Member in the Spotlight … Corrine Thomas
Corrine set up her business in 2012 and like many new to self-employment, first ran it part-time alongside her full-time day job.
With over 25 years in IT and business change for large telecoms and financial services companies including Vodafone, Virgin Media, Old Mutual and Bupa, Corrine brings a pragmatic, supportive and results focused approach to working with her clients.
I have known Corrine for many years and she has been valued member of WOBS and a great support to myself and other members.
Describe your business
I am a career and wellbeing coach and have two areas to my business:
- In the careers part of my work I coach and mentor people who are feeling stuck in their careers and want to find the right direction for themselves. My clients usually work in IT or business change. In my coaching, I create an environment for my clients that is both supportive and challenging. I help them think creatively and intuitively about their career and enable them to find new insights and perspectives. After working with me, my clients will have clarity on their next steps and the confidence to make it happen.
- In the wellbeing part of the business I work with both adults and children who are feeling anxious and
overwhelmed. In this area of my work I've recently started an outdoor based wellbeing and development community called Fresh Air Fridays.
Many of us spend long hours working from home and it's great to have the flexibility and no long commute. Yet, sometimes this can feel a bit lonely and lacking connection with other like-minded people. My Fresh Air Fridays group allows us to get away from the computer for a few hours and enjoy some time in nature.
How does a consultation with you work?
In my coaching work with adults and children I offer an initial free 30-minute consultation during which we discuss what is keeping my clients in a stuck place and explore strategies for moving forwards. I typically follow up with 6-8 one-hour sessions with most of my clients either face to face or over Skype.
My Fresh Air Friday sessions are held twice a month in North Hampshire and the first attendance is free of charge.
Who do you work with?
I work with people who care about getting the best for themselves out of life. It could be through finding a fulfilling new career or through adjusting their lives to overcome anxiety and live each day more confidently.
What did you do before running Choices Coaching?
I set up my business in 2012 and at first ran it part-time alongside my full-time day job. Before that I worked for over 25 years as in IT and business change for large telecoms and financial services companies including Vodafone, Virgin Media, Old Mutual and Bupa.
What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?
Working out where to niche and get out a clear message on what I do, this is because I like choice and variety in my life. This means I offer a number of different services.
What's in the pipeline for the year ahead?
I'm currently working with two schools in my local area where I'm delivering NLP based workshops on overcoming anxiety and confidence building as well as holding one to one sessions with some of the pupils. In the coming year I plan to create a webinar series for families so that they can learn some easy to use strategies to enhance the wellbeing of all members of the family.
I'm also growing my wellbeing service for adults through developing an outdoor based membership community and a 12-week development programme aimed at businesses and community organisations. this is known as Fresh Air Fridays. I run two sessions a month in North Hampshire and am looking to run shorter 12-week programmes for businesses and local communities in 2018.
What are you most proud of?
Sticking with my business plan when it would have been easier to just go and get another job. Also receiving feedback from parents who tell me their children are doing things which they were too scared and anxious to attempt before working with me.
What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?
Follow your passion, surround yourself with people who motivate you and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it
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