Sophie Rowan on making work a positive place to be

Ann O'Mahony - 31/05/2016
Making Work a Positive Place to Be

La Crème and Morgan McKinley were delighted to welcome Sophie Rowan from Pinpoint to a recent breakfast briefing event. Sophie describes herself as an “experienced and insightful coaching psychologist who is committed to helping her clients transform their working life”.

Sophie hosted a skills-based session where the audience was invited to complete exercises from her bestselling book Brilliant Career Coach – How to Find and Follow your Dream Career which is dedicated to helping readers discover and pursue their career aspirations.


With self-awareness you have a clear idea of your personality, your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation and emotions. It allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. Take a few moments to ask yourself these questions:

  • When do you make the best decisions?
  • When are you at your most creative?
  • When do you solve problems most effectively?
  • When do you make important breakthrough at work?
  • When do you see the opportunity rather than the obstacle?
  • When do you enjoy your work the most?


Managing your Mindset – Is your glass half full or half empty?

Expectations of future outcomes vary enormously depending on whether you are a pessimist or an optimist! Being one or the other can mean the difference between thriving in life or suffering from depression and anxiety. It has been proven that with persistent effort pessimists can alter their thought processes. That effort could include approaching challenges without fear, focusing on an aspect of your work that feels fulfilling, surrounding yourself with positive people or learning not to dwell on situations beyond your control. Brain training is like getting physically fit, you need to stick with it to see the results. Notice the positive things around you and challenge negative beliefs.

Active Reflection – Uncovering your Strengths:

Uncover your strengths and do what you do best! Many people spend years trying to be someone they are not or trying to do something they can’t. Be really clear to yourself and others what you are good at. Focus your energy on mastering and enhancing your area of strength.

Here are some reflective questions which will help uncover your true strengths:

  • What are you proudest of in your work?
  • What is the best feedback you have received in the past 12 months?
  • What is the best piece of advice you have given a colleague?
  • What is the one attribute that you possess that has created success for you in your role?
  • When are you happiest at work?
  • What matters to you at work?
  • What 3 words would you use to describe your very best self at work?


You are the central character in your career development – who is your supporting cast?

Having a support network is essential to all of us both professionally and personally. Your strategic network at work should be made up of a cross section of people either within or external to your organisation.

Choose one of each of the following, jot their names down on a sheet of paper and challenge yourself today to have a coffee with one “new” person in your network with whom you can have a great career conversation and keep that going over the coming weeks/months:

A peer, a mentor, a more senior colleague, a colleague for a different locations (national or global), a friend, someone from HR, a colleague from a previous job, a previous boss, someone 2 levels up from you, someone you admire in your industry, someone you have studied with, someone from a professional body.

In Summary:

Do what you like to do: Find the usefulness in what you enjoy and make it the main thrust of your career

Do what is valuable to the organisation: Explore how your particular strengths can be used to improve your company, function or team.

Ann O'Mahony's picture
Operations Director | Dublin
+353 1 4321 500