Spotlight Series: Meet Career Consultant and Founder of Eating Your Cake Too Claire Seeber

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi there! My name is Claire Seeber and I am the owner of two businesses, Claire Seeber Consulting and Eating your Cake too. I am a Professional Coach, Change Driver and People and Culture Consultant for both Organisations and Individuals. I'm also a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog Mumma to my baby Kranksy, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believe a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

I am someone who has experienced feelings of self-doubt. Feelings of being an imposter, and I have also been a serious overthinker. (See my article published In the Huffington Post about it here!) I am someone who has lost nights of sleep with those all-consuming feelings of waking up and waiting for the moment that you’ll be ousted at work. Of thinking that people think you are stupid. Out of your depth. Too young. Too old. Too sensitive. Not like the last person in the role you’re now in. That you are not enough. I also know the damage this can do to your career progression if it is not dealt with. My job is to tell you that you are not alone and that you can get past this - with some help.

Too often women get in their own way and impact their own career success through a lack of confidence, assertiveness, or an ability to sell themselves the way their male counterparts do – I am motivated by helping them realise this sooner and by helping to put strategies in place to ensure that every woman can be the architect of their own success.

In December 2019 I left my full-time job and made a HUGE leap of faith that was made up of two parts. The first was to go all-in with my businesses! The second was to start an adult year abroad with my husband and kick off a 12-month adventure around the globe. We literally threw our old life up in the air! We got about 3 months into this adventure abroad when……. enter Coronavirus. Dream over? Hell no.

So, I write this bio to you now (April 2020) from a yacht floating in the middle of the Caribbean Sea where we currently are stuck on my brother's yacht that he lives on. We will be here for some time I expect, but we are making the most of it and ensuring every day counts (you can check out pretty unique situation right now HERE on Instagram!) It is amazing the clarity that you get in life when you give yourself the time to breathe. I am creating quality content, collaborating with some amazing people, still doing coaching online, and strategizing for when I hit the ground running upon our return. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! And that is exactly what we are doing with this year.

2. What was your first job and how did you get it?

I got into the working spirit from a pretty young age, hustling my parents to pay me to clean bus windows for the company that they owned when I was about 8 years old! My first full-time job though was when I was 19. I was also studying full time as I felt getting hands-on experience was equally as important as getting a formal education, so I juggled both for 3.5 years. My job was as a Marketing and Communications Assistant for a telecommunications business. I also did voiceovers for a number of advertisements that we did for clients that included everything from Haul Trucks, to 5-star hotels, to Irrigation Systems - this made for a very unique experience!

Following that role was where I moved into the People and Culture space where it has seemed that all of my roles have had very steep learning curves and some pretty intense professional experiences. By the sheer nature of the types of roles that I have had in the P&C space, I think I have condensed about 20 years of experience into the last 10! How did I get these roles? To be honest, I have always just done my best to be real, honest and authentic. I have learnt that I won't be everyone's cup of tea - and that that is ok.

3. How did you decide and get to your career today?

After I had finished my degree, I decided that I wanted to have a bit of a break as I had worked full time and studied full time non-stop for the previous nearly 4 years. I decided to go backpacking In Europe for about 5 months and do a bit of soul searching.

Upon coming back, I knew that I needed to work with people. I had such an intense curiosity about human beings, particularly in organisations and how much untapped potential there is inside them when leaders do not empower and motivate their people the way they could. This moved me into a career within HR, which then saw me move into different roles across Australia including my most recent and most challenging role as the General Manager of HR for a large retail business before I decided I was ready to go out on my own! I have always been driven by doing HR differently and really putting the human- factor back into it.

My experiences within HR saw me in all kinds of different environments including corporate offices, remote exploration campsites in the middle of the Pilbara Desert wearing hi-vis and steel cap boots for weeks at a time, to working in clothing store back-rooms coaching sales staff, to running large scale companywide conferences with people all over the world.

It has seen me on multiple occasions being the only woman in a boardroom surrounded by men. It has seen me be thrown the notepad on multiple occasions to take notes, and it has been assumed that I'll get the coffee because I am the woman. It has seen me thrown out of my comfort zone more times than I can count. But, it has also seen me break the mold time and time again, cement my own identity and build unshakeable confidence in the process.

4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?

I am a firm believer that everything you want is just outside your comfort zone, but pushing yourself sometimes to believe that you are either capable of or deserving of what you want is sometimes where we get stuck, particularly in our earlier careers.

It is easy to think when you are starting out that everyone else has it all “together’. That they are smarter, more qualified, more confident than you, yet, when you truly accept that no one is actually perfect, and everyone is just doing the best they can, is the day your life will change. The weight on your shoulders will lift and you can focus no longer on perfection, but just on being the BEST that you can be.

5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?

I don’t like to hope for things, particularly when they are within my control to bring them to life. Hoping almost gives you a way out if it doesn’t happen – it allows you to abdicate some responsibility. Instead, what I would say are that the goals that I have set myself to achieve over the next 5 years personally and professionally are in line with my greater end goal - my ultimate definition of success for my own life (I encourage everyone to take the time to work out what this is for them - what your unique definition of success is).

The next 5 years will involve continuing to build my businesses - to work with more Organisations and help them create greater Leadership capability and more collaborative cultures from within. And it will most certainly see me working with hundreds of women to help them get out of their own ways and build the lives and careers that they are truly capable of. It will see them reaching out for opportunities instead of shying away from them.

On a personal note, the next 5 years will see my continue to travel - let’s hope our next trip isn't with the same pressures that this one has had! I hope to buy a little holiday house somewhere near the water that will be my sanctuary to reflect and write. And, I also hope to have added to our family by then too. Above all - I intend to live my life in accordance with my unique definition of success as that is the only one that matters.

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