Who inspires me? My father. He came from a broken background, wanted a family and got a huge one after meeting my mother. I am one of 6, 3 boys and 3 girls all with very strong personalities. My father was the bread winner and made sure we all had a stable, not wanting for anything environment. He worked hard, extremely hard tbh, but he never moaned, loved what he did in his job and for his family. He wanted the best for his children because he never had anything when he was growing up, and every Christmas he reminds us “when I was a lad”.
He instilled a work ethic in me… at the tender age of 16 with no direction and the only thing I was sure about was, I didn’t want to stay in the uk and be a 9-5 gal which was easier said than done!
I left school with no aspirations, other than not doing a 9-5 job just because a bill needed paying. I was fortunate, my sister and friends had gone abroad and I was soon to follow suit, however my father had different ideas and told me very sternly, you can go at 19 years of age as long as you hold down a job, save money and show you are responsible.
Cutting a very long story short, I did a postal round for 2 years – early rises at 4am – carried a bag weighing a ton of mail in every weather imaginable to fulfil my goal. I left to go abroad with £80 in my pocket but what stood out to my dad, was my determination to achieve my goal of working abroad!!
Fast forward to today, and I still have that work ethic that was instilled in me in those early years, I still have the drive and I love what I do because the goals I achieve are mine alone, I’m not a millionaire in terms of money but I am in terms of work:life balance – priceless!!
My days as head of Executive Search at Utility People are filled with diversity, I always have an on-going Executive assignment to work on, and have the pleasure of building relationships with so many amazing people working in our industry, utilising my network to identify the perfect candidates for my roles. I am constantly on a learning curve, meeting and speaking with industry professionals daily, ensures I am kept up to date on industry changes and movements.
I am in constant contact with my existing clients, but also building new relationships with new ones. My clients all have varying expectations, accountabilities and organisational ethics. I not only need to understand the technical requirements of the position, but I need to understand the culture of the business I am working with, and who would be the right personality fit for that organisation.
My business world is a mine-field of endless opportunities.
I always wanted to a specialist – not an expert (that’s not me) – but to be part of something I have knowledge in. I have always thought “knowledge is power”!
Did I choose Utilities? No. Did Utilise choose me? Yes!! I was looking for my next career move and by chance Angela and Linda were introduced to me via a contact. I loved research/head hunting and had done so for more than 7 years as a generalist, but the passion was missing. However, the opportunity to become a specialist in a given arena was something I really wanted, and this happened with Utility People (utilities specialist) in 2012. My passion was about to be ignited, and all the values that were part of me, were about to be opened up like Pandora’s box – integrity, passion, hard work, believe, trust and most importantly, commitment.
Angela and Linda have both inspired me from day one of meeting them. Michelle Obama has inspired me – she is so dynamic yet approachable, and Beyonce is another – she exudes sheer determination to be excellent at everything she does, there is no second place for her.
I hold a high regard for every colleague or peer (woman or male) who has been with me on my journey, and helped to show me compassion and humility to deliver the goal of a successful working environment.
I’ve always done well, I’ve managed to climb the ladder, probably due to my enthusiasm to learn and develop, never standing still in any given position but always pushing forward to become someone who can adapt. The most important lesson I have learned has to be, Be prepared!! And those words resonate with me today – BE PREPARED. I still put in a huge effort to prepare for every meeting, and I can honestly say, my preparation has always paid off. I know with confidence, if I am ever asked a question at a meeting about that client or the industry, I am qualified to answer, I have the knowledge at my finger tips.
As a woman, in a male oriented environment, we just need to stand tall, find a mentor (male or female) don’t feel judged and keep walking tall until eventually someone takes notice. Never give up – you will find an organisation that believes in equality and most importantly flexibility. Any organisation that is not willing to accommodate a mother striving to accomplish not only her own personal goals but juggling the responsibilities of her children, are not be worthy of having such an accomplished professional within their organisation.