EastCoast HR Group has approached prominent and everyday Sunny Coasters about their careers.  Follow our Friday Feature to find out what inspires those around to go to work every day!

Carren Smith – A dynamic leader, a motivator, and a survivor. She is an author, a trainer, a keynote speaker.

What was your first job?

Receptionist at a medical center.

Who are the people that have made the biggest difference in your career and why?

  1. My Dad – Always set a HUGE example of what was possible in business
  2. My Mum – Always believed in me (she still does) and always encouraged be to aim for the highest I could reach
  3. My sister – mentored me from 20 to 40 years old and taught me everything I know about entrepreneurialism
  4. My boss, John Wlison at Ansett HR Projects – Always marveled at everything I did. He held a very high standard and I always jumped through hoops to maintain his trust in me

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

My manager, Carole Virtue when I took the role of Regional Manager for Manpower Recruitment services at the age of 26! I was way too young for the role but she believed in me and she said “Carren, always remember, everyone is NOT like you. Learn to manage the difficult people early because they are the ones that will make you a better leader”

She was absolutely right!

Think back to five years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today?

No way! I had no idea I would launch a not for profit charity around Suicide prevention, anxiety and depression five years ago. I did know that I would still be speaking to massive rooms and I did know that I would be writing and ghost writing and I did know that I would be coaching and mentoring though.

How do you approach work – life balance?

With reverence! I do my best to stay balanced, even if it is just in my mind sometimes! My life is full and I don’t believe that I work at all!! I would do what I do even if I didn’t ‘have’ to work. It’s my life, my passion and purpose, so every day is balanced, even when it’s not!

What is your proudest moment in your career?

Standing on stage in the United States in front of 15,000 people receiving a standing ovation for a presentation I’d delivered on the nature of human potential. It was a game changer for me where all doubts I had about my ability to have an impact in this world dissolved!