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Women in Leadership Series: Amanda Wildman

I have been trying to find the perfect blend to my life and my career for 47 years! The journey has been exhilarating, terrifying, emotional, rewarding, reflective and fascinating.

amandaAmanda Wildman, Global Head of Learning & Development at Morgan McKinley shares her Career Lessons.

In the beginning… 

At the age of 10 I was diagnosed with dyslexia, a discovery which saw my friends progress to secondary school whilst I repeated a year. This experience knocked my confidence and I believe I made a sub-conscious decision to take no further interest in my academic studies. I left school at the age of 17 with 3 O’Levels.

My parents quest

In a quest to do the best for me, my parents decided to send me to a private secretarial college in Oxford for a year. I had an amazing time and left with some basic typing skills that landed me my first job as a junior personnel secretary for Baring Asset Management.

My quest

I have always got bored quickly (I am very adaptable) and after a year of doing secretarial duties I decided to look for another job. I went to see a recruitment consultant in the City who spotted my potential and asked me if I had ever thought of a career in recruitment.

I like to talk (as those that know me will testify) - it was suggested that I could use my strong communication and influencing skills in recruitment. I was really curious, enjoyed meeting people and discovered that I was actually very competitive. I spent the next 10 years working for a number of great recruitment organisations and I progressed my career from Consultant to Operations Director. My drive to succeed and to prove myself led me to work hard, remain focused and manage my career - subsequently, this provided me with career success, recognition and built my confidence.

Up until the age of 32 my life was consistently about work, career and success. My journey changed dramatically when I gave birth to my first daughter 3 months premature, resulting in her being placed in intensive care for 5 months. I left work to become a full time mother for 2 years - my priorities immediately changed! Life took on a new meaning - as my daughter fought for her life, my desire to fight alongside her became one of my greatest accomplishments! After a couple of years I was able to return to work and I was lucky enough to use my network to move into an Learning & Development role within the recruitment industry on a part-time basis.

My Career Lessons
  1. Know where you want to get to and believe that you can always get there.
  2. Know what your talents are and develop these further.
  3. Invest in your own development - when my daughter was born I trained as an Executive Coach - this investment allowed me to develop my career in Learning & Development.
  4. Work with people that inspire you and that you respect.
  5. Believe in yourself - you don’t develop your competence and confidence until you do!
  6. Always look at what can be improved and set out to change it - personally and professionally.
  7. If a role doesn’t exist, create it - in my experience most organisations welcome this innovation.
  8. If you are valued you will always be able to work part-time - but make sure that what you propose is achievable and adds value to the organisation.
  9. Focus on building the talents of others and getting a great team around you - succession is key to your development.
  10. Be reflective and learn from your mistakes - everyone can change if they want to.

Today I am… Nearly fifteen years on I am now Global Head of Learning & Development at Morgan McKinley. I am blessed with a group of other inspirational woman at Morgan McKinley, and a fabulous and supportive boss who values my contribution and allows me the freedom and flexibility to use my talents in the right way. I am a mother of two, I work 3 days a week and also run my own development consultancy, Emotionally-i-Fit.

However, I still believe that I can do more, be better and develop myself further. Sometimes this perfectionist streak has been exhausting, but most of the time it has allowed me to build a vision for my career, my family and myself .

My two teenage girls are my world. I hope that on a daily basis I show them that as a woman in a leadership I am role modelling not only how to be a balanced mother, but also how to have a fulfilling career.

  • Apr 16, 2015
  • Careers
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Danielle Fullick

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