Generation Women Rise and ShineThursday 28th November 2019 saw the annual Rise and Shine Graduation. Almost 50 amazing women have completed the programme this year and we got together to celebrate their achievements and hear their stories. I was so proud to give these amazing women a platform.

The main highlight was the panel of 7 graduates who very generously shared their stories, struggles, and secrets for success.

Generation Women Rise and Shine Graduation - Nuala M

We heard from Nuala M who joined the programme despite on the face of it having a ‘dream job’. Appearances can deceive and things had come to a head when she was being made sick by the stress of it all. She got the confidence and support she needed to follow her real dream and has set up Adorn Bespoke Styling. She is the picture of happiness!

We heard from Nuala H who had recommended her sister do Rise and Shine. On seeing the results she got she decided to give it a whirl herself. Generation Women Rise and Shine Graduation Nuala HShe openly says that confidence wasn’t her issue, but again she’d been settling for a job that didn’t make her happy. She quit her job after our first session (gulp), and by the end of the programme had refocused on her values, recognised the importance of balance for her, and written her own job description for a new job which she loves!

Rise and Shine Graduation - Sandra

Then there was Niamh who was feeling a little lost and wanted to set a new career direction. She was being taken for granted and feeling drained by where she was. It’s wonderful to see Niamh making a success of her new direction as a career coach for graduates! I couldn’t be happier to see her succeed.

Rise and Shine Graduation - Roisin

We also had Roisin who had left her job before joining the programme. She was keen to do a career pivot, and also harboured a dream to move to sunny Brighton. With the support of the group she made the move, and starts her new job on Monday with all the boxes on her values list well and truly ticked. She can’t wait to fulfill the rest of the goals on her vision board.

Rise and Shine Graduation - Pauline Pauline had been feeling like an imposter at work. She had the senior position and the recognition, but was feeling unworthy. Her confidence at work has since soared, her boss is even more wowed by her – and so he should be. Plus her top-class LinkedIn profile resulted in being headhunted immediately! Not that she wants to go anywhere now as things are so good where she is.

Rise and Shine Graduation - Elaine

Sandra had felt like she’d achieved all she had wanted in her role, and was looking for the next challenge. She also wanted the confidence people saw on the outside to be reflected on the inside. One of the things Sandra really appreciates about the programme was how I made introductions to the right people to help her get the jobs she really wanted. She’s now delighted to be in a new role that’s giving her the challenge she craved.

Generation Women Rise and Shine Graduation - Nuala M

And finally, Elaine came to me after going through redundancy and wanting to work out what was next. She also wanted to find that opportunity in her new home in France. She has the confidence in her new direction, has made an unbelievable network in France, and is successfully developing her career in what she wants.

I know many were energized by the stories that these women shared with our audience and the confidence with which they were delivered. Thank you to each and every one of them, for giving up their valuable time to inspire others to Rise and Shine.  Following our amazing panel all graduates were presented with certificates. Then they proceeded to network, or in other words have a chat and drink prosecco!
Rise and Shine Graduation


Tackling Period Poverty
Finally, I must say that it was such a pleasure and an honour to have Katrina McDonnell Rise and Shine Graduation - Katrina McDonnellof The  Homeless Period Belfast speak at the event. I’m so wowed by what she and the volunteer team have achieved. Please support this charity and movement by:
– donating to the pink bins
– taking the shame out of periods by talking about them
– asking your organisation to provide free sanitary products.
The more people see this isn’t a luxury the more we can drive change!!  You can find out more and get in touch here.
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All photographs by Nick Patterson at Sync Imaging