I was stuck in a job that was draining me. It got to a point where it started to impact my home life. I realised I was snapping at my wife, and I was bad-tempered all the time. I didn’t even have the energy to spend time with my children. It was time for a change…
I’d had a dream at school to be an Undertaker - yes, really! My Career Advisor at the time was less than useless, and said it was a silly idea. Instead, I ended up making neckties (on piece rate!), then managing stock in a factory; a far cry from my dream.
But I had no idea where to start, and the journey felt too long, and far too hard.
Kerry supported me, and championed my dream. We created a plan together, I updated my CV and LinkedIn profile with her input, identified my value proposition, and embarked on networking, having never networked in my life! Kerry was with me every step of the way. She lifted and motivated me when I felt low, and challenged me to do more when my momentum waned. She was my greatest supporter, and encouraged me to keep going.
And then I got an interview. Needless to say, Kerry was there for the preparation, and I entered the interviews and assessment process with a confidence I’ve never felt before.
The moment I got the call to say I got the job, was amazing! And the writing of my resignation for my current job was even better!
I would never have succeeded without Kerry’s support. I’d probably still be in the same job, and I probably wouldn’t still be married! I was getting fed up with myself at the peak of my unhappiness, my wife and family deserve a medal for putting up with me!
But we got through it, and I’m happy. WE’RE happy. Work really does impact on all facets of your life. I’m so glad I took the action when I did.
I had worked in a supermarket for nearly 30 years when I had a bright idea about becoming a self-employed dog groomer, but there was no way I could make such a change. I was too old, I didn’t know anything about self-employment, I probably wouldn’t get any customers, and anyway, the course I’d found to obtain my qualification was in Norwich, and I’d never travelled on my own and stayed away from home.
There were many more reasons why I couldn’t do it - at least that’s what I told myself - but I was desperately unhappy in my job, so I had to do something.
I turned to Kerry. She started by understanding where I was at the time, and where I wanted to be. She explored what I classed as “success” and “happiness”, which was an eye-opener for me.
We planned the first steps of the journey, and then came the action. She was with me every step of the way.
I attended the course and slowly started to build my dog grooming business around my work in the supermarket. I’d given myself a year or so to gently build it up. Less than 3 months in, I was handing my notice into the supermarket, and I was even turning new customers away, I was THAT busy!
That wasn’t the end of Kerry’s support though. I have continued to work with her, and she has continued to be my critical friend; challenging me and my business, and advising on improvements and better ways of working. Did you know that not all business is good business? I didn’t at the time, but I do now!
I’ve had a return on my investment with Kerry, literally 20+ times over (based on how much extra I’ve been able to earn as a result of her support). I’ve realised it’s not all about money though. I’m happier in my work, and I’m operating a business I’m proud of. I’m so pleased I took the leap.
(And yes, this is a picture of me lying on the floor whilst grooming a dog! It was his first visit and he was a little nervous, so this was all part of the process to make him feel comfortable).
I am the master of career reinvention, and it’s all Kerry’s fault!
When I met Kerry, I was a receptionist and a trained beauty therapist. I had dreams and aspirations, but no idea on how to get there!
The first transformation Kerry supported me with was my dream to run my own beauty training school. I had the qualifications to teach beauty, but the thought of setting up my own training school was scary. This is where Kerry came in! She guided and encouraged me, offering me motivation alongside practical advice on what to do along the way.
The beauty school was a success, but eventually, I felt a need to change again. I knew who to call on!
Kerry worked with me to draw out what I really wanted from my next career transition. The outcome was project management; very different to running a beauty school!
We agreed to a plan of action, and again, Kerry was with me every step of the way. I started in junior contracting roles, and with Kerry’s encouragement and practical guidance, became well known, and well respected, in very senior interim roles. In the end, the Corporate world called me, and I transitioned again into permanent employment.
I value having Kerry as part of my ongoing support network. She’s like a career PT; keeping me career fit, and on my toes! If I have any work-related concerns or challenges, I can share them with her in a safe and confidential space, and she’s there to guide me through it. Well worth the investment, and I work with her more than my actual PT!
During the global pandemic, I was furloughed. The time gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life, and my career. I realised it was time for a change again, but what next?
Kerry helped me to assess what I wanted from the next phase of my career, and has given me the confidence to re-enter the interim world. We are now working on the adventure together, one step at a time…
I got in touch with Kerry when I was feeling overwhelmed and overworked due to the continuous pressure of workload since the start of the pandemic. It was important for me to speak to someone who was empathetic and Kerry was just that. She listened, and gave me helpful tips on what small steps I could do to achieve a better work-life balance (especially when remote working).
On our introductory call, we discussed what I was going through, and where I wanted to get to. With Kerry’s help by the end of our sessions, I had a better work-life balance, more confident in my ability, and was able to not let small setbacks throw me off.
How do you usually spend your lunchtimes?
Do you sit down for a rest, perhaps catch up with a bit of daytime TV?
Or perhaps you pop out for a sandwich?
Maybe you’re able to get out for a quick walk to get some fresh air?
All perfectly good ways to spend a lunchtime, and I’m often found doing just this.
However, every now and then, I spend 30 minutes of my lunchtime, volunteering as a mentor to young people, supporting them on their career transformation dreams, on behalf of The Youth Group.
The Youth Group, led by the formidably brilliant Jack Parsons, has a mentor programme that connects business people, with young people who wish to develop their career confidences, skills and dreams, and I am honoured to be part of it.
The young man I mentored most recently, already has a brilliant foundation of career experience, but he is hoping to transform and expand into a new area. He asked me questions about my own business, and we explored insights and ideas on how he could embark on his own career adventure.
Another person I mentored is at the early stage in her career. She has a job, but it’s not her career of choice, and she was struggling to find opportunities in her chosen field. I advised her on how to build her network, and the power of asking exploratory questions, rather than just chasing jobs. She left our session with a plan of action and a new sense of motivation. We’ve stayed in touch, and she’s enjoying her new confidences. She’s building a network of great contacts, and I’m sure it won’t be long until she finds an opportunity that is perfect for her.
As well as being useful for the mentee, a voluntary mentoring programme like this is also a great way for the mentor to give back to a worthy cause, and I feel energised and proud to have been able to offer my support.
To find out more, contact The Youth Group direct, or let me know, and I'd be happy to connect you to my contact.