Why write my first blog about me? Well, you may have read on my website Home page what I say my job is about. For me my job is about you. I’m simply here to help you find your way through any current life difficulties.
So I thought it might be useful to give you a better ‘flavour’ of me. What I enjoy and the life experiences I’ve had. I’ll also provide some more concrete information about the qualifications that I hold.
It feels very self-centered to be doing this and I’m not entirely comfortable about that. I think what I feel is probably similar to potential clients comfort levels when initially sharing their thoughts with me.
Not a bad thing actually for a coach to be reminded of this.
But my aim is for you to feel you know me somewhat if you are thinking about coaching with me, before we have our chemistry chat. I also hope to answer some question you might have about me.
What I think you want to know about me…
My guess is what most interests you is what qualifications and work or life experiences I have that you might find reassuring.
Well, I left school at age 16 with a number of GCE’s and CSE’s – yes it was that long ago! Being the oldest of 6 children my parents needed some income from me, so I started work with a company who also gave college day release. Over two years I achieved a number of RSA (Royal Society of the Arts), ‘A’ level equivalent, ‘office based’ qualifications. This included communication skills.
I’ve just looked for a definition (I’m a sucker for definitions) of ‘communication skills’ online and the first one, from Oxford Languages, says ‘the ability to convey or share ideas and feelings effectively.’ Although I couldn’t have articulated this at the time I believe that it shows that engaging with people has always been something that I’ve liked and been good at.
Where I started
I was married at 18 and whilst that might seem young to many people now I can honestly say that I was ready and adult enough to have done so. I had my first, of 3, sons at 20. Having been the eldest of 6 siblings and experienced in ‘mothering’ them, this came very naturally to me. My sons and their families are the greatest joy of my life!
I worked, generally part time in my sons’ younger years, to fit in around them. We were always financially stretched but it was important to me and my husband that I was with my sons as much as possible. This was most easily done by my working within the home. For example as a baker for a health food shop and a registered childminder.
But it was also important to me that I worked for my own development. I was always quite ambitious and not content to be a ‘stay at home’ mum. So once my youngest son went to full time school I started working part time outside of the home in secretarial/receptionist type roles.
Education, education, education!
Numerous experiences of redundancy (which I will blog about next) finally gave me the push to return to education as a mature student alongside continuing to work to support my family financially.
I qualified with a 2:1 BA degree in Psychology with Biology and two years later with an MSc in Health Psychology. Both of these psychology degrees were accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) which was essential for me to continue to a career in psychology and I continued on to a Doctorate in Health Psychology.
However, a number of issues in my personal life combined to mean I had to stop the Doctorate and I never went back to complete it. That is a shame but is what often happens in real life!
A career at last!
I have worked in a number of roles, mainly because I get bored and seek/need to make changes. But after completing my degrees I felt able to look to have a ‘career’ rather than a ‘job’, something I was never quite sure I would be able to achieve.
This resulted in my joining the NHS, working in a quality improvement position. I loved this post and really felt that I made a difference so was able to stay much longer than was usual for me. Over 13 years I developed and rose in my department, ultimately becoming Head of Department. I had arrived at my career!
However, redundancy, yet again, gave me the opportunity to take stock of my working life. Was I fulfilled and happy? I realised that I needed a new challenge – I wanted to work for myself. I have now done this for 5 years.
As mentioned above I’d worked for myself when my sons were young, and liked doing so. I guess these were my first steps into self-employment.
My first ‘real’ business, in e-commerce, was a fantastic roller-coaster of new learning and experiences. I developed hugely. But ultimately it wasn’t a financial success and so I had to take the tough decision to close.
BUT, one door closes and another opens. I’d been thinking about counselling or coaching for a number of years and whilst at the NHS I qualified with a Level 1 Certificate in Counselling and an NHS Leadership Academy Coaching Certificate. I’d hoped to be able to add senior management coaching to my ‘day job’ in the NHS. However, my last redundancy had put paid to that aim. Or so I’d thought!
However, once I decided to close my e-commerce business I thought more about coaching or counselling. I realised that I prefer coaching to counselling because it is focused on the future and taking actions to achieve goals. So I have more recently completed an NLP (neuro linguistic programming) Diploma. I’ve also completed an mBraining (multiple brains) Coach qualification.
The courses enabled me to be able to use their different methodologies to best suit helping my clients to achieve their goals. An overarching skill from all my counselling and coaching courses is my improved listening and questioning skills. To be able to listen ‘actively’ and allow my clients to talk freely and with the ability to ‘hear’ themselves is, I believe, the most valuable thing I can offer my clients.
As I’ve mentioned I’m often thinking about what I’m going to do next. But I’d genuinely thought that all my life interests and work experience had led me to my perfect e-commerce business.
I wasn’t wrong in that thinking but clearly things have not ended there. On examining what drives me (coaches get coaching too!) it became clear that I was every bit as keen about coaching as I had been about my e-commerce business. Importantly, I believe that I have the interest, experience and skills to help people.
So here I am and, I believe, here I stay. Self-employed in an ever changing and incredibly fulfilling business role. My great joy is that I am able to help make a difference to others.
Do feel free to get in touch with me to find out more about what I do…
Thanks for reading