Life & Career Fulfilment Coach
Burnout Prevention & Avoidance
My driver was wanting a career that enhanced my life, not prevented me from living it.
I worked for over ten years in the fast pace and high pressure of financial services consulting. I was always motivated to do good by others, so I specialised in the field of tackling financial crime, catching the "bad guys" in the corporate world.
Whilst I met some wonderful people and gained some great experience in executive training, professional development frameworks, mentoring and evaluation and enhancement of corporate cultures, I also suffered hard with work-related stress, anxiety and ultimately burn out. All this experience I bring to my coaching. My detailed burnout story is below but after burning out twice I knew it was time for me to make a change for myself.
Following a period of all important rest, I took time to really consider my fundamental values and grew to understand that it was of vital importance to me that my career aligned with these. A successful career has always been important, but I wanted to redefine what "success" meant for me. It includes:
meaningfully impacting other human beings for the better;
working collaboratively with others;
feeling fulfilled by my professional relationships and positive interactions;
having control over my own schedule so I can prioritise what keeps my life cup full, including spending ample time with my loving family and friends, getting out in nature and keeping fit and healthy.
Coaching has ticked all these boxes and I relish every opportunity to work with others to make positive change in their lives. I bring to my coaching:
a passion for helping all of us to live the life that aligns with our values and desires (regardless of societal norms);
my own experience of the corporate world, its pressures and burnout;
a belief that success, whilst different for every individual, is attainable for all and does not have to be at the expense of being ourselves; and
a desire for everyone to live the life that makes us feel full.
You can check out my coaching credentials below.
My unrelenting standards, principles and beliefs, expedited and strengthened by the nature of consultancy and poor cultures, led to my burnout.
I built my career upon the principles of working hard and giving my all to those I worked with and for. I was the "safe pair of hands" that "always got things done" and I prided myself upon high quality output that would help my team or my clients; I did not want to put things out into the world that I was not 100% proud of (red flag the perfectionist tendencies already!) or, even worse, that other people might find fault in.
As a junior I believed it was these principles that won me respect, built my reputation amongst senior staff and meant people wanted me on their team. I was reliable and capable with a "can do" positive attitude that bought vibrancy to a team. However, whilst my principles were valuable in helping me move quickly through the ranks of consultancy, they resulted in significant internal pressure to maintain these without failure and even raise the expectation bar higher in order to continually impress and earn my next promotion..."I always get things done, and ahead of deadlines", "I always have to produce the best, perfect output" and " I have to do this with a positive attitude at all times, being grateful for the opportunities, otherwise my colleagues won't see me as a valuable asset to the team". "If I work the hardest, and produce the perfect results people will see me of deserving of my place and seniority" - if ever there was an example of imposter syndrome, perfectionism and people-pleasing tendencies coming together, I was it.
Over time, and with more seniority, the standards I had set for myself became more unrelenting and the beliefs I held more embedded. This was coupled with the natural demands of more senior roles in consultancy: multiple clients, interactions with more senior executives, more complex issues to solve, business development, industry speaking engagements...the list goes on. I knew no other way of maintaining "success" other than to soldier on, living by my same standards and beliefs. With hindsight I can also see that certain leaders and corporate cultures reinforced, and even took advantage of, my principles and standards for their own results.
Over time I realised that work-related stress was seeping into every facet of my life:
Whilst at work I was constantly operating on overdrive, with stress and anxiety a day-to-day normal, resulting in very disturbed sleep;
Long hours ate into my exercise regime, one of my energy sources and important outlets; and
My downtime and personal relationships suffered
I was not fully present when socialising with friends - I found myself running through the work to-dos or reliving interactions in my mind whilst "listening" to conversations
I let down loved ones frequently - "I'll only be another hour" usually meant I would still not have materialised for an evening meal 3 hours later
I shied away from making social commitments through fear of having to let people when a work task overran or came in last minute (because I knew I would prioritise the work).
For me, burnout did not only occur once. In the first instance, I took time away, travelled and chose to continue to pursue my career elsewhere upon my return. Whilst this helped short term, I had not made meaningful change in my own standards and beliefs.
One element of consultancy life that I had always loved was the camaraderie. Coming together to solve a problem and make a difference through any adversity is what kept me there so long. I had some truly wonderful colleagues who rallied together in many memorable moments. Bouncing off like-minded people who wanted to collaborate to solve clients' challenges was invigorating. When the global pandemic hit in 2020 and we were all forced away from one another to the confines of our homes, I like many others lost the meaningful face-to-face interaction with my colleagues and the fire and joy that I got from working closely with others for a common purpose. I was left in the company of my own thoughts and beliefs and limited balancing colleague interactions. I was ragged with stress and anxiety. I was yet again burnt out.
After having to move it twice as a result of the pandemic, on my wedding day in August 2021, I vividly remember looking around the room which was full of people (a first for us all in over a year!) that I loved and this is the moment I thought "I am making a change, for me and for them". Shortly after my return to work I resigned and proudly stepped forth into the absolute unknown. All I knew was that a continual cycle of burnout and stress was not what I wanted for me or my loved ones.
I went through my burnout recovery on my own. This required:
a big risk of leaving my corporate job with no alternative income, as I knew no other way but to jump off the hamster wheel; and
significant amount of time and space to rest and reevaluate before feeling even remotely ready to consider a new career.
The "cold turkey" approach, though right for some, is not the only option. Coaching can help you consider alternative ways to break the burnout cycle and I would be honoured to be a part of your journey through this.
I'm trained in the International Coaching Federation ("ICF") coaching competencies and ethical standards, via the Clique Academy.
It is this style of coaching that I generally practice with my clients; the scope, flexibility and breadth of this style, in my view, allows me to support a broad range of coachees in a manner that can be tailored to their individual needs and personalities and achieves meaningful outcomes.
I am continuing my training and broadening my coaching skills and techniques through the Clique Academy, including:
Neuro-linguistic programming ("NLP");
Money Mindset coaching; and
the Clique Method - exploring and overcoming limiting beliefs, chakra balancing, emotional freedom techniques ("EFT"), feminine energy and inspired action.
Alongside my passion for helping others through my coaching work, I have a number of life loves...
Food and drink
I can't get enough! My wonderful (and patient) husband, Dom, never gets to eat a meal without me taking a picture first, even after I've made him wait an age whilst I agonise over the menu as I "can't decide" because "I want to try everything". Food envy fear is real!
I love exploring different cultures all around the world, meeting new people, experiencing their pace of life and customs, exploring and observing beautiful and varied scenery, art and architecture, and of course different food and drink...variety really is the spice of my life. There is nothing more rewarding and enjoyable than sharing these experiences with loving family and friends.
Music and dancing
The atmosphere at live music events really lights me up. I love to dance, and sing (very poorly) as many of my friends know through my inpromptu kitchen karaoke parties. Music feeds my soul.
I find being outside, exploring the natural world so grounding. Especially when doing so with my gorgeous girl Storm, the Weimaraner. My most creative ideas often materialise on a dog walk or run.
Keeping active in the gym, outside running in nature, in my lounge doing YouTube yoga or at the pool makes my mind and body feel good. I've previously partaken in the odd competitive challenge for motivation and do love the camaraderie of a race day, but lately I've been following a"joy plan" (coined by Jane McGuire of RunnersWorld) where I simply do what feels good in the moment.
What more can I say? They are my guilty pleasure!