Helping people be happy and successful at work.
Hi. My name is Inge Dowden and I’m the Business Growth and Happiness Expert. It’s my mission in life to make sure that everyone is happy and successful at work. Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, I believe that everyone deserves happiness and success.
Since you’re looking at the About Me section, I guess you’d like to know a bit about me. So here’s my story:
I’m originally from the Netherlands and moved to England in 1995. With a degree in International Business and parents who ran their own international textiles company, I had always wanted to work in international business and at the age of 28 I fulfilled my ambition to become an Export Manager in an engineering company. OK, so the engineering bit had not been part of the dream, but I still loved my job. I travelled the world, met people from different cultures and really enjoyed the challenge of helping people become successful at selling our products. I’ve always been a bit of a language freak (aka a Polyglot) so being able to use my language skills was all part of the fun.
I was also happily married and planning on having a family. Life couldn’t have been better.
And then, at the beginning of the new Millennium, it all changed. The family we tried for didn’t happen, I got made redundant from the job I loved and my husband decided to leave me. Everything I had always wanted was taken away from me and I felt I had no control over any of it. I soon found another job (again as an export manager) but after a while I thought there had to be more to life than selling knobs and handles. And then one day in 2003, on the 23rd of November to be precise, I decided to take control of my own life again. I quit my very well paid job and went on a sabbatical to “find myself”. That’s when things started to turn around for me.
I took two years off and did lots of exciting things: I went to Italy to learn Italian, travelled around Europe, went to Thailand and finally ended up in Mexico, where I stayed for a year, teaching English to the Mayans and generally having a good time. I loved helping people and seeing their confidence grow as their English improved, and I wanted more of that feeling. However, I did miss the world of business, so I needed to do something to combine the two.
When I came across the Coaching Academy I knew that coaching was the right profession for me: one that combines helping people and being in business! It couldn’t have been more perfect. I knew I wanted to take it seriously so I signed up as a protégé student to have access to all of their courses. Soon I had a diploma in Personal Coaching, Corporate & Executive Coaching and Small Business Coaching. In 2009 I qualified as an NLP practitioner and I continue my professional development to this day with various additional courses (financial coaching, personality profiling, power presenting etc). I set up as Polyglot Coaching in 2008 and I have worked with hundreds of business coaching and career coaching clients since. In 2014 I re-branded as Inge Dowden Coaching to better reflect the personal approach to the business.
What I do
In fact, I have always been very happy in my work, and when I wasn’t I would make a change and leave. I couldn’t understand why so many people would choose to stay in a job that made them unhappy until I realised that they often feel like they have no other options. People feel stuck or have no confidence in themselves, and that keeps them in unhappy situations. Career coaching can help them discover their options and make them happier and more successful. I typically work with people who are in their mid 30s to late 40s, are fed up with their job and want to change. Often they don’t know what they want and I help them find out what their true passion is. Then we work together to put in place a plan of action to make it all happen. Sometimes that is to set up their own business, and sometimes that is to change their career completely. And very occasionally it is to help someone realise that their current job isn’t as bad as they thought. The end result however is always that people feel better than they did before, and that makes me happy too.
In October 2015 I published my first book to help with all of this: The Happy Worker – How to Find a Job you Love and Love the Job you Have. It’s packed full of tips and techniques to help people realise what they want and find their dream job.
I’m also very passionate about business. I love talking to lots of different business owners and see them flourish with my support and encouragement. Seeing my parents run their business and only ever working in small businesses myself means that I particularly like small businesses coaching. I understand what it’s like to have big plans and small budgets. I love being creative when the going gets tough and come up with ideas that don’t cost the earth but are still very effective. All this focus on happiness doesn’t mean we don’t also look at the bottom line, and that’s when the magic happens: when you make sure you and your staff love what you do, then you’ll invariably end up making more money too.
On a final personal note I am very happily re-married to my wonderful, funny, kind and supportive hubby Nick and we have some lovely godchildren we get to look after regularly. We have three playful cats called Snoepie, Bonnie and Coco and we love going on holidays (especially to the Caribbean). I’m writing my first novel, go Nordic Walking twice a week and play badminton at Beaufort Badminton Club.
Coaching Academy qualifications
- Personal Coaching
- Corporate & Executive Coaching
- Small Business Coaching
- NLP Practitioner
- DISC profiling
Business Qualifications and Experience
- Degree in International Business
- 15 years’ experience as an Export Sales Manager in engineering
- Fluent in 6 languages (Dutch, English, French, Spanish, German and Italian – in case you were wondering)
- TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
- Team Coaching
- Executive Coaching
- DISC Profiling
- Small Business Coaching
- Sales & Marketing
- Time Management
- Exit strategy
- Change your career
- Start your own business
- Work/life balance
- Job interview preparations
- Going back to work after a break
- Confidence & Motivation
- Dealing with change