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Running a Recruitment Business after a life-changing diagnosis

  I received a shocking breast cancer diagnosis in January this year after I found a pea-sized lump in my left breast. Whilst I would in no way want it again, having cancer has changed my working life for the better. Whilst some people take a year off work (I was told); I knew I needed to run my business and working would aid my recovery. I think my healing would have suffered had I not been able to carry on doing something I loved.  Jobs change lives! Getting over the initial disbelief of having cancer, I didn’t regard it as an illness, just something I had to get through; I approached it as I would a business task, drawing up a plan, revealing the news to my clients and candidates; I was very open about it from the start. Following a lumpectomy, I was told the cancer had been removed.  I needed further treatment: six sessions of chemotherapy and 20 sessions of radiotherapy. Phase 1: Operation; Phase 2: Chemotherapy; Phase 3: Radiotherapy.  Diarising start dates, end dates and dates in-between, there could have been delays; I may have caught an infection or my immune system may have been too low.  Like any business plan, the critical path may not always remain static.  It can change during the course of the project completion date as unforeseen circumstances can happen. I monitored and diarised my first chemotherapy session.  I was advised that this would pretty much be the same pattern for all six treatments. My chemotherapy was every three weeks on a Thursday.  The first three days I would be...

How I became an International Buying and Brand Director!

I’ve always had a passion and love of clothes, fashion and interiors and knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with fashion and textiles. My mum was a fabulous dress maker, so I was always surrounded by fabrics and encouraged to make my own clothes. I also loved business and numbers so was amazed at finding the perfect degree course at Manchester Polytechnic, Hollings Faculty that combined both! It also included  a year’s work experience in manufacturing, so the perfect training for an amazing career in the fashion business! Buying was absolutely my first choice! Being able to combine my love of design, trend and colour to develop and create collections, with all the commercial elements of business strategy, planning and negotiation was the perfect mix. I also loved the travelling and building relationships with amazing suppliers around the world to create and deliver successful ranges. Armed with a fantastic content learned at Hollings coupled with my work experience I joined the graduate training program for Buying at M&S, which laid the solid foundations for my fabulous career to date! Since then I have been fortunate enough to work for and lead teams in some amazing  brands as Buying Director, Brand Director and MD, both here in the UK and Australia. These include French Connection, Accessorize, Coast, Arcadia-Wallis, Habitat, Jacques Vert and Forever New. I am now sharing my knowledge and expertise by offering my services as a consultant and coach to businesses that need help and support The world of retail and fashion is one of constant change and evolvement which is why I...