Sian Prigg, Founder of Start Sooner
Helping parents support their daughters to make brave career choices
I was five years old – standing on a beach in Wales with my red wellies on and dad at my side. With youthful exuberance I announced my first career decision: I was going to be a solicitor in Somerset!
The ambition was still on course right up until my uni years – until I realised halfway through my Law degree that it just wasn’t for me. One could say that the moral of this story is that the critical thinking of a five-year-old often needs a little more development – and that may be true! For me though, I didn’t see any of it as a waste of time but an extremely valuable learning experience.
Deciding to pursue a different path (and living in Somerset no longer part of the plan, although I have visited and it’s lovely!), I realised that my love of people was where I wanted my career to be focused. This led to many years spent in the worlds of recruitment, HR and – my one true love – learning and development.
In the 20-plus years I’ve spent within the corporate sector – and I still keep a foot in there today thanks to a role in senior management – I’ve learned two things: that people who are doing a job they love are much more successful, and that there’s a gender imbalance between men and women in the world of careers. Women in corporate roles who are assertive are often labelled ‘bossy troublemakers’, whereas their male counterparts are praised for their ‘can do’ attitude.
My mission with Start Sooner is to address this issue head on – providing a service dedicated to young women and their parents which imparts real-life career advice alongside coaching programmes designed to facilitate braver decision-making.
Since launching in the New Year, the business is doing really well. I’m delivering online courses later this year which will serve as conversation starters between families to consider their daughters’ career options sooner, plus I’m excited about the series of podcasts I have in the works towards the end of 2019. In them I’ll be lifting the lid on the ‘shinier’ side of certain industries so young women can make job-related decisions with much more clarity.