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Leadership & Executive Coaching

What will you change to get what you want?

Monday, 15th of September 2014

When was the last time you stuck to your guns and went after something you really wanted? For example, how long have you been thinking about going for that promotion or finding a new job? 

Change always makes us uncomfortable, and conjures up all kinds of thoughts, yet it’s fertile ground for growth. Plant a seed of change NOW and then, with patience, nurture it every day by taking one small action towards your goal.

Start by looking at your CV and make a few changes, contact people you already know to see what options are available, make a list of what values are important to you in your next role. 

And don’t be afraid to aim high. That’s what I did way back in 1988 when I became a pioneer of home working with British Telecom. It was daunting at the time, but I’ve never looked back. Here’s my story – I hope it inspires you.

I had an incredibly busy role as a computer programmer, but I knew I could do part of it from home. Being around for my children for an extra 10 hours a week, at a crucial stage in their development, was my main reason. But I knew too, I would be able to use the time to be more efficient with aspects of my job. The dead travel time would be a thing of the past, leaving me to focus on work, so the company stood to gain quite a bit too.

Of course, back then, there was no internet, no mobile phones, and no laptops. Looking back, it’s no wonder homeworking was rare. I met a lot of opposition, particularly from my manager who almost laughed at me when I presented him with my proposal.

I was on the point of leaving to take up a position with ICL, who along with Fujitsu, did have women employees working form home, when I got a call from a female manager at BT.

To give you an idea of how things were for women back then, she’d had to take demotion because she’d had children! She’d heard through the grapevine I was leaving and asked if I would stay if she offered her support. So I began working for her from home without a formal home working contract.

I was interviewed by Radio 4, and featured in The Times, and The Guardian, so in the end, I became something of a feather in BT’s cap by making them look like a very enlightened, forward-thinking business.

These days, because of technology, working from home is nothing special. According to a report in the FT in June 2014 there are now around 4.2 million people working from home.

I didn’t see myself as a trailblazer at the time: that’s not why I did it. I saw it as a practical, workable solution to a particular problem. I knew things would have to change if I was to achieve my goal and I’m very proud I stuck to my guns.

And you know, that result of that action I took in 1988 has had far wider implications. It changed my life and opened up opportunities beyond working from home for BT.

It’s helped shape who I am and what I do today. 

Leave a comment


  • How inspirational

    By prashchohan@yahoo.com.au on 30 Sep 2014
  • You have inspired me..all what you say is so true..you are my mento and guidance. So blessed to have a Sister like you…

    By Aruna Chudasama on 30 Sep 2014
  • Inspiring!  Quite an example for those who, through no fault of their own, face problems they least expected and, as a result, are unable or unwilling to confront. You set an example for all those who are trying to cope with change and the altered lives they have to adapt with the power of will and courage.

    By Dr M. Jawed Iqbal on 11 Oct 2014
  • This is a great stuff about how to lead your life. This is a perfect and effective way through which we can get motivated about the life.

    By Vincenzo Hanlon on 31 Oct 2014
  • Thanks for these comments really appreciate the interaction and so good to know the impact of what I am sharing. Have a great weekend everyone.

    By Kish Modasia on 31 Oct 2014