Spotlight Series: Meet Career and Small Business Coach Sarah Ellis

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I'm a Career and Small Business Coach, based in London, United Kingdom. I work with individuals to help them build successful careers and businesses that are aligned with a fulfilling, happy life. I also use my experience gained as a recruitment professional in some of the world's top organisations to help people create high-quality CVs and LinkedIn profiles, and prepare them for their big interviews.

When I'm not at 'work' I'm usually at a dancing lesson (I love Ballroom and Latin), or in the gym as ballroom requires more stamina and strength than you'd think! I'm also a bit obsessed with home style and decorating so I'm always looking for ideas on Instagram or Pinterest. I can be a real homebody too so staying in with the most important people makes me happiest.

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

I was an office junior at a model/acting agency. I did my degree at Drama School and when I left I wanted to be a casting agent so I wrote to about 60 agencies! I even decorated the envelopes in the hope that my letters would stand out! It seemed to work though as a few called me up and that's how I got my job. It was a pretty dull job, to be honest as I was doing things like sorting the post, running errands for the team, and cleaning the office, but we all have to start somewhere. And I used to get sent over to auditions to make up the numbers and landed myself some acting jobs which were fun and definitely provided me with some good stories to tell!

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

After a number of years working in the TV industry, I started to feel really lost and frustrated. I had tried a few things and nothing seemed to fit right. Due to a big company restructure I applied for voluntary redundancy as I really wanted a change but they declined my request. They did, however, offer me an opportunity in HR as the one thing I did know was that I liked working with people. Through that, I discovered that I really enjoyed the talent development side of HR and seeing people progress and build their careers. After a couple of years, I took a free 2-day coaching course, more because I was interested in being coached, but discovered that I LOVED coaching! At that point, it was like a light was switched on and I was hooked. I invested in some professional training and got my qualifications. It was a bit tough after not having studied for a number of years but it was really worth it and I felt so engaged with the whole learning process. I then took a leap of faith and set up my business. A lot of work was involved and it was a hard process - you have to keep a lot of faith and determination especially in the early days, but I had a wonderful coach and working with her really kept me on track. I feel very fortunate to have found my purpose and I love helping my clients find theirs and turn it into something great. When you're truly aligned with what you are doing amazing things can happen.

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

I would tell my younger self to stop worrying so much and trust in yourself more - you're braver and more capable than you think. And the best career advice I have been given is to find something you love doing that pays you / makes you money as most of us will have to work for a very long time!

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

I hope to still be happy and healthy and doing what I'm doing now, although on a wider scale. I also have plans to write a book, specifically for school and uni leavers. I don't want to share too much about what it is about just yet but it was something I definitely felt was missing at the beginning of my working life and I believe it still is missing for most young people!

Stay connected with Sarah!

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