From a young age, I had a lot of freedom and choice about where I wanted to go in life.
At 18 I moved to the US to study. Growing up in France, the move was about fulfilling my dream of exploring a far off mysterious land and breaking away from my childhood by taking my first bold steps into independent adulthood.
My studies in travel and tourism led me to working for a travel agent, which though I quickly realised wasn’t where I wanted to be, taught me that I enjoyed working with customers to help them find what was best for them.
After this I returned to France to work in sales, which I believed would fulfil my desire to help customers, but which I soon discovered was more focused on making money than helping people.
Returning to study I did a bachelors degree in business management and a masters in Human Resources. At the time I didn’t know much about this industry, but it was the course that stood out to me as being all about people.
After my studies I realised I wanted to leave France again and spotted an opportunity in the UK. What followed was a successful ten-year career working within companies to develop and recruit graduates and supporting senior management to identify talented individuals and grow their teams.
However, whilst I was happy that I had finally reached a point in my career where I was helping people and adding value, I sometimes felt frustrated by the corporate constructs around my work. The processes were at odds with my values around co-creation, collaboration and taking a person-centred approach to empowering people to make their own choices.
During this time, I also received coaching which really unlocked my confidence and helped me work through beliefs and blocks that were limiting me. I began to realise that I needed to make a change and felt empowered to do so.
My decision was confirmed after I had my son. I was so unhappy at work that my husband would wish me good luck as I set off to the office. I realised that I did not want my son to grow up believing that work is a challenge. I wanted him to see me enjoying what I do. I wanted to be able to explain to him what I did with my life and I realised that I probably wouldn’t be able to in a way that conveyed meaning. In that moment I knew what I needed to do.
I quit my job and trained to become a transformational coach with Animas, Centre for Coaching. Recently my 8-year-old niece asked me what I do now and I was able to tell her; I help people find out what they like doing and why. This makes them happier.
Throughout my life, I have remained tenacious in my mission to discover what was right for me and stay true to myself.
If I didn’t like something I changed it. Looking back and connecting the dots I learned something valuable from each chapter, like clues on a map. I’m grateful that I was always supported in my choices and this gave me the confidence to experiment and move forward. As a coach this is the role I enjoy being for my clients.