At #YesWeCan we know how important it is to be kind to the environment, this blog features Nancy Hyne, founder of True Horizon, who is dedicating her career to help businesses on their environmental journey!
I originally started my career as a Structural Engineer, I lived and worked in Sydney for a while and one of the projects I was working on was going for an environmental certification. I was responsible for reducing our environmental impact from a structural point of view (think materials and construction waste) and found that I enjoyed that more than my actual job! So, I took the leap and moved into sustainability.
I think it’s the challenges that shape where you end up.
I’ve not always had it easy but I think I think it’s the challenges that shape where you end up. I moved back to the UK from Sydney. I wanted to be closer to home and family and so I headed back to London. The problem was I found it really stressful compared to the work-life balance (& sunshine!) that I’d gotten used to in Australia. So, I decided to leave, and my main motivation was to be near the sea. It’s a long story but my husband and I picked Lymington in the New Forest to be near the water but still within an easy distance of London. As the job opportunities were much more limited down here and because I didn’t fancy the commute into London every day, I set up on my own. Very scary but also very exciting. I’m just over 2 years in and can safely say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (though definitely not without its challenges!).
It’s about giving people the right information to make the best decisions
My business was set up to help businesses reduce their impact on the environment. There’s a lot of misinformation around at the moment and sifting through that is really important to me. Education is key. It’s about giving people the right information to make the best decisions and it’s definitely not about guilting people into anything. If we all do our part, we can have a huge impact.
Being self employed means I have to be really motivated. Motivation is so important and for me, it’s about doing something I love and having the flexibility to spend time with those I love. It’s those things that get you through the tough days when you start to question everything. I’m lucky as my parents brought me up to work hard & to strive to achieve the things I wanted to do. Life is short so make sure you’re filling it with the things and people you love.
Life is short so make sure you’re filling it with the things and people you love.
My Dad also gave me a piece of really good business advice that I’ve never forgotten. “Make your boss look good!” you are good at what you do, this will reflect well on your boss and everyone wins. If you are your own boss, then think of it from a client perspective. What have they hired you to do and who are they trying to impress? Make them look good. It will make you look at your project / job a bit differently.
You never know what could happen if you don’t try
I think life is all about little achievements. I’m very proud of my degree and I’m very proud that I’ve set up and am running a successful business. Those 2 big achievements involved a lot of smaller ones and probably just as many failures as well. Life often doesn’t turn out the way you planned but that can be a good thing. Make the most of good and bad experiences and don’t expect to have one without the other. You never know what could happen if you don’t try. Some of the best things in my life happened because I took a random chance. It might not turn out like you planned, but that’s often a good thing.
Take the opportunities that are being offered
Being a woman in my career has had its positives and negatives but I would say take the opportunities that are being offered. I read once that females tend to look at a job role and focus on all the bits they can’t do, whereas men focus on the ones they can. That may be a bit of a generalisation, but I certainly know I’ve been guilty of it in the past. Even if you’re not 100% sure you can do what’s being asked, take the chance. There will always be someone you can ask for support and Google is a fabulous tool too!
I’ve realised that one of the most important things when it comes to managing people is to recognise that people are very different. It sounds simple I know but we forget this in a leadership role sometimes, especially if you’re trying to deal with a difficult situation. Don’t assume that what would work for you will work for everyone. Get to know your team well so that you have a better understanding of what makes them tick and how you can relate to them.
If you were to ask me what my three tips would be for young females starting their careers?
- Do something you enjoy. There’s no point slogging through a job that you dread going to everyday. Even if you trained up in a particular field, there will always be transferable skills that you can take advantage of.
- Ask questions. There are no stupid questions and if you don’t ask, you won’t learn. (Just don’t keep asking the same questions – make a note of the answer!).
- Keep learning. Do as much training in different areas as you can. Just because you’ve finished your official training period (Uni, apprenticeship, whatever), you don’t have to stop learning. Take every opportunity you can.
Thank you Nancy! If you enjoyed reading this blog, take a look at some more inspirational women here!