Career Coach Sinead Sharkey

I felt it was high time to tell you a bit more about my story, and how my role as a career coach and Generation Women came about.  So here we go…Once upon a time there was a young girl…

Ambition isn’t a dirty word

I’ve always been ambitious.  It started out because my Dad was ambitious for me.  When I was 15 he died suddenly, and I lost my way.  It took me years to find my direction again.  Thankfully I didn’t go off the rails.  I really wanted to go to University, and I did, and studied Psychology.   I loved it, starting to understand what made people tick was fascinating.  The problem was I left University with no idea of what to do.  I drifted into a management programme, into a masters, into a corporate career, until I woke up at 28 and recognised how unhappy I was.  Eventually, I hit rock bottom.  I was such a misery.  Dreading Sunday nights the most.

Often I couldn’t sleep, and inevitably along came Monday mornings so I felt I had no choice but to go to work.  I stopped really enjoying my weekends, because I’d be crying into my wine on Friday evenings.

Time to stop the whingeing and take control

One Friday night something in me just snapped.  I caught sight of how I was getting on and decided ENOUGH!!  It’s time to stop whinging and take control of my career.  It was making me frustrated, miserable, and wouldn’t be long before it would make me sick.

I did something completely new to me, I made a plan.

Step one was to march into my director and tell him I could do something completely different, and that it would help him, the department, and the company!  Get me ;).  I was doing my Masters in Human Resource Management at the time, so I suggested my dissertation project be on cultural transformation.

We had just gone through an organisation-wide engagement survey, and out of over 70,000 people, my department was the most miserable…or to use the correct lingo, least engaged.  For me, this was the best news ever because I knew I could help.  I told him I could take this on as a project, and worked with the management team to turn it around.  By making some key changes, I helped move them from the lowest to the highest engaged department in 1 year!

What did I do?

  • I gave people a voice and helped them feel listened to
  • Reconnected people with the purpose of what they were doing so they had a reason to go to work every day and enjoy it
  • I made sure that people felt recognised and valued for their contributions

The results spoke for themselves, so I quickly became the go to person for engaging people and teams, for creating a want to change – from leadership through to shop floor.  I was the first person they would ask to help them build their team, engage their people, and get them results.  I also got myself a distinction!

Creating opportunities for myself

Clearly I couldn’t work with every team – there was only one of me, but I quickly spotted a gap in the business and started to develop training for leaders so that they could start to do it for themselves.  I showed them how to lead effectively, how to get great results from their teams, and how to influence, motivate and inspire.

Having got various coaching qualifications, I started to recognise the power of the career coach to change behaviour.  I started to coach individuals across the business to get the results they craved.  Whether it was to be able to deliver impactful presentations, get the promotion they really wanted, or be a respected leader…I helped them get there.  The business recognised the power of this growing Coaching culture, and I soon became the lead of a team of 20 Leadership Coaches.  We coached all levels of Managers including the Leadership Team, and I loved it.  I no longer had a job, but my dream career as a career coach.  Every day I was helping people transform, every day I was helping teams to get great results, and (almost) every day they and I were going home happy!

What next?  Start a Career Coaching Business and a Political Party of course!

It was whilst out on maternity leave, I started to think about what next?  What was important to me now?  I’ll be honest, something had changed.  Even though I loved what I did, I knew it had to be bigger, have more of an impact.  In the meantime, having a daughter (soon to be 2), had made me acutely aware of the difficulties girls and women face – in terms of sexism and being held back (to name just a few).

I also started to get involved with women’s networking groups like Lean In, and heard more women express their frustration.

I realised more needed to be done.  Like all women, I’ve experienced sexism, harassment, and downright vile behaviour.  But none of those things made me take action, I was used to all of that, conditioned to accept it.

I’ll tell you what the straw that broke the camel’s back was… one morning, I’d switched on the TV for my daughter while I dozed in bed (well it was sooo early!)  After a while, the advertising started to drift into my consciousness, and it disgusted me.  All of the “girl’s” toys, were vacuous – entirely based on looks and image.  The “boy’s” toys were full of adventure and experimentation.  The one “neutral” toy showed a boy playing it, with a girl as his cheerleader.  I couldn’t believe it.  I flipped the lid and decided I’m not having my daughter’s expectations set so low.  The workplace is hard enough without thinking your entire purpose is to look good!  That set me off in 2 directions – politics and business.  So the least political person in the world has brought the Women’s Equality Party to Northern Ireland, and I started a business to support women.

Generation Women is born

I knew from my own experience in the Corporate world, and my work consulting in major organisations, that whilst women are highly qualified and capable, there are so many feel how I did;

  • Stuck in careers that make them miserable
  • Lacking the confidence to speak up and be heard
  • Overlooked for promotions
  • Afraid to apply for the jobs they really want
  • Not feeling good enough or qualified to take that next step up
  • Tired of holding back and playing small

They know they are capable of so much more.  This is where my heart lies, what all my training and experience had lead towards.

I knew I could really help by being a career coach! 

I’ve been doing this for my clients for years, and now I want to focus completely on helping women move from underperforming to outperforming everyone else so that you can glide up the career ladder.

Do you want to:

  • Earn more?
  • Get that promotion?
  • Kick ass at interviews?
  • Get head hunted?
  • Design your dream career?
  • Get a clear career direction and strategy to achieve it?
  • Become a respected Leader who gets great results?
  • Make impactful presentations?
  • Be heard?
  • Stand out because you outperform everyone else?
  • Love your career?

If you’ve answered yes to any of those then you’re in the right place.  We will work together so that you can stop dreaming and start achieving at the level you KNOW you can.  As your Career Coach I can help you get there.  They say a career is a lifetime?  Well your career is happening here and now, so let’s get it on track.  Let’s get you taking control and creating the results you want.  Let’s GLIDE up the at Corporate Ladder together.

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