Spotlight Series: Meet Founder of Winning in Work Nikki Thomas

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I'm Nikki, a career success coach, podcast host and founder of Winning in Work - a workplace wellbeing consultancy. I am based in New Zealand but was born in the UK and have worked all over the world. After over 10 years of working in corporate and professional services firms, I started researching how to make the working world better and change the future of work.

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

I started working at 16 in retail working in a range of fashion stores, I was also a silver-service waitress for a while which gave me the opportunity to work for royalty, government, celebrities and even looked after Beyonce's dressing room at the F1 Grand Prix Ball!

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

I always told myself that I wanted to do a job I loved. I deliberately studied psychology because I loved it, but after I graduated I ended up being sidelined by money. I could have kept studying but instead, I took a job in wedding planning and overtime climbed the ladder into corporate where I was transferred to Hong Kong and worked all around Asia organising huge financial conferences. It was exciting but extremely hard work and I was burnt out and exhausted. I had forgotten what I loved about work. After years of doing this, I snapped. I quit my job and took 3 months off to go back to basics and find love in my work again. I realised that I was surrounded by so many people like me - people who were running on the work treadmill - in the rat-race and unable to get off.

So, I studied performance coaching and started working with businesses to create better workplaces, I also started coaching people who wanted to find passion in their work again. I went back to my psychology routes and honestly I feel like I have come full circle. I couldn't be happier.

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

"Know your worth," I remember I would work all night for some companies without compensation, without thanks or even time to get food. I missed friends birthday's and even nearly a friend's hen weekend because I was consumed with work. I thought success was putting work before everything (even my health). I remember being in a hospital waiting room waiting for surgery on my knee and answering work emails because I didn't want my boss to think I wasn't committed. It wasn't worth it! You can still climb the ladder without sacrificing your health, you can still be a success without giving up your social life. You need to put yourself first and re-align your priorities. Being CEO is pointless if you're miserable and lonely.

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

Ahh well, I have just moved to New Zealand ahead of lockdown so in 5 years time, I want to be established in NZ and Australia as a career coach and have Winning in Work to be in the Top 5 consultancies for workplace wellbeing. And for the 5* Winning in Work podcast to be on its 5th season.

Personally, I hope the next 5 years will be time for settling down. My partner and I are in the middle of a house purchase so we will be making this country our new home.

Stay connected with Nikki!






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