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This week on Talk Learn Connect, Writer Yvonne Reddin asks Psychological Coach at Vocation Wellness - Pat Finnerty, to share some TLC

Can you give a summary of your Squiggle career to date?

Reflecting on my own career, life was really all about paying the bills by having a job, any job, without giving too much thought as to whether I would like the job or not or even suitable for the job, as long as it paid the bills. I always had an interest in social science and how people interacted.
I had considered psychology following my leaving cert but somehow I let someone convince me that ‘working in a mental hospital isn’t such a nice job’ -  so I went down the professional route of Hotel Management instead.
I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on you.
I worked alongside the Fitzpatrick  Hotel Group in Ireland and New York,  as a store manager in Lidl, in the distribution of gifts for baby & toddler goods and in the painting and decorating profession,
So, yes it has been a squiggle career.

Why the interest in Coaching, in particular in the area where people have become disoriented by their work/life?

Again, reflecting on my own path in life, It’s easy to get sucked into the rat race of life, going to work, paying the bills, juggling money and juggling time, fitting in the housekeeping, watching a bit of  TV in the evenings, a few social drinks at the weekend…. You know how it goes….
When you have those bad days and wonder is there something better - you think about it for a little while, then reality kicks in again and you don’t give it any more thought until the next time you have a bad day.
I know people do give it plenty of thought and really don’t know where to start but the right answer might be a change in your job or career.

"The right answer may also be to find meaning in what you are already doing"

This is why  I also work with companies to reduce absenteeism and attrition rates and boost productivity as well as working with individuals seeking meaning.
The two go hand in hand.

Is there a grey area within this profession, that you feel needs attention, especially over the last two years of the pandemic?

There are grey areas, not bad areas as such, more that the whole concept of wellness in work seems to seek to find a fix-all solution rather than finding individual solutions in well thought PDP’s (Personal Development Plans)
Whilst mindfulness, meditation, yoga, fitness, nutrition are all great and very important, they don’t reach into the dark corners of the individual mind where all the creativity and hidden skills also live.
Those dark corners are also where personality lives.
There also seems to be popularity and heavy selling of ‘law of attraction’ which is fine for people of certain dispositions but can have no effect and even negative effect on people of other dispositions.
In mainstream and social media, there’s an overemphasis on the negative effects of stress. There are also positive effects of stress.
There’s also too much emphasis on ‘finding happiness’ when instead there should be more emphasis on finding ‘meaning’ or ‘fulfillment’ of which happiness will be a by-product.
Pat Profile pic
Vocation Wellness pic
Pat Family pic

There are many influential, inspiring people who cross our paths, or we follow on social media. Who has/is inspiring to you?

John Hume – I had the pleasure of sitting down and having coffee with him and his wife many years ago. Initially, I was starstruck because he was a major political figure and peacemaker, within minutes of sitting down, I was struck by his warmth, authenthicity and ability to make connections.
Billy Connolly – For his unique ability to observe the human condition and re-tell it in memorable form.
Malcolm Gladwell – The same reasons as above.
Dr. Martin Seligman – The Grandfather of Positive Psychology.
Dr. Dan Ariely – Behavioural Psychologist and Behavioural economist Advanced hindsight Lab.
Dr. Carol Dweck – The Growth/Fixed Mindset Theory.
Dr. Alia Crum – Her work on Stress and Mindset.
Dr Robert Sapolsky – Neurologist and Ethologist - 'Why Zebras don’t get ulcers.'
Dr. Edith Eger – Her books - ‘The Choice’ and ‘The Gift.'

Can you share any words of wisdom that you received that helped you in your successful career?

My grandfather said if I want to never be short of money - be a plumber, chef, or barber. Sometimes I wish I had listened, but I’m glad I am none of those.
I can’t remember where I heard or read the following, but it’s what I go by today: “To find meaning, start by asking - how can I serve?”



If you would like to contact Pat, here are his contact details: