea of what to do next. All I knew was that I didn't want to go onto college, despite the pressure from my parents. I found my first office job working as an insurance clerk but this was quite short lived when I became pregnant with my son.
I worked several different sales and customer service roles whilst my son was young but decided that I wanted to have a career and to be a good role model. So, this meant going to college after all, in the evenings whilst working part-time, which enabled me to study for a degree at university. I suffered terribly with imposter syndrome at the time and didn't think I was capable of completing a degree but I gave it a go and surprised myself. I obtained my degree and something in me fundamentally shifted. It was my first career turning point.
I was fired up with a passion to work with people and studied for a further two years at university to obtain my professional Human Resources (HR) qualification. However, I struggled for 18 months to get a HR role. I was repeatedly told that I was over-qualified with no relevant experience. This was both frustrating and disheartening but I persevered, I'd worked too hard to take no for an answer! Finally I managed to persuade a HR Director to take me on as a HR Administrator, despite his concerns that I would be bored within 6 months and guess what, I was! However, I finally had my foot in the door.
I identified a career plan and broke it down into tangible actions which ended successfully - my last employed HR role was as a European HR Director and Head of Talent & Engagement, something my 17 year old self never could have envisaged in her wildest dreams. There were numerous challenges along the way - you haven't worked in X industry, you don't have enough X experience, you haven't managed a team / big enough team before, etc. and then those challenges I placed on myself, self-limiting beliefs that I was carrying from my teenage years (school drop-out, young mother). Despite my successes, I suffered terribly with imposter syndrome each time I moved up the HR career ladder, although I had no idea in my earlier career of what imposter syndrome was. I felt like my success was down to luck, I didn't really now what I was doing and I worried about being found out.
Working with a coach helped me to learn how to appreciate and value myself, which in turn increased my self-belief and confidence. She helped me to understand my core values and strengths and to accept my career achievements as a result of my capability, determination, tenacity and personal resilience. We dug deep to understand where my imposter feelings stemmed from and to reframe unhelpful thoughts. Whilst I didn't know it at the time, I was developing a growth mindset, constantly looking for opportunities to learn and develop and to increase my self-awareness so that I could build more helpful strategies. I haven't looked back since!
I've had help from some amazing mentors and coaches along the way, some of which are still personal cheerleaders. Now I help other professional women tap into their full potential by having more self-belief and confidence, and greater personal and professional satisfaction & success, after all - you can achieve anything you set our mind to, I'm proof of that.