Lynn Deards- You go, girl!
In this blog, we speak to Lynn Deards, Image Consultant & Stylist for Styled by Lynn. Lynn talks through her career, rising above negativity and never giving up on your dreams! Read on for Lynn’s inspirational advice.
I started off in my career as a Registered General Nurse, specialising in Trauma Orthopaedics.
I then completed a BSc in Health Studies and decided to move into early phase drug development research as a Research Nurse.
Following this, I became a Research Nurse Specialist in Rheumatology in a collaboration between the NHS and a global Pharmaceutical Company, and due to this experience, I decided to move into the Pharmaceutical Industry and work in clinical drug development trials.
Over the years I worked my way up the career ladder to Senior Director level, working with a global team including lots of overseas travel, and I was very much a career woman.
Just over a year ago, over a period of about 3-4 months, I began to fall out of love with the corporate world, the politics, the long hours and an environment that I once thrived in began to make me very unhappy. Thankfully I have a very supportive husband and we made the decision I should leave.
I had no idea at the time what I was going to do next, however, to cut a long story short, I decided to follow a long-held passion of mine and retrain.
I went to the London College of Style and gained a diploma with a distinction in Personal Styling. I am now setting up my own business, with an emphasis on ‘dressing for success’ and image in the workplace. In my career, there is no ‘typical day’ which is what I love.
A passion for fashion...
Fashion and style have always been a passion. I firmly believe if you are wearing the right clothes and projecting the right image you will not only feel more confident, but this then affects your behaviour positively and how others see you. I would say the biggest challenge has always been my belief in myself, but I have learnt to tell myself – if ‘they’ can do it, so can I.
I am very much a people person and love meeting and talking to people, so I have always made sure I introduced myself to people and when in conversation ensured I showed an interest in them, as well as being very natural – and importantly – friendly. I believe my days as a nurse dealing with people from all walks of life gave me the ability to converse and relate to anyone.
I want everyone to reach their full potential in terms of the image they project, maximizing their potential in the workplace and in their lives in general, and most importantly how they feel about themselves. People make an assumption on you in seconds based on appearance alone.
Businesses should put much more emphasis on this particularly in client-facing roles.
I have always loved learning and if set a challenge/task I always want to succeed and do my very best. I did very well in my career, and now I want to ensure others reach their full potential – be the best you can.
What is your biggest achievement in life?
I left school at 16, yet I still have a science degree and diplomas, and worked my way up to Director level.
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?
Always be true to yourself and honest.
Do you have a mantra you live your life by?
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
-Never let being female hold you back.
-Believe in equality.
-Believe in yourself – try something new and you might just surprise yourself.
What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?
PIE – Profile, Image, Exposure – always keep this in mind and you will go far.
What are your key motivators?
It sounds corny, but I want to live my best life. There is a whole world out there that I haven’t explored yet. I also love to learn so I will always ask questions and put myself out there and grasp every opportunity, however uncomfortable it may feel at first. No one will ever hand it to you on a plate, you are never just ‘lucky’, you have to put in the effort and then the rewards will come in.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organisations?
Get to know everyone, and talk to everyone, from cleaners right up to the CEO. Everyone has an important role in the workplace regardless of position.
Always make eye contact, be friendly and approachable, and engage people in general conversations, even when you are in the canteen queue – you don’t know who is listening and watching.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions
To believe in yourself and your abilities and ‘have a go’.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Never react negatively to someone else’s poor behaviour or if you don’t agree with someone else’s opinion. Rise above it, think about it, and if you need to take further action discuss with someone else you trust first.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
You go, girl!
I have never planned my career or thought about where I want to be in 5 years’ time. I have just worked hard and grasped opportunities that have come up along the way. I now have a new venture that has seen me go full circle in my career – I started off in a caring profession, and now I am back helping people make the best of themselves. Never give up on your dreams!
A huge thank you to Lynn for her blog and sharing her advice. You can find Lynn. on Instagram @lynnlovesshoppingYou can check out more of our inspirational blogs here!