Kelly Van Nelson is a chef d’oeuvre. As a wife and mother, corporate leader, best-selling author and poet, and TEDx Presenter, her output is staggering. She has just released her seventh book, The Pinstripe Prisoner.
Born in Newcastle, England and raised by working-class parents, Van Nelson was lured by ambition to London where she met her husband of twenty-five years. The two travelled to and lived in Cape Town, South Africa during the fall of Apartheid as Nelson Mandela became President.
In 2009, Van Nelson landed in Australia with her loving family and they have called Australia home ever since.
“From a young age I developed an inner self-resilience. To not be a product of my environment, or circumstances or be a victim. From a really young age I set big goals – like really big goals,” says Van Nelson. “I had this creative side that was reading and writing, and I had this side that aspired to work hard, earn an income and be independent in some kind of corporate world. And the two things co-existed”.
Van Nelson is a celebrated leader in the Corporate Sector and has all the accolades to prove it: 2020 CEO Magazine Managing Director of the Year finalist, 2020 Telstra Business Women’s Award NSW Finalist (Medium and Large Enterprise). AusMumpreneur Gold Award ‘Big Idea – Changing the World’ winner.
Her success is in her intuitive understanding of how to compartmentalise her strengths and focuses, and when to bring them together to meet at the interface of her work, family, and creative life. Van Nelson’s son is an emerging film-maker. She works closely with him to develop short films of the stories and poems that she has published. Her TEDx Talk breaks away from the usual delivery to be executed in Spoken-Word Poetry parlance.
For her latest book, The Pinstripe Prisoner, Van Nelson drew on the experiences of family and friends who had been victims of violence and gun attacks in South Africa. The book takes readers on a dark journey through violent crime in the Rainbow Nation.
Success had not come easy for Van Nelson. She admits that not having a University Degree is something that has consistently challenged her own perceptions of belonging in a cut-throat world; a world in which, ironically and poetically, she is now a leader.
“I have definitely experienced an unconscious (or conscious) bias for not having a degree, and not having a really robust higher education – especially in the senior ranks,” says Van Nelson.
“Especially as a woman. I have often felt a need to over-compensate by working harder, and constantly up-skilling and constantly trying to achieve at everything I commit to”.
It’s through sheer determination and resourcefulness that Van Nelson manages to constantly achieve high results.
“If I don’t have the skills I’ll either acquire them by up-skilling myself, or I will bring in the right people in and around the team to create a ‘high-performing A-Team’ that can deliver to the expectation”.
Van Nelson feels strongly about using the written word to effect social change. She is passionate about creating an ongoing dialogue around domestic violence, bullying, mental health and suicide.
The Pinstripe Prisoner is available through most leading book retailers.www.kellyvannelson.com
Most of you know, I am a working mum, employed full time in the corporate world., but I also have another hat, as an international number one bestselling author. Today is the official launch day of my seventh book, a fiction novel, titled, The Pinstripe Prisoner.
A few weeks back, I first held this book in my hands at Crom Castle in Northern Ireland, where I attended the Serenity Press International Authors event with Sarah, The Duchess of York, Lord Erne, The Countess of Erne, my publisher, Karen Mc Dermott, and several fellow Serenity Press authors. Today, The Pinstripe Prisoner launches globally with the help of worldwide distribution via Peribo. You can pick up a copy via Amazon, Dymocks, Booktopia, The Book Depository, QBD Books, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and most major book retailers.
Enormous thanks to the whole team and the many people who have supported my writing career and helped bring this book to life. My dream was always to be at the top of my game as a writer, a corporate businesswoman, and to be a good mum who helps my children know that dreams really can become a reality through hard work and determination. Never give up!
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In this Talkpush Podcast episode of the Recruitment Hackers Managing Director at Adecco Australia, Kelly Van Nelson, talks about the huge surges and dips in a variety of industries — and how Adecco adapted their recruitment process to fit the demands and keep their talent employed. She also explains a new method of hiring, which focuses more on culture fit rather than large numbers (even in high volume environments) resulting in a more efficient workforce.
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Whether you’ve just begun the transition from school to a career, or you’ve been in the workforce for years, ensuring you acquire and maintain essential skills is crucial for career progression and growth.
Managing Director at Adecco Australia, Kelly Van Nelson, explained to Business Insider that an ever-shifting work environment can be attributed to skill-loss.
“Research shows that every four years people effectively lose 30% of their technical skills because the work environment changes so quickly,” Van Nelson says.”The era of life-long jobs is coming to an end and the pace of change is getting faster with roles disappearing while new ones are created overnight.
"The best line of defence you can have for your career is to ensure you’re constantly upskilling and moving away from the misconception that once you’ve completed your degree in your early 20’s, you’ve “arrived” at your destination. With every new skill, you have the potential to reinvent your role, your career and yourself.”
Depending on the industry you’re in, or are looking to get into, the term ‘skills’ can appear quite broad, as each industry requires niche expertise that might not necessarily transfer over to another field. However, Van Nelson believes there are three skills that are applicable to any field you go into — soft skills, agility and resilience.
“Soft skills are extremely favourable across all areas of work. Across industries, hiring managers are always looking for candidates with excellent communication skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work to deadlines,” Van Nelson asserts.
“Today’s workforce is everchanging and chances are the role you’re hired for will likely evolve over the coming months and years. Candidates who have a proven ability to upskill, reskill and stay agile will be seen favourably by hiring managers.
Van Nelson also points out that the need for adaptable team members is of the utmost importance in the wake of 2020. “Now more than ever during a global pandemic, candidates across all industries must show resilience. Resilient people can generally manage stress and conflict more effectively.”
If you’re about to enter the workforce and believe you could advantage from some professional assistance in acquiring the three aforementioned skills, low-fee and free resources like NSW JobTrainer provides training for over a dozen industries including Design, Health, Information Technology and Engineering, so that could be a smart jumping-off point.
JobTrainer is less formal than a university degree, which Van Nelson believes can actually work in your favour.
“Today’s rapidly changing workplace makes acquiring and developing new skills more important than formal education, and the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for digital skills across all job roles.
“Employees and job seekers should feel empowered to take time to self-educate and upskill in areas they may not have needed to before, to round out their skillset and get a competitive advantage over their peers.”
Speaking from her own experience, Van Nelson’s company has also set up programs to ensure the employees continue to stay ahead of the curve.
“The Adecco Group and Microsoft know that today’s roles are requiring everyone to lift their skills and as such developed a skills initiative that gives people access to free training, giving them the opportunity to remain relevant and employable for the jobs needed now and into the future.
“Industries or roles where employees have had the ability to improve and develop their soft skills including critical thinking, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and negotiation will all prove beneficial if an employee is interested in shifting industries.”