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    Friday
    Oct282011

    « Emma Ferrier: Moving to Pastures New »

    Emma used to work for a large headhunting organisation in London where she was EMEA Operations Manager (covering Europe, Middle East and Asia). She was good at her role and quite liked it but she found the people and company culture difficult and frustrating to work with. Emma was also keen to move out of London but wasn’t sure how to make this move happen. That was when she came to us.

    Now, Emma is happily settled in the West Country. She is the Business & Centre Manager for a company in Bath that appreciates her and values her, and where she feels confident in herself and what she can do. Emma is 41 years old, has recently married and is excited about what lies ahead for her.

    Here we have interviewed Emma, asking her to share, with you, her experience of working with us…

    What was going on for you when you came to us?

    I was working for a global head hunting company as their EMEA Operations Manager in London.  I liked the content of my role but really didn’t like my boss or the culture of the organisation.  I also didn’t want to be based in London any longer and had to figure out a way to move that I was comfortable with.  I then found out that my boss was 'hanging me out to dry' in order to protect his own role and I ended up with a grievance and then being made redundant.  It was horrendously stressful, was dragged out over a six month period and both my health and mental well-being suffered as a direct result.”

    How are you doing now? 

    “Now I run a serviced office business centre in the centre of Bath. This has been a significant geographical and mental shift for me.  I’ve managed to regain my professional confidence which has enabled me to be successful in this new role and have slowly learnt to believe in myself again.”

    How did all of this begin?

    “I was looking for some guidance and affirmation – I got a lot more than that!  I wasn’t sure what to do professionally after leaving London; my roles had more recently been for global organisations, and that wasn’t an avenue that I wanted to go down at that time.  I was also struggling to understand what my skill set was and where I could take it professionally outside of London.

    A friend and colleague at my previous job recommended one of the Career Guides at Position Ignition to me. Huge credit goes to my Guide.  He was sympathetic to, and understanding of, my situation and the effect that it had had on me, and truly understood what I was trying to achieve and helped me get there – I even credit my getting married to my Guide to a degree!!” 

    Had you done this type of work before?

    “I have seen other coaches in operation when I worked for a head hunter in London – what I had here and who I worked with was streets ahead of anyone I have worked with, or seen operating before.  Here, my Guide was empathetic, professional, relaxing, insightful and a pleasure to work with.”

    How would you describe what you did?

    “It was a tailored programme exploring the question, 'What do I do next'? I met with my Guide and we talked about what I had been doing, about my background, my family and friends, the sort of person I was, what I looked for in a job, what I liked/disliked, what I was good/bad at and the kind of industry/company I would like to work in.”

    “We looked at both my personal goals and my professional goals – what were they, did they dovetail, could I combine the two in any way or should they be kept totally separate”

    “The sessions and process really helped me to think through all of my choices and options clearly, enabling me to stop being frightened of what I was doing, and start looking forward to the challenge of the journey I was embarking on.”

    What did you think of the programme approach?

    “I loved it!  It was completely tailored for me, and although I was not used to being coached or mentored, as I was normally the one doing that for other people, I found the process totally rewarding and eminently satisfying.  It gave me the confidence to go out there and set up my “market stall” – clearly let people know who I was, and what I wanted.  It was a liberating experience.”

    How did the sessions actually work? 

    “The sessions were anything from a 30 minute telephone conversation, to a one day brainstorming session.  It worked on the basis of us working together in exploring options, ideas and talking around the issues I was having, working out the why and then figuring out how to change the patterns of the past and move forward to the future with a clear vision of where I wanted to go.”

    Was this what you expected?

    “It was so much more than I expected.  It met and went far beyond my expectations, even though I found it difficult to focus on myself (truly British!) to start with.  It was definitely a challenge.  To start with I was nervous about what I could achieve and what I would have to do to get there, but it was a very energising and positive experience from the very beginning of the process.”

    How do you feel about your Guide?

    “Simon was my Guide and he is totally outstanding. I found him most valuable – I look back at where I am now and know that he doesn’t just represent a turning point in my life; he WAS the turning point!  He gave me the confidence to believe in myself again, and the skills and tools to be able to think things through clearly once more.”

    Did you feel supported by the team? 

    “It isn’t possible to conceive how this could have worked at all, let alone so well, without the guidance and input of a Guide and the supporting team.  They are there to help you through the bits that you simply cannot do on your own; that is the absolute essence of what they do for us as clients.”

    So was it all worth it?

    “It was the best money I have ever spent.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to others – I frequently have!”

    How would you summarise the shift you have made?

    “I was a very different person when I first came to you; I had lost all my professional confidence and my personal self-belief definitely verged on the bull-headed, rather than a relaxed and happy confidence.  I was not in a good place mentally or emotionally after my experiences of the previous two years!”

    “I now feel a quiet sense of satisfaction with my life – I am truly content.  I know that this happy state of mind stems from the work I did with you.  My Guide taught me to realise that it was as much about learning to count your blessings in your current situation as it was about understanding how to change the things that aren’t quite what you would like.  He has enabled me to move forward when I want and need to.” 

    Has anyone else noticed a change in you?

    “My family and a large number of my friends saw me ‘go downhill’ over the two years or so prior to having any sessions with Position Ignition.  They have been thrilled to see me gain my confidence back in a way that is not arrogant or excessive, but to become the relaxed, happy and confident person that they knew I could be.  They have commented on how obviously stressed I used to be, and how brilliant it is that I just don’t seem to be like that any more – the words “well rounded, clear thinking, thoughtful and professional” are just some of the words they have used.

    Any last words or thoughts to leave us with?

    “I couldn’t recommend you highly enough – it was a Damascene moment for me, and represents my true coming of age.  I think it should be compulsory for everyone to do this!”

    Emma Ferrier - Business & Centre Manager, Bath