David, Business Development in travel industry – looking to develop a long-term career plan
Monika – Returning to work and retraining to change career
I had taken a promotion after returning from my second maternity leave, which I hated. Combined with the pressures of taking and picking up two children from nursery 4-days a week and a slipped disc I decided to give up work. I knew I wanted to work in future, but it needed to be worth it. I did not have an obvious profession or career as such, so any job moves were going to be tricky. Initially, I was very focused on having something local and part-time. I had taken up a book-keeping course (which I thought would be beneficial were I ever to run my own business and I also thought it might provide local/flexible employment in the future). I found it interesting and had thought that maybe I would like to pursue my career in that area. However, when I printed off my CV to look for low-level accountancy roles, I was concerned about losing the experience I had gained over the years and knew that I did have a lot of transferable skills. That's when I decided to seek Tamsin’s help.
In a naive manner I think I wanted Tamsin to do a couple of personality/values tests and then look at my CV and say - 'this is the perfect career for you'. I did want a quick fix. It did not happen like that.
Tamsin gave me lots of homework, that at times I felt stressed about as I had no ‘calling’ about what I wanted to do for a job. But it did make me really think about what I wanted. There were times (like after the summer holidays) when I said: “let’s just pause - I don’t think I need a big job yet”. And I met up with Tamsin and she helped me to get back on track, without being pushy, but just reminding me of where I ultimately wanted to be: have my kids but also have a job that brings me satisfaction. I also thought that the answer to my career woes would lie in doing an MA, Tamsin was reluctant to let me push myself down that route as she wondered whether it would take something different to find the job I wanted. Ultimately the most valuable thing was that Tamsin encouraged me to keep three options open and explore each one simultaneously. I think this was truly beneficial as over the course of six months my concerns and priorities changed a lot, and Tamsin understood this completely as a working mother herself. The understanding motivation that Tamsin provided me with was invaluable. Her great humour and wisdom made the whole process hard but enjoyable. And nothing worthwhile is achieved from doing nothing.
I have now embarked upon my CIMA studies. It really was Tamsin who opened my eyes to the opportunity which will combine my interest in the financial and strategic aspects of business, and let me build on all the experience I have gained to date. I am on my own now with my laptop, but know that I can and will call upon Tamsin’s sage advice again very soon.
Katie – Setting up a business after a seven year career break
Before I did Tamsin’s workshops (alternative career and starting a business) I hadn’t worked since my eldest child had been born, had no confidence and no direction and thought my only option was to return to a job that I didn’t enjoy with hours that I felt were incompatible with family life. I was hoping that Tamsin would help me channel my existing skill set in a different direction and give me some ideas about other careers that could be available to me that I hadn’t yet considered.
The brainstorming was really useful, even though it was probably the part of the programme that I looked forward to least. With the help of Tamsin and the others on the course, it was during this session that I really cemented what it was that I was going to do (and what I am now doing!).
After the alternative career course I continued to research starting my new business and whether it was viable, how it would work, etc. Then I did Tamsin’s starting a new business course which was hugely beneficial in terms of the practicalities of setting up the business (accountancy, Companies House, insurance etc) and the importance of an online presence. It has taken me a year from when I did the first workshop but I now have my own company and feel that I am well on track to achieving a career that is fulfilling for me but also allows me to be at the school gates and at home for my children.
I would recommend the programmes without hesitation – it has led me to where I am today. Tamsin understood exactly where I was coming from and was empathetic and offered really practical and workable solutions to the obstacles I felt were in my way. She has a broad understanding of lots of different careers and gave me the confidence to take the leap I needed to take. I am enormously grateful to Tamsin and, without wishing to sound too effusive, I’m certain I would not be where I am today if I had not attended her workshop.
Stephanie – Recent graduate, looking for focus
I had just graduated from University and was stuck in a rut after deciding I didn’t want to follow a career that was related to my degree. I needed to get my career started but I just didn’t know where to start with so many options going round in my head.
I was looking for somebody who could help me find out my strengths and weaknesses and what to focus on with confidence. I wanted to not just find a career that would make me financially stable but more importantly, something that would make me happy.
After meeting with Tamsin, she helped me realise what my skills were, what drives me as an individual and therefore helped me decide on a few career options. She coached me through every process – from updating my CV to make me look more attractive to potential employees to giving me advice to help me cope with interview situations.
Tamsin gave me real confidence and without her resources and coaching I would not be in the fantastic position I am now. I would definitely recommend MCW for any graduates who are unsure on what to do and need support whilst making that huge decision when starting their career. MCW provides a personal experience which I think is unique. She is there to support you when there are tough decisions to make, breaking each step down and making a solution easy.
Rebecca – Maternity coaching to support career progression
I was in the early stages of pregnancy and my company was going through a restructure. I wasn’t sure how to manage the situation, so I got in touch with MCW for some support and guidance.
Tamsin made it feel like a range of steps that I could work through and I just didn’t feel so alone. Through the counselling sessions and emails we exchanged I negotiated the salary and job title that I wanted and had a really positive response from the management team. No doubt I’ll be in touch again at my next career junction, especially once the baby arrives and I acclimatise to my ‘new mum’ status.
Louise – Exploring career options after second maternity leave
I was on maternity leave from a senior and demanding job in the city. I had wanted to change jobs for some time but the arrival of our second child drove home to me the impact of a three- hour daily commute, a job with very long hours full-time and a culture that I was uncomfortable with.
My challenge was that I am currently the sole earner for our family, so the sense of responsibility weighed heavy on me. I was looking for someone to help me and my baby-fried brain through an emotional yet vital journey to understand my options, have the confidence to explore new things and make the right decision for me as an individual as well as the family.
