I left school before finishing my final year not knowing exactly what I wanted to do but knowing I didn’t want to be at school.
I entered the workplace ready to take on the world. As an enthusiastic 17 year old I was quickly nicknamed the Whirling Dervish for my boundless energy and desire to learn everything. Then I encountered difficult bosses, had some opportunities blocked and I got lulled into believing I wasn’t capable of more. One day I turned around and found myself married and working as a PA wondering “how did that happen?”.
Finding my strength
I started searching for the right career, using temping to help me broaden my options. Along the way I discovered Toastmasters and became a volunteer at Taronga Zoo presenting a show to visitors while handling native animals. I was also introduced to the world of HR and training. Finally here was something to get excited about. I threw myself into it, eventually completing a degree in Adult Education while working full time. I loved it!
Then my partner, a lawyer, announced he was having a mid life crisis at 32 and wanted to pursue his dream career so he joined the Northern Territory Police as a probationary constable. I went from living in South Dowling Street Surrey Hills to Darwin. I don’t fish, shoot or drink beer. I had bad hair every day. But I was determined to make the most of the “opportunity” so I started my own training business. I got 10 years experience in 3 years. It was a real wake up call being thrown into this totally foreign environment. The business was a success but the relationship wasn’t so I moved to Brisbane and fulfilled a dream of adding speaker to my list of skills.
Having success and failure
Over the next 15 years I wrote 5 books, won awards, spoke in 8 countries, travelled business class, stayed in luxury hotels, was the VIP at events signing autographs and posing for photos.
But there were also aspects of this career that didn’t work for me. The constant business development, travelling so much you missed out on social events and feeling like I always had to be “on”.
I had highly successful years as well as others that were terrible. When a client unexpectedly cancelled a major project right after I returned from an overseas holiday I knew it was time to regroup and consider what was next.
Where to from here
After a lot of reflection I realised what I now enjoyed was coaching individuals, something I’d starting doing 10 years earlier and discovered was a natural skill. I find it’s far more effective in getting results and allows me to use my strengths. I’m a curious person so I like asking lots of questions. Plus, I’m good at seeing situations from a different perspective and coming up with ideas to solve problems. They don’t all work but they do get people thinking differently and that’s exactly what you need when it comes to coaching.
So now I spend most of my time coaching and some of my time speaking and that balance works well for me. Many of my coaching clients prefer to do their sessions online so I have the flexibility to work that around the rest of my life. In the last couple of years I’ve been able to spend more time on my passion for ballroom dancing and now compete with a professional locally, nationally and internationally.
How I can help you
Throughout my career I’ve had a range of experiences I can call on to help you:
- Knowledge of Human Resource practices
- Worked in 8 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region
- Won awards and qualified for accreditations in speaking, training and facilitation
- Self employed for 21 years
- Self published 5 books
- Conducted research projects
- Sat on the board of my professional association and been a representative on an international committee
- Volunteered for 4 different not for profit organisations
- Made redundant
- Studied part time as a mature age student
- Moved interstate twice
- Worked as a temp and contractor