From our Coaches

Getting to know FlexCoach Kathryn Donaldson

FlexCareers have a fantastic panel of professional coaches available to help our community. Meet Kathryn, passionate about helping people to unlock their potential and achieve career and life. Whether you are a mummy returner, seeking a change of career or looking to take your performance to the next step, Kathryn would love to hear from you.

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.

1. Tell us about your career history.

Originally from the UK, I spent 10 years at US Investment Bank Morgan Stanley, initially as a consultant before being promoted at eight months pregnant to Vice President leading the Technology Training Team. I subsequently led the Graduate Development Program and New Employee Learning & Development. Whilst leading the Technology Training Team, it was a proud moment when the team won a First Choice Award for excellence in client service.

After returning to work after my third child, I decided to study an Executive Coaching Diploma that paved the way for me to begin coaching and develop a portfolio career affording flexibility around my young family. I consulted for Barclays Corporate, first as Interim Head of Learning & Development, then as a Consultant Project Manager for the Chief Operating Officer. At the same time, I began working as a Career Coach for leading UK Consultants Position Ignition.

I relocated to Brisbane with my family in 2013 and subsequently became one of Australia’s first Gallup Certified Strengths Coaches. In 2015 I launched Growing Talent, and I now enjoy partnering with clients to help them realize their career and life goals.  I am a member of the ICF (International Coach Federation) and contribute as part of the Queensland ICF Leadership Team.  I also enjoy guest lecturing and tutoring at the University of Queensland Business School.

2. What was your motivation to become a coach?

I’ve always had a fascination with performance, and how individuality impacts drive and the ability to achieve goals. As a child, I experienced success as an athlete under the guidance of an inspirational coach who has unfortunately since passed away. He was skilled at understanding what motivated me, and his coaching helped me to build confidence and a belief that winning was possible. As I look back I realize what a difference his coaching made not only to me but also to many others. This experience helped me to appreciate the impact of a good coach and piqued my interest in personal development.

3. Do you have any particular areas of coaching expertise?

As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I adopt a Strengths development approach in much of my work. What I love about strengths coaching is that it focuses on developing our innate talents rather than our weaknesses. It’s such a positive approach to development and works on developing what is right with people not what is wrong. Research shows that our
greatest opportunity for growth, engagement and performance improvement is through a strengths development approach. I work with individuals at all levels of their career to cultivate self-awareness and build the confidence, and capability to take the steps needed to define and achieve success.

4. What do you love most about coaching?

I just love helping, it’s a real privilege to partner with my clients. Every person is unique, I might be guiding a client to define and set a plan to achieve goals, or simply pose a question that sparks a light bulb moment! These are magical moments that can potentially lead to a lifetime of positive change. It’s wonderful to be able to contribute in this way.

5. How do you define success?

I think success is personal and means something different to each of us. For me, success means living a life with passion and purpose and making a positive difference in the lives of those around me – my family, my friends and of course my clients. One of my core values is growth, so I feel successful when I am pushing the boundaries to continually
learn and grow through life’s experiences.  It’s important for everyone to take the time to reflect on what success means to them personally, only then can you put in place an actionable plan to achieve it.

6. What is your vision for women in the workplace?

I would like every woman to have the opportunity to achieve her career potential. I believe many women compromise and feel frustration and wonder about what they could achieve if only the workplace was better able to cater to working parents. There are some model examples of smart companies who get it and realise the value of untapped female talent.

Often the only thing holding women back is the flexibility to work around family because for many of us that’s a non-negotiable.  My hope is that companies move to a model where employees are measured on outcomes rather than face time, and be given the opportunity to deliver those outcomes in a way that works for them.

7. What does flexibility mean to you?

Flexibility is a two-way street, it needs to come from employers and employees.  Flexibility is about being able to deliver what’s expected in a way that works for you and your family as well as your employer.  It doesn’t necessarily mean doing fewer hours, rather having flexibility around how and where the work is ‘done’.  It also means having the flexibility to be present with family when needed and being able to flex to an employer’s needs when important issues arise.

About Kathryn

Kathryn is a learning and development consultant, career coach and the founder of Growing Talent. With a wealth of experience gained through a rewarding career consulting and leading teams in global organisations, she now enjoys helping individuals and teams to maximise their potential in order to achieve career and life goals. Her areas of expertise include Career and executive coaching; Career transition guidance and Strengths-based development.

Kathryn makes a difference through her coaching and development programs. She helps individuals and teams to cultivate an awareness and appreciation of their strengths, what they need to be at their best, and how to activate their unique strengths to achieve both individual and team goals. She is an ICF accredited executive coach and a Gallup-certified strengths coach.


Similar posts