A lifelong love of learning

It’s always inspiring to talk to a former client and hear how coaching has helped them change career direction.   With a Ph.d in Astrophysics, Anastasia Pappa began her career in academic research before working in Science Communications and Education. Following the birth of her two children, she came to Inspired Mums for coaching to help her regain her confidence and find a fulfilling career that would give her the life balance she desired.


Tell me more aout your background and how you began your career?

I have a Ph.D in Astrophysics and was working in academia but I felt very isolated and knew I wanted to work with people. I decided to move into Science Communication and Education and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

What made you decide to change career?

When my daughter was born 9 years ago, it was a real shock for me and I realised something had to change.  My husband and I moved back to Greece and for 6 years and I worked as a science communications and education consultant.  I had my second child there, then two years ago we decided to return to the UK. By this time both my children were at full time school and I knew I had to decide what I really wanted to do.

What was your “light bulb” moment?

Being a mother really changed me, I knew I wanted to do something that would help other parents.  Up until this point, I felt I had suppressed myself professionally but with my youngest at school, aspects of my old self reemerged and I wanted to do something for me.   I felt liberated that I could start all over again. I wasn’t 18 – I was approaching 40 and had experience so it was up to me to define what I wanted to do.

What made you go for career and confidence coaching?

I realised I lacked direction. I had some ideas but I felt stuck and needed someone to help me move forward.

What do you think was the main benefit of coaching?

Fiona gave me confidence and helped me identify the direction I wanted to go in. She helped me prepare for a particularly important meeting that was key to my new business.  This was crucial as I went to the meeting with confidence and came across as a professional.

How did coaching help to rebuild your confidence?

Fiona really believed in me. I also had confidence issues with the language because I’m not a native speaker and she helped me overcome this. It helped that she had an independent view – she was there to guide me, as a critical friend, and to give me the support I needed. 

Tell me more about your business

I started working in a school to gain greater experience.  I’m also a governor and a parent, so this gave me a really solid understanding of how schools work.  It also helped me regain my confidence.  From there I decided to start my own business, Ostrakinda Education and Parent Coaching www.ostrakinda.co.uk, to empower parents so they can support their children’s learning. We run workshops and offer coaching sessions to help parents unlock their child’s full potential and gain resilience, confidence and a love of learning.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business?

Helping people, throughout my career I have always enjoyed helping others.

And the most challenging?

I find Sales and Marketing difficult – it doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve definitely improved and have joined local networking groups where I have met some very inspiring women. At the beginning I also felt quite lonely but as the work has taken offthis has changed. Social networking also really helps as I feel I’m in constant contact with people. 

Do you think you have found a good work life balance?

Yes I do!  I have flexibility so I’m there for my children, I’m also doing a job I feel passionately about.

What advice would you give to others thinking about changing careers?

Just do it – it may sound scary but it’s often easier than you think. I would definitely recommend having coaching as it really helped me keep on track.  I felt accountable – we would set targets and I had to report back. This really helped me stop procrastinating and move forward instead.


For further information on Anastasia’s business Ostrakinda Education & Parent Coaching, please visit www.ostrakinda.co.uk or email info@ostrakinda.co.uk.


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