helen thomas | career coach | australia
I believe when you release yourself from expectations about what you “should” do, you can design a working life that works perfectly for you.
helen thomas | career coach | australia
Hi! I’m Helen Thomas
I want you to know you already have all you need to design a meaningful & successful career.
But, I also know how frustrating it is to feel stuck in an overwhelming cycle of options & not know where to start.
If significant career change was easy, you’d have done it already.
The bad news…
There’s no magic, quick fix, one-size-fits-all formula to achieving a career you love.
Success & meaning are different for each individual.
The good news…
I’ve been in your shoes, so I know what it takes to make a career change.
Using the same practical strategies I’ve used to help myself and many other mid-career professionals, I’ll help you think differently about what’s possible and get clear about what you want, so you can make your next career move with confidence.
Does my story sound familiar?
In my 30s, I had a busy social life, an awesome corporate job, heaps of international travel & a great relationship. Thriving on professional recognition, fashionable restaurants & exotic locations, my life looked amazing.
But, I was deeply dissatisfied and confused about how to change things.
I spent a loooong time trying to find the right answers
Without a strategy, there were false starts, detours and lots of wasted time, money & energy. Eventually I realised always trying to do “the right thing” was what was making me unhappy.
Understanding I needed to do the work to design my own path was a massive relief.
I finally achieved a career I love & now I’m more energised and inspired by my work than I’ve ever been.
Don’t wait any longer to work out the right next career step for you.
I’ll help you to cut through the confusion, make changes and create a career that’s both meaningful and successful.
helen thomas | career coach | melbourne | australia
Designing a career I love…
I started my career in finance and I’ve always loved analytical thinking and problem solving. From the beginning, my obsession with human behaviour and communication set me apart from my finance peers.
I was successful but …
For more than 20 years, I delivered successful marketing campaigns, product launches and systems transformations, for leading international and Australian businesses. Despite achieving professional success, I increasingly lacked enthusiasm for life on the corporate treadmill.
What I was doing wasn’t important to me …
I spent years searching for a “fix”.
Working with a coach help me understand what I enjoyed most – recognising talent and enabling that talent to flourish and thrive. It was a simple, but profound discovery.
I’ve created a career coaching framework that removes the confusion and guesswork…
Blending my decades of professional experience with coaching skills I’ve developed practical, evidence-based career design solutions.
I’ve created a program to help you avoid all the mistakes, detours and wasted effort I experienced trying to find the right career.
I hold the following qualifications –
Accredited Intention MethodTM Coach Brilliant Coach Academy
Cert IV in Training & Assessment Victoria University
Master of Marketing RMIT
Bachelor of Economics University of Queensland
Are you ready to get clear and design a career you love?
Be inspired by what other’s are saying …
I’m no longer letting life happen to me …
Helen helped me realise I was making compromises that were holding me back from the career I wanted. With her support, I’ve defined exactly what I want to do and developed a plan of action to move me in the right direction. Career coaching with Helen has been an insightful and empowering experience.
MelissaSenior Marketing Manager
Melissa, Senior Marketing Manager
Melissa was feeling fed up and frustrated at work. She loved what she was doing but felt she was “settling”, when she knew she was capable of more. Balancing work with a busy family life, she felt she was compromising her professional aspirations to maintain work/life harmony. The Career Confidence Program helped Melissa get clear about where she wants her career to go and what steps she needs to take to get there. She created action steps to acquire the experience she needs so she’s ready to step into the right opportunity in future. With a clear plan, she’s feeling empowered and in control of her career.
You’ve made it this far & you’re still reading?
Here’s a few more things you might find interesting about me …
I’m an avid reader
I’ll pretty much read anything… from classics to chick lit, serious literature to pulp fiction, mysteries, thrillers, love stories, memoirs, self-development and much, much more.
And I can be found reading almost anywhere – in a coffee shop, while waiting somewhere, on any form of transport (except cars… because motion sickness 🤢), tucked up in bed, by a pool or on a beach.
[PS Want to know what I’m reading? I share my reading recommendations in my weekly #wednesdaywords email… along with my favourite podcasts, streaming series, articles, businesses, apps etc.]
I’m a recovering “people pleaser” and “perfectionist”
I’ve spent most of my life working hard to make everyone happy, or more accurately wanting people to like me. As a little girl, I learnt being “good” was the path to positive feedback and attention.
