Career coach gets to work

Colin OliverOne of the original partners in Gordonton’s The Farm Shop, Colin Oliver, is starting (another) new venture. Number 8 Network’s Annette Taylor grabs him for a quick chat.

With wife Gemma, Colin runs a water treatment service, supplying dairy farmers from Taupo to the cape. “It removes iron and manganese and kills E.coli.”

The couple have also become new parents, with the birth of nine-week-old Saoirse. “She’s beautiful and we’re adjusting our lives around her somewhat now!”

In addition, after losing his job last year, Colin has set up a new business, The Career Coach, offering career advice and guidance.

“I was highly skilled and highly paid, in a management position, yet was one of 750 people faced with redundancy with Fonterra last October.  I had to sit down and reinvent myself.”

During this process, he gained valuable insight. “Morale was terrible. I opted for voluntary redundancy and as soon as I made that decision I was back in control and could take stock. Then I was able to help and mentor others, to assist them work through what they should do and where they wanted to be.”

“Some people may be reconsidering their career path during this downturn or they may be young and want to enter the work force. Many want a change but don’t know how to take the next step or what might be required.”

Part of his role with Fonterra was in leading diverse teams. “I interviewed well over 200 people for various positions, and coached my staff and others in creating development plans and interview techniques.

“I believe that everybody wants to do a great job but many people are in the wrong role and therefore unable to perform at their best. Early in my career I identified what motivated me and I was then able to make sure I incorporated that into my day, creating job satisfaction.”

Many limit themselves by setting their sights too low, he says. “Aim for the top. Why be a kitchen hand when you can be the café owner, or be someone like Jamie Oliver, for that matter.

Originally from a dairy farm in Northland, Colin has lived in Gordonton for seven years. “Gemma and I were looking for a lifestyle block and found this one. We’ve really got to know and enjoy the community, love the people and all the bits and pieces that go on here.”

Colin’s top tip – be prepared, be very prepared. “Especially in a job interview. Do research on the company, role play being interviewed, answer the questions with examples and take a notepad with you.”

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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