Tell us a bit about you and your career at BT
I live in Warwick with my wife and young daughter. I am 41 years old. I joined BT in 1995 with a degree in Economics. I started as an Associate Planner and worked in London. During my 15 years in project management at BT, my roles were varied.
What made you think about changing your career?
I decided to seek help to review my career in May 2010 after two periods of intense work and having to take time out due to work related stress. I had experienced some major life events all at the same time. I’d got married, had a child, and moved out of London whilst changing jobs to work in a high pressured environment with BT Directors.
I wanted to spend more time with my new family, being properly present when I was with them (i.e. even when I was in their company, I was not actually present but thinking about work!)
I found that my core principles and foundations were being worn away. Due to my promotion, I found myself working for managers who worked hard, long hours and although respected family life privately, were professionally pressured to do more and more and expected the same from their staff.
What was it about Swan Coaching that captured your interest?
We had our first session and I felt immediately comfortable with her style. I was reading about the law of attraction and other self development books that just happened to be on her recommended reading list. A connection was born and I set up 5 telephone sessions.
It was also interesting that Sandra was organising a Law of Attraction workshop. I signed up for that as an opportunity to learn more and meet Sandra in person, as up until then our work together had been entirely over the phone.
How did your work with Swan Coaching develop?
This was interesting – initially I signed up for executive career coaching, because I wanted to feel more in control. I wanted to enjoy my job, rather than feel pushed along by changes in organisation restructuring.
Early on Sandra helped me find another position in BT. Once I’d started the new job however, I realised I’d lost my passion for the corporate lifestyle, as the new job still meant interacting with people who shared the very corporate mindset I was trying to get away from. I felt trapped. Sandra had me think further on what I wanted and what values I held. BT had announced a voluntary redundancy programme and for the first time I felt empowered and I began considering leaving BT. I don’t think I would have been equipped to make that decision had it not been for Sandra’s help and guidance.
Our coaching direction changed from executive coaching, to leaving the company. Sandra’s coaching style empowered me to make choices based on how I really felt. Prior to this, my analytical mind had been focused on what I would lose, rather than what I would gain always concluding that it would be silly to leave a well paid job with great benefits and a good pension!
So, with her support, I made the decision to apply for redundancy. When I got notification that I was accepted, it felt like a relief but also excitement at what the next step might bring. That’s when Sandra and I took our sessions to another level!
What was it that Swan Coaching did that helped you move into a new career?
Sandra’s coaching encouraged me to connect my head with my heart. This was a revelation, and this is how I found my true passion. She kept prodding away at me -ever so gently I should add, encouraging me to see what ignited me, and then reflecting that uniqueness back to me so I could recognise it in myself!
She allowed our sessions to be very fluid and broad. She was able to completely tune into me and would sense from my voice where I would light up – talking about children’s spiritual books – and where I would dip –looking at my CV. I’m not sure I would have seen that without Sandra. So when did I begin to acknowledge my own interests, and learn to value them, I started to explore this further in my sessions, and then on my own between sessions. I began to research a business idea. Once I figured out what the business would be, I found a purpose. Then I was on a roll!
Sandra also offered practical suggestions, signposting me to Business Link, the Government run organisation that helps people setting up in business. I followed up and began to attend their free business coaching sessions for new start ups.
Most importantly Sandra encouraged me to believe in myself, my interests and my values and constantly reminded me in her sessions that whatever life / career I wanted, I could create. Since attending her Law of Attraction workshop, I incorporated these principles into the process. I learned that like attracts like, so if I wanted to change in my life/career then I needed to focus on that, seek out others who had done the same, and start to live and breathe my decision, as if it had already happened. I started to read more about the universal law of attraction as it fascinated me!
What key areas has working with Swan Coaching helped you with?
My career change for a start! Number 1 on my list, I think without Sandra I would have got a similar job in the same or similar industry, rather than consider setting up my own business.
She has also helped me spiritually. Using heart-focusing techniques, I came to my decisions based on feelings and inspiration rather than perspiration!
Emotionally – I have gone through quite an emotional journey, so the emotional support has invaluable.
What is your new business?
By the end of Autumn 2011 I’m launching a book store that specialises in children’s spiritual books, and a Reiki healing centre based in Leamington Spa. It’s a world away from corporate life!
How has it been working with Swan Coaching, and why would you recommend them?
I can truly say that my life has changed dramatically but smoothly with Sandra’s style of coaching. When I started to work with her, I felt I was looking up at a big mountain. Without Sandra’s encouragement and advice, I would still be standing at the foot of that mountain. Now I feel that I’m on the descent, and can continue with my journey knowing for sure that I am on the right track, full of energy, passion and excitement. Sandra’s coaching has enabled me to face my fears head on and use them to positive effect.
I recommend Swan Coaching if you are standing at the foot of your mountain, hill or even a slight gradient, as Sandra will assist you greatly with those first all important steps, and be there to support you on the rest of your journey should you feel you need it.
If you are interested in talking to Swan Coaching about a career change, we’d be happy to hear from you. Various packages are available to help fit in with your budget.
Call: 01582 413013. Skype calls can be arranged.