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As the founder of Croft Coaching, Deborah Croft, has a passion for helping people overcome challenges, embrace change and live life to the full; with an ethos of “work hard, play hard”.

Croft Coaching is a Coaching and Training organisation, dedicated to inspiring and empowering Individuals and Groups to play to their strengths and honour their values; so that they are truly engaged, energised and present; inside and outside of the workplace.

Croft Coaching partners with Organisations and Individuals who are seeking to evoke positive, long term transformational change; grounded in greater self-awareness, clarity and conscious choice. In partnership with Viva Consulting, they help organisations include and embrace the impact of the transition to parenthood in their diversity programs.


croftblog july2016

By Debbie Croft, Croft Coaching

Inclusiveness and gender parity is fortunately a key focus for astute organisations. One strategy deployed considers how to better support professionals during the challenging transition to parenthood; so that they feel it is possible to continue with professional aspirations and successfully juggle family life. This is not specific to female talent. As the next generations of male leaders emerge with clear expectations on the role they want to play as a father, organisations need to demonstrate their appreciation of family values to attract and retain top talent.

All this is great news for parents – there will be a significant positive impact on reducing the stress and overwhelm that is typical of this period, frequently losing to resignation &/or burn-out. The danger is that this stress is transferred to Line Managers and Team Leaders, who need to adapt to frequently changing needs of a team and movement of people within the team. So, how can this group of Leaders be adaptable and agile, to effectively manage and support new flexible working policies?

debbie lighthouse

By Debbie Croft, Croft Coaching

Is this known as “having it all”? Can you even have a career and family without the burden of guilt, overwhelm and fatigue? There isn’t a text book standard response to this. Why? Because everyone’s definition of “having it all” is unique and it’s based on your own exclusive value system and aspirations.

Step 1: Self-awareness
The 1st step therefore when considering how to navigate career and family is to have a very good understanding of what is important to you, as a parent and as a professional.

As a parent – if someone asked your child 10 years from now to describe you as a Mum or Dad over the last 10 years, what do you want them to say? Who inspires you as a role model as a parent and why? What do you want to copy from your own parents? What do you not want to copy from your own parents? If you take time to consider these questions over a short period, coming back to them several times, you will soon have a sound awareness of your values as a parent. Now, take these values and prioritise them, which ones are the most important for you to honour?

As a Professional – what are your short term and long term goals? What are you longing for in your career? Consider skills and strengths you love using – how much do you use them in your role today? What do you want others to be saying about you at work – your peers, your team, your leaders? Again, project forward 10 years from now – what have you achieved? What are you proud of in your career?

Step 2: “What ifs…..”
Best case scenario, when you look at these 2 lists, what does life and work look like if you are honouring your priority values and following your professional aspirations? Take away the “impossible” for this exercise and imagine that it’s all possible, i.e. dare to dream! This will expand your ideas. Ideally brainstorm this with a friend, trusted colleague or your coach.

croftblog jan2016

By Debbie Croft, Croft Coaching

This is such a personal journey that there is no script to follow. There is no right or wrong way of balancing parenthood and professional life. Each person has their unique way of balancing the two, based on their own value system, needs, motivations and aspirations. The only criteria here is that you find your way, you understand your own value system, needs, motivations and aspirations; so that you design the best balance for yourself; so that you can thrive at home and at work!

Here are some tips to help you best navigate these new waters, where you become the queen of juggling and sharing yourself with many! Depending on how soon you return to work, also be aware that typically it takes 9 months for your body to return to normal, hormonally and physiologically.

Working Mum on Maternity
Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Debbie Croft, Croft Coaching

First of all, congratulations! For each parent, this is such a personal journey that there is no script to follow. Instead here are some tips to help you be mindful of and embrace the changes.

As the Professional woman:

  • You hopefully agreed boundaries before your maternity break and they are being adhered to. It may be that you have changed your mind and you want more or less contact – let people know so that you maximise this time. It is worth considering which colleagues are key influencers and always keep abreast of the political landscape – a coffee/lunch with them can quickly bring you up to speed with developments at work.

  • Remember that this can be a great opportunity to develop new skills and learn about topics you never have enough time for in a typical working week. There is an abundance of interesting articles, discussions, forums etc you can access or explore an on-line course as a possibility. Please be mindful that this may be unlikely in the early days of maternity – you’ll find there is quite enough to do!

pregnant woman
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Debbie Croft, Croft Coaching

This phase really does feel like a rollercoaster to every woman: excited, energised one moment; sick or tired and fearful of the future the next moment; coupled with a changing body shape and rather adhoc emotions. It’s no surprise that it is a somewhat confusing period in our lives ….(imagine how it is for partners watching on!).

There are many factors that you will not be able to directly control, so focus on what you can control and influence, starting with a positive perspective and taking ownership. Here are a few pointers: