We hear a lot these days about ‘finding our purpose’; another way of saying ‘listen to your heart’
to discover what you really care about. It sounds simple, but we’ve often forgotten how to do it.
My career story - so far...
I left Oxford University in the late-80's with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and a hotly contested place in the British Civil Service which I quickly deferred to take a gap year working in London in an ad agency and as a semi-professional dancer in a commercial dance company, pursuing a lifelong passion for dance in all its forms.
Within 6 months I had turned down the Civil Service place and moved to work with one of the agency's clients, a high profile charity organising fashion shows, boxing matches and corporate sponsorship of campaigns with young people.
Law and Media:
Frustration at the lack of career path in the non-profit sector turned me towards in my mid-20's and I headed to Law School in Chancery Lane, London.
4 years later I was a fully qualified and trained solicitor with a City firm specialising in Media Law, working with agencies, film producers, writers, animators and musicians.
Realising that I enjoyed working with clients more than the law itself, I moved in-house to an Acting Head of Legal and Business Affairs position in a subsidiary TV company in a large media group.
Moving to Asia:
When a role as General Manager for Pearson TV Asia opened in Singapore, my mother's home country, Singapore, I moved in 1997, the beginning of the Asian Crisis and was quickly charged with navigating currency crashes and riots. I watched the small P&L for which I was responsible become smaller still.
MBA and a return to business:
Realising I lacked crucial understanding about the people aspects of doing business, I took a sabbatical for my MBA at INSEAD Business School in Singapore and France and when I returned in 2001, a lot had turned around both within me and in the market. I was promoted to Regional MD for Asia.
My return coincided with the company's launch of the Idol series and as American Idol became a huge hit, there was a clamour around the world for local versions. For the next few years I was tasked with growing the business in keeping with the new demand and booming market for Idol and other reality TV in Asia.
Growing from 2 - 6 offices across Asia with little resource took a stupid amount of travel, a fantastic team and the support of coaches and mentors who sparked my interest in the philosophy of leadership and how to be human in the vicissitudes of leading global businesses.
Finding the Golden Thread:
In 2006 while pregnant with my son, my coach at the time helped me realise that the most rewarding part of each of my jobs had been supporting people to navigate difficult problems and transitions.
As much as I loved the fun of TV and lovely colleagues, what was fascinating for me was the world of people development. And so I left my corporate career for coach training and founded my first coaching practice.
I was a board member for several of the Pearson and Bertelsmann Asian subsidiaries and continue to serve on the boards and advisory boards of non- profit and for-profit enterprises in the field of learning and development.
Education and professional training
My BA is in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from INSEAD. I qualified as a lawyer in the UK and later as a Mediator in Singapore.
Accredited with the International Coach Federation at PCC level, I have been trained and certified in a variety of coaching methodologies including Results Coaching Systems and Integral Coaching. I have a post Graduate diploma in positive business psychology accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists, UK, and am trained as both a Pilates teacher and a Yoga teacher
Fields of interest
I partner people making changes in work and life and my role is to help turn stressful transitions into opportunities for growth.
I have a track record working with gifted and talented individuals in technology companies, professional services firms, medicine, academia and government. My intention is always to support my clients to cultivate greater clarity about what matters, courage to throw themselves in the fray whole-heartedly and the capacity to keep sustaining their best game in whatever they are dedicated to do.
I am of British and Chinese descent and live in Singapore with my partner and teenage son. I have lived, worked and studied in 5 countries and continue to work and study across Asia and beyond. As well as music, dance and forms of mainstream art I am often to be found exploring in the fringes to see what might be useful and interesting for my clients.