Not surprisingly, the map of my own career journey has taken me to several destinations.
The first phase of my career was enjoyed in the travel industry. As a young graduate I was enthralled with the world of travel and learnt many of my early career lessons with the global travel agency, Thomas Cook, in a decade that saw me gain experience in retail management, product development and marketing.
But despite the jewels of travel, I was lonely for the green grass of home and returned to Ireland, just as the Celtic Tiger was beginning to roar. My time with Ryanair allowed me to learn about another side of the travel business and it was great to be part of a young company that would soon dominate European aviation.
Keen to spread my own wings, I jumped at the chance to set up and manage a Tourism Research Consultancy with the TU Dublin. The best part of this job was the chance to grow and build something from scratch. I learnt about the value, and enjoyment, of collaboration with like minded people.
And then came a pretty big career change.
At this stage, I was fascinated by the world of work. After 8 jobs and 14 different bosses, I was trying to work out what makes me happy at work? What makes me good at my work? Is this it, or might there be more?
"Know thyself and grow thyself!
A little self reflection and consistent effort can go a long way towards achieving what you want."
I became a ‘career self development’ junkie and read every book that I could on the subject of careers.
Keen to put my passion on a professional platform, I went back to study and completed a MSc in Organisational Behaviour, learning all about the people side of the organisation. Fascinated by the concept of ‘job match’, I worked with companies helping them understand the fit between the individual and the work that they do, and how this affects performance.
In 2004 I had a chance encounter with a company called The Mind Gym, a young innovative company looking to change the way that we view learning and development. Seeing this as a natural fit to my own work, I trained and qualified as a coach with The Mind Gym. This gave me the fabulous opportunity to deliver over 1000 training sessions to over 90 companies throughout Ireland, UK and Europe.
My journey took me 10 years! Had the Career Conversations Experience been around earlier – I certainly could have short circuited this process.
The Career Conversations Experience