I’ve had a full life, a busy life and long may that continue. I thrive on being busy, but over time have also come to appreciate quiet. Educated, including a degree in Psychology and Sport Science and this year I’ll be completing my MBA. I’ve worked constantly from the age of 13 years old. From starting as a dogsbody in a post office, babysitting, cleaning neighbour’s cars, working in nightclubs and bars, working in a specialist sports shop, sold windows door to door (don’t hate me), ran play schemes for 120 children, stuffing envelopes, and that was all before 21 years old. Told you I like to be busy.
From University I became a landlady and managed pubs (random job offer that I accepted spontaneously), this gave me a baptism of fire in terms of dealing with difficult situations and people, but also gave me the opportunity to build on communication and management skills. I was responsible for a pub that had a large drug problem, had a strong National Front clientele (my boyfriend then was Nigerian, which added some interest), and a football hooligan stronghold. Sounds like fun? I cried myself to sleep for the first 3 months but was determined not to be beaten. Slowly but surely change happened, the pub turnover increased, the clientele improved significantly and towards the end I enjoyed the pub and the people. Thank you to the oatcake delivery man who played table football on many a day and kept me sane. The biggest thing I learned from my pub years was people skills. Of course it was a business to run with stocks, planning, forecasts, staff, budgets, margins and turnover, but ultimately it was a place for people. People and their problems, their stories, their lives taught me a lot, gave me insight into people’s heads, the customers trusted me with their innermost thoughts, yes, whilst they were sober as well as under the influence of alcohol, and I like to think that by listening, talking and working things out that their lives got better in some way.
At 24 years old I began a career in recruitment and got promoted pronto, running 4 offices, thanks again to my boss who recognised my potential and let me run with it. This provided the opportunity to succeed, learn and work closely with people and businesses. Once again the opportunity to meet people and have them open up to me, both the business clients and the candidates. Seeing the potential in people, helping companies build teams to increase performance and success, thereby benefiting the company and the candidate. I worked with countless candidates and numerous businesses from SMEs to blue chips and seeing the impact people have on a business and vice versa has always been a big passion of mine.
When I started having children, I quickly realised that the corporate recruitment world wouldn’t allow me to have my work life balance, so I started my own company and haven’t looked back. After identifying that for me the favourite parts of my job are working closely with people, working closely with heads of businesses and enabling them to achieve their potential, both individually and with a business focus, I expanded from recruitment into business coaching and individual coaching and therapy. Change coaching if you like, from changing something within a company, change in a team and change in yourself. Many times people see the end goal of change as a positive but find the actual change painful. Part of my role is to enable change to be enjoyable and a positive in itself.
Through my life I have been in some dark and unexpected places, I know what it feels like to be in a hole and I know what it feels like to come out and stand on the edge. I’ve had my fair share of life events that haven’t gone as planned and had to adapt and overcome. I’m sure I’ll share a few in my blogs. I don’t have a big posh house, or a big posh car or wear designer clothes, but what I do have is the ability and experience of overcoming significant setbacks and getting the best from my situation rather than the situation getting the best of me. My home and car are functional and allow me to enjoy my life and experience as much as possible. I live in a lovely area with wonderful friends, my children are happy and a pleasure to spend time with.
As a parent with three young children it has given clarity to how important it is to enjoy the life you have access to and to access the life you enjoy. How often do we say to children “you have no idea how lucky you are?” When was the last time we looked around us and appreciated everything we have? It’s not that we expect our children to be constantly happy or grateful, but we want them to take the good stuff and keep hold of it, embrace it and relish it; to get the bad stuff, deal with it, learn from it and let go of the pain as soon as possible. Where is the benefit from holding on to the pain and darkness and punishing ourselves with it? Yet many adults hold on to pain, or sadness, or misery, it almost becomes their identity. We wouldn’t ask children to do this, we would never say to someone the way to lead a fulfilling life is to punish yourself for mistakes, to live in fear, or to live in sadness. Through my life and experiences, education and significant further training I have come to understand how approaching problems, situations, opportunities and emotions through different filters can have on success and happiness. My role is to enable my clients to make the best of a situation and give them every opportunity to get into a better situation for themselves and their loved ones.