Getting to know FlexCoach Ioana Popa

Getting to know FlexCoach Ioana Popa

My best piece of career advice I have received, there were actually two. One came from my husband and I carry it with me every day: “Whatever you choose to do, make sure it will make you happy!”

And another career advice that stuck with me was from one of the career coaches I worked with: “Don’t try to understand the reasons for which some things happen the way they do. Instead, ask yourself What am I meant to learn from this?”

1.What is your career history?

Over 12 years of experience working with people in international and multicultural environments, spanning various industries in both private and not for profits sectors. Acting as recruitment and HR Consultant, Career Counsellor, Career Consultant and Resume writer, Youth Worker, Social Worker for people with special needs, as well as a lot of volunteering roles.

Hands-on experience leading HR initiatives including policy design, career management strategies, recruitment strategies, training and development, employee induction and motivation, career transition support and career counselling, employee and youth mentoring. Over 10.000 hours of consultancy through my entire career so far.

I’ve started my work experience while studying for my bachelor’s in Psychology and Education Science, as a Youth Worker and Volunteers Recruiter and Coordinator, in a European youth not-for profit and as a Health Educator working with kids in schools on topics such as protection against sexual transmitted diseases, the risks of drugs and alcohol abuse, relationships, risk of unwanted sexual relationships to name just a few.

After my graduation, I took on a one-year long European volunteering project in Birmingham, UK as a Social Worker in the special needs and at-risk sector. Following the end of this project I returned to where I started working as a recruitment consultant, and gradually transitioned to HR Consultancy and Career Counselling, and I’ve been in the industry ever since.

In 2014 I moved to Australia and have been in Perth ever since. During this time, I continued my career and HR guidance, along with some mentoring (especially for people wanting to start a career in the industry) and as of this year I’m also concentrating on gamification and game simulation particularly for enhancing employee engagement and HR professionals.

Outside my working hours, I get involved in volunteering projects, an activity which I find extremely rewarding at so many levels: new people, new skill, different experience and wonderful friends. I’ve been doing it for a lot of years now and I don’t see an end to it very soon.

2.What was your motivation to become a coach?

It was a combination of factors that led me to career coaching. My passion for listening to and helping people, my job-hunting experience without any previous guidance following an unexpected redundancy in the middle of an economic turmoil, my experience as a career coaching client and the need of more guidance I picked up from people I interviewed over the year.

3.Do you have any particular areas of coaching expertise?

I specialize in Career Coaching / Career Counselling, for both individuals and organizations. I’m currently studying for my Counselling Diploma, with two advanced majors in career and workplace counselling, so I’m also starting to concentrate on workplace counselling.

4.What do you love most about coaching?

Empowering people to thrive, to be their own person and find their courage to follow their dreams. The expressions, the happy and smiley faces when they find their “A-ha!” moment. That feeling that they become aware of how valuable and how much power lies within them.

5.How do you define success?

For me success is a state of mind, it’s a journey not a destination.

In coaching, if people find value and good use in my guidance, my counselling or my advice, then that’s my success.

6.What is your vision for women in the workplace?

I believe wholeheartedly in the value of diversity in the workplace and in my view gender shouldn’t stay in the way of career choices or opportunities.

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