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Irene Kinuthia: Career advice to my younger self

  Aug 27, 2015
 

Most of the best advice comes from hindsight. So what better way to get effective career advice than from women who have been there? Women, who have smashed glass ceilings, carved out niches for themselves and managed to stand out. They share on lessons they’ve learnt about shining at work and the things they would do differently given another chance.

Irene Kinuthia, 48, is the director of executive coaching at Strathmore Business School

Every year, Irene has between 200 and 500 executives in middle- and upper-level management pass under her wing. Currently, she is training 12 CEOs from across Africa. Irene is also a mother of eight children aged between five and 23. She has successfully managed to achieve the ever elusive work-life balance.

If there is anything that she has learnt along the way, it is that your career will always catch up, but your family won’t. Ten years ago, she was faced with a difficult decision of choosing either her high-end job or her family.

“This is where I knew that I had to stop listening to the society and decide what is important to me. I decided that I wanted a big family and to be a present mother,” she says.

Deciding that money is worth the value that you give it, Irene took a three-year career break during which she added to her brood. During this time, she did a lot of research on work-life balance. She saw an opportunity and stepped into consulting.

“The other lesson I learnt was not to shy away from accepting my weaknesses. After my master’s degree, I started coaching on work-life balance but I saw that I was better at the coaching than I was at the business aspect of it. So I looked for an institution that had the same agenda as I and found my space there,” she says.

Irene has found her niche in executive coaching which she terms as a conversation that turns knowledge to action. Her job allows her flexi-time to be a present mother to her children.

“You can have both family and career. The trick is just knowing when to step out of your career to take care of your kids and being confident that when you do, your career will catch up,” she sums it up.

Click here to read more of this story.

Story Courtesy of Joan Thatia, Daily Nation



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