As Divisional Director of global insurance and reinsurance broker, Willis, I was responsible for the marketing and negotiating of multi-million pound global property insurance contracts. During my 20+ year insurance career, I worked in Paris as liaison between the London and Paris offices and regularly travelled in Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa on client business.
Using my skills to craft, write and present underwriting submissions which were clear, accurate and easily understood to used in legally-binding negotiations with underwriters, I designed a blueprint to be followed for my Division. Being able to “write like I’m speaking to you” is one of my gifts and I use this skill both to grow my own business and as part of my clients’ development. I’m regularly interviewed on this very subject as it’s a tricky piece for so many people who suddenly either become ‘constipated’ when they try to write (think emails, proposals, summaries, appraisals) or too wooden to engage their readers.
Being able to break down the ‘how’ into easy steps for my clients is a popular and valuable skill set to learn and it’s now part of my LINKING-your-ThinkingTM system.
I still speak French (although admit these days I’m more enthusiastic than grammatically correct) – and I can make myself understood. That’s the key.
Joining the British Heart Foundation as a Community Fundraiser in 2002 gave me valuable exposure and understanding of a wider variety of people and their differing circumstances.
The role relied on building trust and strong connections with volunteers and members of the public to raise thousands of pounds each year for my Region (and often involved dressing up like a big red heart to open events!) I remain a voluntary speaker on the work of the British Heart Foundation and via my work with women now, am now also a fundraiser for United Nations Women UK.
Drawing on a +30 year career full of personal experience, highs and lows and a myriad of stories from my clients, I now show – in a structured, evidence-based way – women how to navigate their way through the career ‘lattice’.
It’s no longer a career ladder in my view.
Sometimes you need to go sideways to get ahead. Sometimes one step back and then accelerate from there. You need structure and strategy and a safe place to think it through and plan your actions. I show women how to skip the bits which sabotage them or slow them down and show them how to really connect to the value and true outcomes of their work. That’s where real success and rewards are to be found.
Oh and this is a painting sent to me by a one-time client who is now my own Brand Designer. Erin Ferree Stratton of Brand Style Design.
Erin felt the image depicts the flow and energy of my work and popped it in the post to me. It’s now featured throughout my site and my Event. My work’s evolving all the time. So is yours and so are you too.
The question is, are you open to how you’re evolving and is it where you actually want to be?