Spotlight Series: Meet Transformational Coach Nikki Swan

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I grew up on a farm in Scotland and moved to London in 2004, a long time ago, to step onto the corporate ladder. I've always been interested in psychology and wellbeing and was brought up with a positive, can-do attitude.  I'm a post-it note obsessive, reformed people pleaser and love to help my clients get clarity on what they want, and to succeed in their

lives and careers without sacrificing their wellbeing.

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

Picking fruit on our farm was my first ever job. In terms of career jobs, I started out on the Graduate Scheme at PwC where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant, to work in the Global Tax Practice.  I got the role through building a relationship with the recruiting team, and sheer persistence and perseverance. Because, even at that stage, I was on a very non-linear career path, which wasn't the done thing, like it is today. I hadn't applied for a job during my last year of University (largely because I didn't know what I wanted to do).  Instead, I bought a ticket to travel around the world and returned a year later to an assortment of temporary office jobs before being accepted onto the Grad Scheme - two years after I graduated.

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

During my time in tax advisory, I always loved the part of my role that was about building relationships and helping people. I worked with individuals at all levels from Graduate to C-Suite, in big international banks and companies.

In 2010, I first came into contact with coaching when I was seconded to an internal team at PwC responsible for global leadership development. At the time, I was in a bit of a life/career fog and becoming a coach myself just wasn't something that I thought of as an option. I was very much caught up in what I "should" be doing and all of the hard work I'd put in to get where I was and the literal "trappings" that went with that.

After a long period of over-analysis, a lot of self-exploration, testing the edges of my comfort zone by working at Deloitte and then at an agile big data company, I pulled the plug on my career at it was and left to retrain as a coach. I'd already undertaken yoga teacher training and undertook further studies in mindfulness, resilience and positive psychology.

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

"Nothing that you do in your career is a waste of time." I was told this at a time when I was desperately trying to figure out what my next step was.  I felt very stuck and exhausted by the overthinking that was going on inside my head.  At the time, I brushed it off - and didn't believe it.  Oh, the benefit of hindsight! Looking back, it's during the toughest times in our careers that we learn the most - these can be at times when you feel like you're wading through treacle (taffy!) and not making any progress. And it's exactly these experiences that enable me to help talented women to lead the rewarding & meaningful careers and lives they desire.

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

Living in the countryside with a busy household, doing what I do now, which is helping talented women all over the world to lead happy and meaningful careers and lives without sacrificing their wellbeing.

Stay connected with Nikki!





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