I'm Alison O'Leary

Certified Life & Career Coach, Entrepreneur and Ideal Life Advocate.

I delight in witnessing my clients’ fulfilment and success after they apply a thorough understanding of themselves to their career and life goals.

Their success is their own, but I’m privileged to facilitate their journey and find it exciting and awe inspiring.

My Credentials

I am a leading life coach, certified and accredited by Martha Beck.

As well as career coaching, I specialise in career development and, specifically, in career change to facilitate life change.

While perhaps best known for the Work Wonderland process, which has helped so many clarify their direction and transform their careers and lives, I also continue to provide personal coaching and people development for individuals and teams.

In a 20-year corporate career I held a number of senior management positions within the communications industry, most recently as Deputy Managing Director, Europe for a global digital marcoms firm. I have consulted some of the world’s leading brands, including IBM, Sony, Huawei, Skype, Philips and Gartner, and I’ve designed and run countless coaching and training programmes for agency teams and clients.

Despite outward success, I wasn’t fulfilled and my transition to a more fulfilling career and a better-balanced life led me to coaching, and taught me the techniques I now use to help others.

I am highly experienced in coaching, training and mentoring, combining insights from corporate and personal coaching work to help bright, spirited people answer ‘What Next?’ with clarity, confidence and control.

My Sideline

I’m the Founder and CEO of Porcupine Collective, a Community Interest Company established to help disadvantaged individuals combat low-pay/no-pay/in-work poverty.

My experience has underpinned the design and development of our inaugural digital product, Alternative CV.

Our solution helps those who lack academic qualifications and work experience identify, showcase and target their talents, character strengths and skills via a two-page CV and career insights guide.    

About Me

I love the outdoors, all things alternative, and adventures.

When I’m not working, I’m likely to be found hiking with my husband in the black mountains; testing unusual health and well-being classes with friends; or trying my hand at adrenaline-fuelled activities like paragliding or quad biking. 

My husband and I have undergone major changes in our lives; he was based in the City of London, I was for some time based between London and Paris. We lived in Covent Garden and held corporate management roles. We now live on a remote mountainside in Wales, living a life that we dreamed of and working with passion.   

A taste of my approach

I’m Pragmatic

I’m a life-long advocate, and creator, of practical tools and techniques that lead to clear conclusions and action. Self-help vagueness is not my forte; proven, applied approaches are.

I’m Inquisitive

I’m infinitely interested in what motivates people and makes them tick. I want to understand who you really are and what drives your decisions and actions so that I can help you see it and use it to maximise your potential and power your progress.

I’m Positive

Creating the career and lifestyle you want is truly possible. With the right direction, plan and mindset you can achieve your own ideal, and it comes with a massive side order of energy, enthusiasm and encouragement from me. Consider me your personal champion.

Ready to work together? Here’s how:

Career Progression

Realise your potential

Career Change

Confidently alter course

Second Career

Write a new chapter

Career Pathfinder

Choose a direction (youth)

CV & LinkedIn Work

Outplacement Support

Personal references

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Alison for almost 15 years. She is utterly instinctive with people and in her understanding of what motivates them – but she makes no assumptions. She equips individuals with methodologies to help them understand themselves and make the right decisions for today and for the future. Added to that, she has the greatest sense of fun, infectious laughter and a way of taking you out of yourself that is the best therapy.”
Cathy Pittham
CEO, AxiCom Cohn & Wolfe
“Alison is a delight to be around – full of positive energy with an encouraging and gentle manner. She really listens and interprets and has fabulous empathy. I love the sage-like wisdom that Alison shares and you really feel it’s from the heart and from someone who’s been there herself.”
Bruce Dodworth
Owner, Sea Glass
“I met Alison more than a decade ago, I had my nose down in a senior role in a firm with a broken corporate culture, as did Alison – we were colleagues. The only difference was while the daily politic impacted me she never stopped smiling, laughing and I knew her bright eyes saw something I had missed. I had to understand what. Online testimonials are traded like Panini stickers nowadays but when I say she is a straight ten, and you meet her, you will know what I mean.”
Alex Kirkpatrick
Co-Founder, Incite New Business
“Alison played an invaluable role through a period of transformational leadership at Racepoint Global; she has a genuinely calming and thoughtful demeanour, which perfectly complements her acute coaching skills. A great listener and an even better innovator, Alison has a great way of unlocking your inner self. I can’t recommend her highly enough.”
Andrew Laxton
Executive Vice President, Racepoint Global
“I’ve known Alison for many years and no matter what she focuses on, Alison has this capacity of throwing so much energy and care into things that nothing seems unfixable. Every time I am in her company I feel amazingly calm and happy. She has a special aura and an ability to find beauty and strength in people that they did not know existed.”
Laurence Goasduff
PR Director EMEA, Gartner
“I’m fortunate to have known Alison both personally and professionally for many years now. Alison combines a quite unique blend of skills and attributes: insightful and thoughtful, strategic and delivery-focused, patient and highly energetic. She’s great to work with… in fact, an all-round super human being.”
Joe Hanley
Vice President, Communications, Medtronic EMEA
“Alison has an extremely canny ability to see into people and understand what makes them tick and how to motivate them to achieve their best. It is easy to be objective, but the real skill lies in delivering that objectivity gently; this is where Alison excels. She has the communication power to bring to light and address challenges in a tenacious and caring way. Quite simply she ‘translates’ people so they can see themselves from a different perspective and then activates them to help them make the necessary changes, guiding and supporting along the way.”
Karolina Shaw
Karolina Shaw, European Communications Manager, Mozilla
“Quite simply, Alison is the type of person that you need in your life. She walks into a room and lights it up, and manages to leave some of her sparkle wherever she goes. She’s super smart, fun, brimming with positive energy and has an absolute passion for what she does. She’s honest and no-nonsense, supportive and warm, and truly unique. She’s one of my favourite people, and I’m very lucky to have her in my world.”
Dan Gamble
Dan Gamble, Head of PR and Corporate Communications, Broadband TV
“I have worked with a lot of people in my time. Some I have chosen and some have been thrust upon me. Alison belongs in the latter group. We suddenly found ourselves working together at someone else’s behest and it was like magic. She is wise beyond her years and beyond mine, come to mention it. There’s a thirty year plus age gap. Of all the people I’ve ever worked with, and some have been magnificent, Alison stands head and shoulders above them all.”
David Tebbutt
Journalist and Communication Skills Trainer
“Alison is sharp, witty and intent on helping people to reach their full potential. She is passionate about living the best life possible, and is determined to take people with her on that journey. I’ve known Alison for ten years and she is warm, dedicated and relentlessly positive!”
Simon Burberry
Lead Public Relations Manager, Citrix

FREE PDF Guide: Three easy steps to ideal career clarity