FlexCareers is passionate about supporting our employer partners and our community to be the best that they can be. We offer a range of training and coaching services in areas such as career transition and outplacement, parental leave, return to work, managing flexibly, interview skills, leadership and management, positive psychology, and diversity & inclusion – to name a few.
In this series, we introduce you to our panel of FlexCoaches, each who offer a complimentary 30-minute chemistry session to our community.
Julie, Tell us about your career history?
I spent the first 10 years of my career working full-time and studying part-time. I started a full-time traineeship before I turned 16 (note: I have a 13-year-old son and the idea of him working full-time in a few years seems ridiculous!) I completed a Diploma in HR through TAFE, then did an undergraduate degree in Sociology part-time while establishing a career in university administration… then completed an MBA part-time while working full-time in university management roles.
I left a well-established career in higher education to run my own coaching and facilitation business. I now work as a coach and facilitator with several Australian and global coaching organisations and this provides me with the opportunity to do what I love every day, coaching incredible people who are located all over the world. I’m also the mother of two primary-school-aged children, so the flexibility my work offers is invaluable.
What was your motivation to become a coach?
I was acting in a senior role when I had my first experience of executive coaching and it changed my life. I thought my coach had magic powers, because I left that coaching session with a level of clarity and certainty I hadn’t felt in years. I had the privilege of meeting several other executive coaches in a relatively short period of time and realised that I had “found my tribe”. I always loved developing individuals and teams as a leader, but when I started my coach training I knew I had found my calling.
I am an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and my commitment to developing the profession of coaching is demonstrated through my involvement with the ICF, currently as President for the ICF’s South Australia Branch.
Do you have any particular areas of coaching expertise?
With more than two decades of experience as a senior leader, mentor and coach I have coached people at almost every level of seniority and stage of life, from an incredibly diverse range of backgrounds and industries… but what really lights me up is working with people to uncover their unique strengths and find their motivation, or ‘spark’. A recent coaching client wrote “I’d lost my mojo: Julie set me on a path to get it back. She listened. She challenged. She armed me with tools. She broadened my thinking about my life, my work and ultimately, myself. Our coaching sessions made what had been a muddle in my head keeping me awake at night, merge into a clear way forward.”
I’ve made some tough choices as part of my own pursuit of ‘balance’, which gives me a first-hand understanding of how difficult it can be to know what you really want for yourself and your family… then to develop the strategies and momentum to pursue it.
What do you love most about coaching?
I love helping the people I coach achieve positive change in their lives – identifying the areas for growth that will make the biggest difference to their confidence, career, and/or wellbeing. I especially love working with people to stretch their thinking and explore new possibilities. I help my coaching clients take a step back and get clarity about their personal vision, then make changes that will move them toward that. A client wrote “Julie coached me through some difficult choices and gave me the confidence to change” – that’s why I find my job so fulfilling.
How do you define success?
Personal success is knowing what your core values are and then finding a way to live those values as fully as possible every day of your life. It’s about knowing what’s important to you and having the courage to live your life authentically. It’s also accepting that your definition of success might change over time, so it’s OK to change your mind and change your path.
What is your vision for women in the workplace?
For women to be valued and rewarded equally for the contribution they make, regardless of the “hours” they are working or where they are working from. There is recent research indicating that 43% of women aspire to top management when they are in the first two years of their position, compared with 34% of men at that stage. However, over time, women’s aspiration levels drop more than 60% while men’s stay the same. I would like to see women receive the support they need – with coaching being one suitable intervention – to raise their confidence and aspiration levels and shift these statistics.
How do you define ‘flexibility’?
True flexibility is a mindset shift – it’s not about when people start and finish work or the number of hours they work. It’s about employers and employees having open and honest conversations about what’s possible and then being prepared to review and respond to changes in circumstances… because what works today may not work in six or twelve months. Flexibility can and should be beneficial to both parties.
Julie is an accomplished organisational coach, with extensive leadership and management experience and a passion for growing individuals and teams. Julie is credentialed with the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC). With more than two decades of experience as a senior leader, mentor and coach, Julie is committed to coaching people to achieve personal and professional growth, and enhance the quality of life. Having worked as part of executive teams and managed teams of varying sizes, she has a first-hand appreciation and deep understanding of the challenges faced by people in leadership roles.