In coaching sessions, the focus is on you. However, if you're considering me as your coach you may be interested in my story and the experiences I bring to coaching.
I grew up and went to university in Australia. I relocated to Dublin, Ireland twenty-five years ago having met my husband-to-be in an Irish bar in Sydney ... a chance encounter that changed my life. We've been married for 22 years.
I was quite well established in my corporate career by the time I moved to Ireland. I worked for one of the Big 5 consultancy firms almost exclusively on international projects. By the early 2000’s I was working at Director level with lots of autonomy and responsibility. This provided fantastic opportunities to work with people from many countries but also involved a lot of travel. From 2000-2015 I racked up countless air miles, spending at least a week a month away from home in Europe and the US.
Between 2003 and 2006 my husband & I had three boys (including twins) while I was continuing to work and travel internationally. This is when my personal juggling act really started. At age 34 it was just the two of us and our dog. By the time we were 40 we were five with nanny/au-pairs plus all that goes along with holding together a young family and household. My husband was also working in a senior role and I don't think we've appreciated until quite recently how physically and emotionally stretched we both were. I've huge empathy for women (and men) making choices associated with this life stage.
By about 2012 I was toying with the idea of moving on from the corporate world due to the impact it was having on our lifestyle, our family, and my own happiness. In the end I held out until I was nearly 50 and even then, my exit was pretty chaotic! However, within a month of leaving I knew I'd made the right decision.
With a 30-year corporate career behind me I’ve developed a broad range of skills in the workplace through formal training and experience. Two areas that are particularly relevant to coaching include goal setting and planning and communicating, listening and questioning. I also have extensive experience in people management and have seen first hand most of work/life issues that women grapple with. I have interviewed 100's of people over the years, so am particularly familiar with all of the activities around career transition from both the employers and employees perspective.
Perhaps surprisingly, my health has held up fairly well through all of this. I can recognize some of the reasons why this is the case: I have healthy habits around food and exercise; I handle stress relatively well; I am quite good at planning (when it suits me...); when I was not travelling I was able to work from home with relatively flexible hours, allowing me to build family commitments into my daily routine ; I am fortunate that my children are healthy and my husband is so supportive; I had the privilege to be able to afford domestic help and never felt that somehow, I personally had to do it all. I share this not as a blueprint for success, just as my own personal insights. There are certainly aspects of my life that didn’t fair so well, bad habits formed, and absolutely room for growth. That’s what the future is for!
I didn't really have a solid vision of “what next” when I walked away from the corporate world – a classic case of knowing what I didn't want anymore, but not being sure what I did. I volunteered for a bit. I gravitated towards spending more time on my own health, particularly my fitness, which lead to me going back to college full time to study Nutrition, Health & Wellness. During that time my vision of committing to a career in coaching really started to take shape. I followed that up with formal training in Health and Wellness Coaching and in Stress Management.
While my coaching business is still relatively new, I feel very much like this is the right time/right idea for me at the moment. It has seemed like a natural progression to me, allowing me to utilize experiences from my life, my corporate career and my training and qualifications. My decision to focus exclusively on coaching women traces back to my personal experiences, and I’m also very interested in focusing further on the issues that women face in midlife - menopause, changing parental relationships, retirement etc. I'm continuing to monitor the work/life balance aspects but so far so good for this next chapter of my story.