#What if… you believed you could? Jill Saville

As we honour international women’s day on the 8th March “empowerFULL” is launching the #WhatIf campaign to support women’s empowerment journey.

The #WhatIf campaign aims to share stories of women who have followed their dreams regardless of their journey’s barriers.

Inspiring women from all around the world have shared a challenging question starting with #WhatIf and some tips on how they have challenged limiting beliefs. 

We present you with Jill Saville, an Associate Executive Coach with over 30 years in the UK public sector before escaping to France to live a new life. She is a coach and trainer specializing in communication, leadership, and mindset. She is a passionate advocate of women’s rights and the development of women leaders. You can find more about her work at www.jillsaville.com.

Jill Saville, MA, PCC – Associate Executive Coach

 #What if… you believed you could?

I was approaching 40 with a chip on my shoulder and a few limiting beliefs that I was unaware of.  

I was ambitious, if that was always wanting more, but so far I hadn’t focused my efforts on the right activities to get it. Yes, I had recently received MA which I thought it would miraculously open doors, but I didn’t know then that qualifications are not enough. Other things are required.  I had the degree, the desire, the experience, and now I needed to work on myself and find direction.

A few things happened like breadcrumbs along a path. I was offered a 2-week course for women at the Civil Service College, where I learned I was getting in my own way. Shortly after, incentives were offered to get people to leave so they could reduce numbers. Everyone told me it was a risk; don’t give up a job especially a public sector job. My husband asked me what was I going to do? I answered that I didn’t know but I thought I could do something. I found self-belief.

I paid to get expert help because the voice in my head told me ‘you’re no good at interviews’ and there was an element of truth in it.  I found a career coach who sat me down and went through my skills, strengths and interviewing techniques. I identified what I needed to develop and worked on them.

I left my safe job on 31 March 1997.  On 11 April, the Legal Aid Board (LAB) advertised for liaison managers to work with private solicitor firms and I looked at what was required. I was a match so I applied. [What I didn’t know was that the role was 3 levels higher than I had been. Had I known, I would not have applied, which is why the title is ‘What if I believed I could?’ I had to remember that for the future.

It was a 3-part process and I applied for other jobs at the same time, well within my capabilities and less money.  I was turned down and THANK GOODNESS I WAS!  I was under-selling myself. 

I passed the final step for the LAB job and while on holiday in France I got the call that I had been successful!  I will never forget the feeling of euphoria that comes with taking a risk, giving everything you have, and gaining the prize!

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