Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Who are Spinning Careers?

Spinning Careers is the brainchild of Emma Major, that'd be me!

It is a sole trader enterprise bringing my experience of starting, developing, changing and enhancing careers to those who want to improve their work prospects and opportunities.

The success of my technique is relationships; simply getting to know you, my client, allows me to help you know yourself better. It's not complicated, I'm no rocket scientist, but it works as some personal testimonies will show in the coming days.

But what about me....
My USP for this work is my varied experience in a number of different careers, fields and working environments.

I left school at 18 with 4 A-Levels and headed off to University to study Civil Engineering with Management at UMIST. I got my 2nd class honours and promptly moved to the University of Birmingham where I obtained a Masters with Distinction in Project Management.

My first step on the career ladder post academia was as a graduate project manager for Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick Ltd in Basingstoke, Hants. With SW I gained project management experience on Private, Public and Defence projects and was promoted to the position of Project Manager running a number of projects value circa £5Million.

My first move came about 3 years into my career; less of a change and more of a concentration into a specific area of project management. I moved to become the assistant value and risk manager at Capital Value & Risk Limited (CVRL) in Henley, Oxon; a small limited company managed and run by it's two then owners. I was lucky enough to have a full year of fantastic on the job training at the hands of the two owners, at the end of which I was a certified project manager, value and risk manager and workshop facilitator for civil engineering, transportation and public works projects. I spent the next 2 years working as a paid employee for CVRL but with responsibility for marketing my services, sourcing clients, obtaining contracts, delivering services and collecting payments for myself and my PA. I also worked on the business systems, obtaining ISO quality achievement for the organisation.

This is when things really got exciting for my career. One of the partners of CVRL retired and the other was not looking for a new partner, it therefore became a one man owned organisation with me as the main income stream working upwards of 60 hours a week. Something had to change! I needed to get balance into my life and more control over the work I did.

So I started my own company, Major Value Consultancy Ltd, in 2003. Starting up on my own was challenging, stressful and scary but rewarding, exciting and a whole new way of working. I have never looked back. I'm not sure I'd make a very good employee any more! I dramatically reduced the hours I worked, often only working 50 hours a week. I am sure I spent many more hours thinking about the business, but that never felt like work. I was no longer away from home 3 or 4 nights a week, I could pick and choose my clients and projects. I took proper holidays, scheduled into my diary well ahead of time and held sacrasanct. And I made a nice living thankyou.

The philanthropist in me also came loose, I could finally include some voluntary and academic work into the mix. I taught a number of risk management courses around the country, both for students and professionals. I was co-author of two text books, consulted on project management best practice guides and became heavily involved with the Institute of Value Management and the International Association of Facilitators. And the huge joy of this part of my career, I wrote at least a dozen articles on value management and stakeholder consultation and was invited around the world to present them at international conferences.

In 2006 I made the decision to close MVc and focus on motherhood. Not an easy decision but definitely the right one and one which I have never regretted for an instant. I transferred my clients to other professionals with whom I had worked and happily closed a chapter in my life. There's nothing like ending on a high.

In the last 5 years I have been kept busy, both by motherhood but also in the voluntary sector. I volunteer for 3 charities in the local area, building relationships with young mums, families and children who need befriending and boosting in confidence. I am a trustee of two charities including chair of a local pre-school which is going from strength to strength despite governement cuts. And I have just completed my training to become a Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England; a calling I follow passionately and excitedly.

And now a new chapter starts on the business front. Spinning Careers.

The idea developed after a number of ex-employees, now friends, had asked if I could help people they know with their CVs. I have always helped employees, friends and family members with their CVs, job applications and interview preparations. I love it. I don't know whether it's working with an individual to help them see their potential, or the challenge of working with words to wow readers. Whatever it is, it's a joy. And I learned long ago that life is too short to do anything other than things which you enjoy. So now I offer my services to the world at large, let me help you spin your career wherever you would like it to go.

That's me in a nut shell, not as formal as a CV, more of a biography. But I think it provides the things that matter.

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