A businesswoman who was told she would not live to see her 50th birthday has dramatically transformed how she lives and works in an attempt to defy the doctors' prognosis.
Neena Sharma enjoyed a successful career as a Human Resources Director, having worked with leading businesses including PKF Cooper Parry, Siemens and Marks & Spencer, but after being diagnosed with a chronic and debilitating condition, the prognosis painted a very different picture for her future.
Neena decided to take a significant step in making some changes and radically reviewed her lifestyle, work outlook and environment; she now hopes to help others make the changes they want in their professional and personal lives by supporting them with sound HR advice and individual coaching.
She says, “The corporate environment is where I've thrived. I've always worked at a fast pace and I'm proud of my career success. I’ve worked with successful companies who’ve had a handful of staff to others with over 3000 worldwide and I’ve been responsible for devising and implementing the people strategy in all of them.”
She started experiencing symptoms such as tinnitus, sudden hair loss and problems with her short-term memory and speech. She says: "I was working so hard and such long hours, frequently away from home, I didn’t make time to see the doctor. I just chose to ignore everything and carry on for a long period pretending nothing was wrong but it was terrifying.”
“Like many people, I had so many priorities but my health and well-being were low down on the list. After eventually being forced to see two different doctors, I was told independently by both at the age of 41 that I wouldn’t make my 50th birthday unless I made some serious changes to how I lived and worked. I couldn't imagine living and working any other way but it turns out this proved to be the catalyst for joining Next Steps HR.”
The firm has just opened new offices in the stunning Strelley Hall and offers HR, Recruitment, Training and Mediation support predominantly in the SME sector, with personal and business coaching for individuals from all walks of life. For more information on the services offered by Next Steps HR, visit: www.nextstepshr.co.uk
“The move to new premises adds another dimension to what we can offer our clients. Many of them use our offices for confidential employment matters and staff training. Our coaching clients say they benefit from being coached outside in the beautiful grounds of Strelley Hall as they are really able to open up in less formal surroundings.”
Neena is enjoying being with a team of fellow professionals she’s worked with throughout her career, “It’s great to be working with colleagues who have also been friends for many years as we share each other’s values and have a passion for what we do; we are 7 strong now and growing rapidly because of the unique proposition for smaller businesses. One satisfied client describes us as the ‘one stop shop for all your employment needs’.”
Neena continued, “I wanted to be part of a business which enabled me to use the knowledge and skills I've gained in my career, to benefit a more diverse range of people. Now I'm able to advise and support a range of companies, especially local SMEs who may not have or want their own in- house HR function but can utilise the skills and expertise that the team and I can provide. In addition, I have personal experience of how the power of coaching can open up new possibilities, stimulate positive change and improve wellbeing. In so many aspects of my life, the only thing holding me back was me!”
"I'm so lucky to be working with a great team and great clients at Next Steps HR. I'm working in a way which enables me to have a better balance in my life whilst continuing to work in a profession I love, advising, encouraging and supporting others. I’m so glad I took my next step and I feel stronger and happier than ever!”