Members Spotlight: Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Catseye Coaching & WIBN
by Alison Myles
Siobhan Fitzpatrick: Career Transition Coach, Catseye Coaching.
- Give us a brief description of yourself? (company, Profession, etc)
I am the principal coach at Catseye Coaching and Director of Women In Business Network (WIBN) Ireland. I consider myself a conscious connector of people and have the pleasure of living that dream through both my businesses; Catseye Coaching which specialises in career transition and WIBN which empowers and supports business women in their growth. Having recently returned to Ireland following 23 years working in NYC and London, I am loving the diverse Irish culture and opportunities that are here.
- What influenced you to pursue this career? (books, research, experience)
Truthfully, having spent the first 25 years of my career working in Event Marketing and loving it (for the most part), I’d reached a crossroads where I needed to do something different, something that added value (plus I was really starting to hate Monday’s!) This left me in a bit of a predicament, in that I didn’t know what else I could do other than Event Marketing! That’s when I started to work with a Career Transition Coach and embarked on what I can only describe as the most enlightening experience of self-awareness and awakening. Through this course I uncovered my passion and purpose and started my journey of education, change and empowerment. Once qualified, I launched my coaching practice in London in 2012 and have been growing ever since. In terms of the networking, this is something I’ve always been proactive in as I believe it’s imperative to build your network whether your employed, self-employed or neither. I was a member of WIBN in the UK and found it extremely supportive so when I moved back to Dublin in 2015 and went in search of a similar support network and couldn’t find it, I launched one in Jan 2016. Today we are 11 groups strong in 5 counties and growing.
- What do you like most about your job?
The people I get to meet and work alongside. With both the coaching and networking, I’m fortunate to meet very interesting and engaging people who have the desire to grow and I get to go on that journey with them.
- Have you explored other professions/fields?
Yes, I tried my hand in the IT industry back in the 80’s and found myself auditioning for a movie role in LA in the early 90’s but am so happy neither of those worked out for me.
- Where did you study/achieve your qualifications?
Following a Business Studies course in Dublin after leaving school, I went on to study in the ‘School of Life’ in the USA and UK. Once I’d decided on my career change, I studied with various Coaching Schools in London (The Coaching Academy, Achievement Specialists Ltd, Firework) and continue to do so.
- What is the most important thing you took away from school?
Not my favourite time in life I must admit but with hindsight, I believe that once you have the drive and passion within, you can achieve anything. You don’t have to be the best academia to reach the stars.
- Are there any skills you picked up in school that have been of huge benefit to you since?
- What was the toughest situation you have encountered throughout your professional career?
Leaving the security of a corporate job to go out on my own. I underestimated the loneliness that comes with it, hence why being involved in a number of professional networks really help.
- Do you have any tips/tricks you use to overcome business obstacles/ obstacles in the workplace?
Never be afraid to ask for help.
- Which social media channels do you use mostly in your business? Why?
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Each of my businesses use different platforms as they have different audiences. For the coaching it’s predominantly LinkedIn and for the professional networking it’s all three with Facebook and LinkedIn being the strongest platform for thought leaders.
- What do you think is the most important aspect of being a successful business professional?
Leading by example and always have time for a ‘cuppa’ when someone asks you for your help.
- How has being a member of IIBN benefited you?
You won’t have enough space here for my answer as I’ve been involved with IIBN from the beginning! It’s a fantastic organisation where I’ve made lifelong friends and connections both personally and professionally. Through the IIBN, I’ve gained business opportunities and hopefully have enabled the same for others through my connections.
- What is your fondest memory of your time in IIBN?
You know what, there’s been loads, which even now thinking of them bring a smile to my face. However recently I had the pleasure of bringing in IIBN to co-host an event with me and that was a very proud moment for me.
- Who is your biggest influence/ inspiration? (celebrity/family member) and Why?
I have a couple. My father; he thought me a lot but in particular, to look at obstacles as challenges and find a way to overcome them. And more recently, Scott Dinsmore of ‘Live Your Legend’ who did exactly that before his life was cut short. His TedTalk on ‘How To Find Work You Love’ is a powerful instigator for change.
- What are the best books you’ve read and would recommend to IIBN members?(One business book and one leisure book.)
Have to admit, I’m more a fan of the TedTalks than the books but if I were to pick one of each 😉 they’d be:
- What do you do in your free time to escape the business world?
Eat, Laugh, Prey. Spend time with my wonderful family and friends over good food and wine, as they are the greatest cure after a busy week. Also enjoy a good walk up the Dublin/Wicklow mountains with my four legged child, checking out the wild life.