Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No I’m afraid not. I often really wish that kind of advice had been available when I was pre-kids but it just wasn’t something that was on offer in the company I worked for and I really didn’t have many role models to speak with. But on the other and I’m very happy how things have ended up so kind of happy with how things have turned out even with the lack of career plan!
Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
The biggest challenge I have faced is raising a child with special needs and finding the balance between giving them all the support that they need but also pursuing your own dreams and ambitions.
What advice would you give someone who wishes to move in to a leadership position for the first time?
Don’t follow the mould – be authentic to who you are. People like leaders who are sincere and genuine.
When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how would you decide who should have the role?
Qualifications and experience are rarely my deciding factor on who to hire. I am always much more interested in their personal attributes and the biggest thing I look for is a sense of curiosity, an openness to learning and a desire for new experiences.
How do you manage your own boss?
Right now I’m my own boss so probably rather badly!? In the past I’ve enjoyed good relationships with bosses – always under promise and over deliver!
On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?
My day starts about an hour before the kids get up where I review some emails, drink a coffee and plan my work day. Then I do the school run and return to working. The day ends with my once again banging out a few emails around 8-9pm.
What advice can you give to our members about raising their profiles within their own organisations
My advice is this – just do it! It’s one of those things that no matter how uncomfortable you may find it, it has to be done. I learnt this the hard way in my 20s, when I thought just been good at your job was enough to make you stand out. But I’m afraid that’s naive and not how the real world works.
How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?
I’ve had some amazing female mentors but haven’t formally undertake coaching. Although it’s on the agenda right now!
Do you think networking is important and if so, what three tips would you give to a newbee networker
I think having a good level of curiosity enables you to network without having to call it networking. I like to attend lectures, hear people give speeches, and learn new things and you ultimately end up expanding your network this way as you meet new people along the way. So I would encourage women to attend events so they can learn new things but at the same time say hello to other attendees and you will naturally expand your network.
What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully the future will continue to see us supporting more and more career returners back into work.