Like many others I did not start out in life knowing what I wanted to do. I left school at the age of eighteen with my leaving certificate and a secretarial course behind me. I wanted to work in an office, that was as specific as I could be. Fortunately for me I worked for a large organisation in Dublin that allowed me to transfer to different departments and that was how I discovered what interested me. I did a stint in human resources and although I was a lowly filing clerk it gave me exposure to the subject area which opened up a world of possibility for me and a couple of years on I went to London.
In London I was lucky to get an administrative post in HR working for a huge international organisation and this experience copper fastened my interest in HR. Within a year I began a diploma in HRM at Middlesex University and I negotiated with my boss to give me a few hours day release weekly so I could attend. I truly felt that I had landed on my feet. For a number of years, I absolutely loved my work. I changed jobs, moved organisations and worked for medium sized companies but I fell out of love with it. I was good at aspects of it but I didn't want to do it anymore, I just had no desire to continue. I knew I needed to change something but I didn't know what that was specifically.
Following the thread
I knew for sure that what interested me most was making connections with people, their development and growth. To try and discover what I wanted to do I followed what I knew and I did some introductory courses; counselling, coaching and mentoring and I discovered that I wanted to help others reach their potential in their working lives, a decision that was largely influenced by my own experience of dissatisfaction and the impact that had on me. That year I began an MSc in Career Management & Counselling at the University of London.
Then I had a wholly different idea about how I would use that education. At the time I was sponsored by my employer to do the MSc and given a new role as Development Manager to develop organisational level systems and programmes to support and manage the development of internal talent. However things changed, in essence I was given a role without a mandate, the decision makers weren't actually interested which really meant that I had to make a decision and I decided to ask for redundancy.
I continued to do contract work in HR while I completed the MSc and try to figure out how I could work as a Career Counsellor/Coach with integrity.
I realised that one of the most important things to me was to work independently. I wanted to be able to work with the interests of my client at the core and not compromise my integrity because of pressure from an employer to meet their needs. In 2005 I returned to Ireland with some experience having worked for a small consultancy firm in London. I set up in Cork in January 2006 and there have been many twists and turns as I discovered my own brand of career guidance counselling.
Now I realise that I could never have known what I wanted to do at eighteen or indeed twenty-five. What I do and how I work now is an accumulation and combination of the all the different work roles I have had as well as my own personal development. Following the thread was part of the discovery process.
As a Counsellor/Coach I see myself and my role largely as facilitator to my client’s exploration of their thoughts, experiences, ideas, challenges and struggles. I do not see myself as an expert. I am available to be present, observe and facilitate so that clients find their own answers.
As a CV Writer I listen and facilitate the conversation to gain an understanding of what’s important and get a sense of the person as well as their career history so that I can refine and translate that information into a targeted CV.
I work from a grounded, respectful, holistic and intuitive perspective and my natural style is gentle, patient, compassionate and honest. What I offer is a space where you are invited to share and participate in a process of exploration, to the extent that feels safe and appropriate for you. I will ask probing questions to help you explore your experience more fully, while I listen deeply to your responses.
21/23 Oliver Plunkett Street
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