At school and work I poured hours into doing things well and was devastated by even the smallest piece of negative feedback. Finally, time in a toxic work environment left me overwhelmed, exhausted, low on self-esteem and full of self-doubt.
I now know the world is full of different types of people, it’s simply not possible to please them all. And with this knowledge my recovery commenced.
It’s still a work in progress but these days I channel my “people pleasing” tendencies into my work exceptional career coaching experiences to those who’ve invested so much time and effort doing the things others thought they “should” do rather pursuing what’s right for them.
I’m passionate about gender equality and empowering women to reach their full potential
As a child of the 1980s, I never thought I’d experience gender discrimination in the workplace. Women were taking on big corporate roles complete with power suits and oversized shoulder pads. And for most of my corporate career, I believed I’d been fortunate to escape gender discrimination.
Hindsight however, has shown me, I absolutely did not miss out on this experience. Like many women of my generation, I’ve experienced pay disparity, missed out on promotions to less qualified men and been lewdly and loudly patronised by male colleagues.
Once, as Financial Controller of a large UK organisation, I was asked in a performance review about why I’d not helped “the girls” clean up after an office event. I was dumbstruck and being too inexperienced to know better, I apologised! Only much later did it occur to me that no other member of the senior leadership team (all male) had helped either… were they taken to task in their performance reviews?
There’s still so much discrimination alive and well in corporate organisations. The progress made in the 1970s and 80s has not been realised rapidly enough. And, as we’ve seen over the last few years, when women create a movement together change does happen. My mission is to support other women to realise their full potential and continue to dissemble out of date workplaces and structures.
I’m an eager student and love to learn new things
I’ve always been curious about the world around me. I’m obsessed with asking questions and discovering new ideas and concepts. I love the process of learning. Learning is growth and growth leads to accomplishment and improved performance. I’ve gathered a range of qualifications and will continue to add to these in order to provide the best possible service to others.
I’m deeply interested in human potential and behaviour; fascinated by our experiences and the linkages between how we think, feel and act. As an avid reader and podcast listener, I’m constantly motivated and inspired by others in the field of self-development. In the resources section, you’ll find a list of my favourite authors, speakers and podcasters … please enjoy.
I’m fairly certain I have the “wanderlust gene”
And if I don’t have the biological determinant of exploration then I definitely inherited my love of travel from my parents. I was a baby when they first took me overseas and, as such, I’ve always been comfortable with long haul travel. I’ve visited about 40 different countries and lived and travelled extensively in Europe for a significant chunk of my life.
I love the opportunity to see new places and experience different cultures. I see my love of travel as another form of learning. Sometimes travelling can be hard work but it’s from the challenges that we learn so much about ourselves, make the greatest memories and develop the most interesting stories.
PS The pandemic and lockdowns were challenging for me as I still have a very long bucket list of places to go and things to do! I’ll cherish the ability to travel even more in the future.
I’m obsessed with photography but have never managed to move beyond “amateur”
I was still at primary school when I got my first camera which, from memory, was an old camera that belonged to my parents. Off I went, happily snapping anything and everyone and somewhere in my parent’s house all these decades later, many of those pics are still lingering.
In my teens, I saved money from my first job to purchase a “real” camera, a Canon T70. It was my pride and joy, I loved that camera and it captured many seminal moments during my high school and university years. My love of photography languished a little during the 90s but picked right up again with the introduction of digital photography. Today, all my devices are chock full of snaps.
Twice over the years, I’ve completed photography courses hoping that I could harness my interest into something more robust, possibly even professional. Unfortunately, it turns out I don’t have the patience to learn, or more importantly, retain the required information about shutter-speeds, apertures and f-stops.
I understand now, I’ll always be a photography enthusiast and admirer, but never anything more. I share some of my pics on Instagram so keep an eye out for when they pop up there.
As a child, I wanted to be an architect
I’m not sure where it started but around the age of 9-10, I was very keen on being an architect. I entertained myself drawing houses and cutting pictures out of magazines of my dream rooms. Think anything stylistically unusual – sunken lounges, double-sided chimneys, indoor/outdoor spaces. Following the dream to study architecture almost happened a couple of times but sadly was never fulfilled.
I’m still inspired by beautiful and functional design, and dream of one day having the opportunity to build the “dream house”. I avidly consume all the build and design series – Selling Houses, Love It or List It, Grand Designs – as well as all the aspirational shows – Million Dollar Listing (NY and LA), Amazing Hotels, Country House Rescue etc. I really am a Lifestyle TV junkie!