Ok so maybe you need a bit more than Love and Mojitos but it is a good start ... no?
A bit like life itself and in keeping with many of my clients, my profession more found me rather than I pursued it. So how?
From school I trained to be a Building Engineer. I was good at maths, the somewhat flimsy reason for this choice, however, I quickly realised that the cold Scottish winters were not for me! Having just qualified I then made my First Career Change decision and joined a bank as I had a vague desire to have a career in commerce.
It was a smart move as I had rapid career growth, appointed on a fast track management programme becoming, at that time, youngest manager in the banks history. I quickly established a track record of turning around underperforming units. This led to visits from senior management asking how I did this? The truthful answer was I didn't really know ... obviously not a great response. But honest response was 'I give people clarity on what their job is and appreciate them doing it'. I thought this was obvious but what I didn't realise then, was I had a natural, but undeveloped, understanding of people. I realised over time this was not common for everyone.
In many respects, not that I knew it, my career as a coach began then.
My Second Career Change was driven by someone else! I was 'talent spotted' as they like to say in corporate life, by a Head of HR and moved from Operational Retail Managment to HR. To be honest, I hated it at first, all process and limited people interaction. However, the company then went through seismic organisational change (merger) and I was thrust into the world of change and I loved it! It truly opened up a new world for me helping and increasingly understanding why people find it difficult to cope with change, cementing a strong internal desire to want to help people grow and a fascination for understanding people's behaviours.
I had an amazing career with the bank, and am thankful for the opportunities they provided. I got to work Internationally and in large UK leadership roles, managing and contributing to some significant change programmes. These brought many challenges and as many opportunities. I got to work with, and learned from some amazing colleagues and leaders, and learnt as much from the ...erm .. less amazing ones too!
However, despite the many rewards and upsides, professionally and personally I increasingly felt restless and was ready to drive my Third Career Change. At the end of 2012 I left the bank knowing more what I didn't want to do rather than what I did. Undeterred, I left and my life was one big success after that ... WRONG!
Career setback! In short, I panicked and went, quickly into another Senior UK HR Leadership role. I worked for a fantastic communications company, great people and on paper it ticked all the boxes. Except one, I didn't want to do that anymore. I left after 9 months ... truly a 'it's me not you' break up. So here I was at end of 2013 largely in the same place as 2012 ...what now? I knew I had to get it right now.
Third Career Change Actual! I sought counsel from valued friends, former colleagues and especially my wife and began to breakdown my options. A consistent theme was forming, and one night in particular my wife asked, 'why not be a coach'? As so often is the case with direct questions, it hit home. She listed all those I had helped personally and professionally. Those who had been promoted when working for me and who always came for guidance. How she left school with limited qualifications but now has a Masters (I'm very proud of her!).
So, in 2013 having completed my formal coach training I set up Destino HR & Coaching. A boutique Strategic HR and Executive Coaching business. This has led me to work with a wide and varied client base (see Corporate Coaching page) and I have had the privilege of working with some truly inspiring leaders and employees alike.
This also led to, arguably, my Fourth(..ish) Career Change as in addition to coaching/consultancy I became a Non-Executive Director then stepping in to support a firm in financial difficulty as Interim Managing Director of a Law/Estate Agency Firm. How would the building engineer from school be able to plan for for that??
LIFE MEETS CAREER Towards the end of 2017 my son, Lewis, now 20, was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (Autism). This was not devasting news, in fact it helped us as his parents, and more importantly, Lewis himself understand and explain his life more clearly.
This diagnosis and a change in my wifes career led us to review our life and how best to support our son. Destino (my first business) is Spanish for destination. I had chosen this name as it captured our longterm life plan to be in Spain. We however decided to grab the 'bull by the horns' (no Spanish pun intended!) and we moved to Andalusia, Spain in the summer of 2018.
My son is thriving, volunteering for a dog charity and now manages one of their shops three days a week. My wife has completely retrained and is in the process, along with myself, of establishing a body and mind therapy business, she has a Masters in Addictive Behaviors.
I continue via Destino to undertake Corporate Coaching work UK/Globally. I established MY ONLINE CAREER COACH so that I can continue to fulfil my passion for coaching and supporting people in their development.
My journey to becoming a coach was not straightforward but the underlying behaviours, passion and desire to help people grow has been constant. My life and career reflect, I think, many others. It can take time for us to find our true passion in life and how to realise it. However, the journey there is not wasted, it is what makes us who we are. No matter the obstacles, I believe through hard work and focus on 'your goal' you can truly live the life and have the career you wish for.
I will be delighted to discuss with you your journey, and more importantly, helping you achieve your future goal so please contact and I look forward to working with you.
Until then, love and mojitos!
PS. Below is the formal summary of my experience/qualifications .. the above is the person behind those!
Alan G Irvine
Coach and Owner of MY ONLINE CAREER COACH and Destino HR & Coaching Ltd
Executive Management I Leadership I Fellow of the CIPD I Accredited International Coaching Federation Coach I Executive Coach I Business Coach I Career Coach I Business Mentor I NLP qualified (NLP Dip) I 20 years Senior Executive & HR Management I Executive Board Member Experience I Non-Executive Director I Change Management Specialist I Culture Management Specialist I Strategy Development I Strategic HR Consultant I Career Transition
A complete belief that each and every one of us has huge potential and are capable of achieving truly great things if we build the self-belief and confidence to unleash our true inner selves.