Spotlight Series: Meet Career Coach Tara Huddless

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I grew up in the mining town of Chesterfield in North East Derbyshire. My school was a normal secondary school with no 6th form and an uninspiring view of careers for women in STEM. I completed A-levels at the local college and secured a place in a university in Buckinghamshire. After a year it was clear that the financial burden was too much for my parents and me, and so I transferred to Sheffield Hallam University (living at home) where I completed a BSc (hons) in Recreation Management.

I started my coaching and events company to support people from all backgrounds and all careers with the skills they need to progress. Whether you are in hairdressing, finance, medicine or any job, there are some skills that traverse all industries and careers at all levels such as networking, personal brand, self-promotion, navigating organisations and

career or industry change.

Outside of work, I live in Essex with my boyfriend and dog. I love ballet and yoga classes, hiking and playing my piano.

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

My first full-time job after university was in sales for corporate events and stag and hen weekend company called Off Limits. I progressed very quickly to Assistant UK Sales Manager. Before this, I was working part-time in events at a hotel where we hosted the wedding of Owner and Managing Director. Having made a great impression and maintaining contact with the company after his wedding, I called up and asked to be considered for a role. The rest, as they say, is history, but it demonstrates the importance of creating and maintaining lasting relationships in business. I started work there in 2006 and I am still in touch with him now!

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

After leaving Off Limits I moved into pharmaceuticals, then medical devices, IT, Cyber Security and Telecoms. I have used everything I have learned and my skillset to successfully navigate different industries, and demonstrate my value to avoid taking backward steps. This, along with my background and lack of role models and advice when I was younger, lead me to start my company. Through coaching, webinars and workshops I am able to use my events background, my business and industry acumen, and my networking skills to provide high-quality coaching and inspirational speakers that are accessible for all.

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: Don’t wait for people to tell you, “you are ready”. Just get out there and do. Even small steps contribute to your end goal. The best advice I was ever given: You bring yourself and your emotion into your working relationships and that is why customers connect with you. Don’t hide that and don’t be ashamed of it.

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

Personally I hope to continue being healthy and happy, I don’t wish for any changes there. It took me a long time to realise that having “bad” or “down” times doesn’t mean you are not happy in general, they are part of life. Professionally I want to grow my business to help more people be inspired and supported in their careers. I would also like to write more. In the next five years, I don’t see myself leaving my day-job, I am happy in technology sales and I love to keep on the pulse of the next big thing, as well as supporting my enterprise customers.

Stay connected with Tara!







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