Tamsin was able to help me gain some perspective on my situation. Exercises that she suggested I do with my husband reminded me of my desires and priorities, but also helped us to remember what we were working towards as a couple and what was important to us both as well as for the family. It was probably the first time I had really shared my concerns with my husband.
Once I was clear on what my values and drivers were and what options I might have, Tamsin helped me to explore those options, providing access to resources, feedback of draft CVs and letters and helped me try new ways of approaching headhunters and considering self- employment. Additionally, Tamsin helped me through the emotional stages when fear would take over – breaking down tasks and making them manageable amidst sleepless nights and an adjusting family unit.
I ended up making the decision to return to my place of work. But it was a conscious choice, made as result of knowing what other options I had and recognising that the time was not right to explore them. My employer offered massive flexibility on my return to work and for the short to medium term that was what we needed. I have gone back to work more confident that I’m good at what I do and can juggle everything more successfully.
However, through the process with MCW I have also built a new network of contacts for when the time is right to move – the next year or so – and I will make that move because I know how to get there. I would recommend MCW not just to mums but to anyone looking to explore new careers. The pragmatic approach is invaluable and the level of support exceptional. The fact that the person you are talking to understands your situation and can empathise with the challenges of managing a family and career was brilliant. I received guidance that was completely impartial and non-judgemental, vital when I had just had a baby.
I have seen career counsellors at various times in my life. The experience was totally different. Previously, I had filled out some exercises about preferences and IQ in a dark room and then had those answers replayed to me. Given I know myself quite well, I didn’t learn anything new. With MCW, however, I was credited with knowing myself and supported in a personalised way to verify that before the focus effectively shifted to actions to be taken and support to explore. I have never experienced this before and it makes MCW stand out from the rest in my view.
Katherine – Returning to work after maternity leave
When I first went to MCW, I was six months into my second maternity leave and was unsure about whether or not to return to work, both from a financial point of view and from a career/fulfilment point of view.
Having gone back to work after having my first child and struggled to balance my career with being a mum, I was really anxious about how I could make it work having two children. At the same time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to (or could afford to) be a full-time mum. I really needed some professional, impartial advice that could help me decide what would work for my personal circumstances and what options were out there for me.
After talking through my options, I came to the decision that I did want to go back to work and Tamsin supported me in putting forward a really strong case to my existing employer to ask for a part-time role that would allow me to get a good work-life balance and fit with my childcare without compromising too much on my own career path. Tamsin suggested new ways of working and gave me tips on how to structure my pitch to my boss. For me, the most valuable outcome was that Tamsin gave me the confidence to ask for a better deal than I would have done on my own. She highlighted the reasons why I was still a strong asset to my company and the advantages to them of my working part-time. She coached me through the whole process and was always coming up with useful suggestions to get around any potential obstacles.
I would recommend MCW to any other mums or women who are looking to start a family because in my experience, there is a real gap in the market for this kind of service. I don’t know many women who have the right work-life balance and it’s hard to get back into the workplace after being at home with your children. I felt totally left behind and past it, but Tamsin understood my issues straight away and gave me the support and advice I needed. It was a really personal service rather than someone just talking you through your rights or offering the standard advice on part-time working that you tend to get from most HR functions.
Mark, Commercial Director – Looking to explore career options and better balance with family life
I thought that the discussions and sessions with Tamsin would be useful, but I was really impressed and pleased by the breadth and depth of the questions and analysis, as well as by the confident, competent and approachable manner in which Tamsin managed the discussions. It always felt interesting and engaging but when I think about it afterwards, I realise we did dig quite deep into my thinking and aspirations but it never felt like hard work.
The work she helped me to do really contributed to identifying the path I wanted to take, and I feel very lucky to have found the second job in my career which feels absolutely perfect and I can see myself being at for a long time. I also have some clarity about the longer-term path to incorporate other ambitions.
Daniel, HR Professional – Looking for career progression
I had worked in retail for 10 years since leaving school and progressed my career into retail HR. With my new found skills, I wanted to make a change in industry but continue in HR. I didn’t know what my next step was to be and ended up applying for different positions that were probably not right for me.
MCW was recommended to me by someone who had worked with Tamsin before. After speaking with her, I really understood what I could do next in relation to how my CV looks, what industries were attractive to me and where I saw my career in the future. I felt refreshed and focused and ready to start a much more targeted job search.
I applied for the perfect role and was invited to interview and now happily working there. I would highly recommend MCW to anyone in the middle of their career and feeling lost or just want a change.
Pete, Development Director – Looking for new career direction
Tamsin has been fantastically helpful in my job hunt. Not only did she help me to craft my CV and LinkedIn profile, throughout my search she was also able to offer me considered, impartial advice delivered with blend of pragmatism, compassion and humour. I would heartily recommend her to anyone considering a career change.
Sarah, Global Learning Manager – looking to refocus career direction
Now a global learning and development manager within the international development / animal welfare sector, I came to careers coaching / counselling as I was at a real crossroads with the direction in which I wanted to go. I had stepped out of an earlier career in HR and Learning & Development to re-train as a teacher while my own children were young but then yo-yo’d between the two career paths as they were growing up, at one point trying to do both part-time but simultaneously! I was really seeking help from Tamsin to focus and provide clearer direction, as well as to help me make the best of the transferable skills aligned to both careers. The most valuable element of the process was to evaluate strengths, and to really give me confidence in what I can offer. Anyone, including those who are just starting out in a career, or who want to change direction at any stage, can benefit from this support as it is great to ‘check in’ with yourself and Tamsin is very good at enabling you to see what is holding you back from reaching your full potential.