At the end of a year, we often ask ourselves big questions. Do I really love what I do? What is it I truly want out of life? How do I go about making big changes? Iona Frost is in the business of helping women answer those tough questions. Out of her own search for meaning and balance she created springforward, a multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to helping others feel more satisfied with their careers. Will 2012 be the year you make a major change? You can do it! Iona can help.
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
On Thursdays I wake up at 9am (no alarm!), check my email, shower and enjoy a healthy breakfast. Around 11am I get into my project work, either in my sunny home office or at a nearby café. At 1:30pm I bike to my weekly volunteer shift at Times Change Women’s Employment Service where I review client cover letters and résumés. This is such a welcoming and inspiring environment, and I love meeting with different women and learning about their work histories and current career goals. I’m back home around 5pm and usually put in another hour or so of work before dinner. Thursday is one of my only free weekday evenings, so I usually spend a quiet night in, relaxing, watching a movie, or reading.
What was your first job out of school?
I studied Interior Design, and my program included two work placement opportunities. I ended up staying on with the second placement after graduation, so that was my first job out of school. One of the avenues in this field is Facilities Management and the company I worked for was Trammel Crow, a real estate development and investment firm. The job focused on helping employees relocate within the building, making sure everything they needed was moved with them, set up and ready to use the next day. I also did a bit of space planning and provided ergonomic assessments, which I really enjoyed. The people I worked with were amazing, especially my supervisor who I’m still in touch with to this day. After a year I realized this particular job was not the right fit for me, but the experience created a great foundation for the work I do now.
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
- As I always have several projects on the go I need to be very organized with both my time and the administrative documentation attached to each job.
- Clear communication is essential to ensure that I’m meeting my client’s needs.
- Being able to network and find creative ways to market myself is key.
What do you love most about your career?
I absolutely love the flexibility and variety! I enjoy building my own schedule and choosing where I want to work. I’m able to volunteer during regular business hours and I can take a day off in the middle of the week if I want. I really enjoy meeting new people and developing plans that will support them in achieving their own goals.
Do you have any warnings?
Most of the time my work doesn’t feel like work, which is very important to me, but I could easily be at my computer every minute of the day. I love what I’m doing but it’s also because there is a lot to do, especially as I’m still establishing my client base. I would warn others to be ready for that kind of schedule, but also to make sure they prioritize and create a healthy work life-balance. Unplug and take time out to do other things you find challenging, interesting or relaxing.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
If I could download the qualifications and experience overnight, I would love to be a surgeon for a year! I’m particularly fascinated with the technology and the precision required to carry out surgical procedures. As someone who likes to help people, I think being able to do so on that scale would be very rewarding.
Find out more about springforward here.