Digital Economy USRG

Creative Digifest #SXSC2 Speaker profile: Madeline Paterson

Lisa HarrisOctober 9, 2012
by Lisa Harris

Madeline Paterson is a Career Transition Coach. She may not have been born digital, but she embraces it. Madeline wants to exemplify smart use of technology in her own business. And she wants it to have a personal touch, because that is what her business is all about about – paying real attention to clients and helping them to open up new opportunities for themselves.

Madeline speaks and writes about career transition whenever she can and believes that developing ‘readiness for opportunity’ is a key capability in a world where straightforward jobs are becoming fewer and fewer. As well as running her business, Madeline currently works part-time at the University of Southampton as a Student Experience Manager, managing the Transition to Living and Learning Project that supports new students starting at the University. She has worked in technology and media businesses and at UCL and the Open University – designing e-learning, managing media teams and managing client relationships. Find her on and (every day) on twitter @madelinep.

In what ways are digital technologies transforming our lives?

 I live on an island, but that doesn’t matter.

I can coach anywhere using the telephone and Skype; I have a virtual assistant in the Netherlands who manages my diary; I created my own website; and I am just starting to use a neat app that scans my expense receipts and reconciles them with my business bank account. I love technology and work hard at keeping up-to-date, mostly through Twitter. The only thing that I have commissioned for my business so far is the Symmetry Coaching brand identity, but that may be about to change, because I want to grow my business. For me, technology is a central part of my life, an exciting world of new ideas, and an opportunity to innovate in my own business.

What can the latest technologies do for you?

I would like you to help me answer that question.

You are invited to come up with strategy, marketing, web and open data ideas in my Boost This Business! workshop at #SxSC2. And in recognition of your creativity in injecting new ideas, you could win either a special prize or a career coaching prize.

How do I use digital right now? Well, I created my own site at, but it really needs a re-think. I’m active on Twitter as @madelinep and I get into the press when I can, e.g., but I probably need a more substantive profile – and I wonder if it would be good to write a book? I am frighteningly easy to find on Google and LinkedIn, but is the message appealing and a sufficiently clear ‘call to action’?

If I want to develop products and services so that Symmetry Coaching moves away from being only a time-based business, where should my priorities lie in the next 12 months? Over to you! What can technology do for my one-person coaching and consulting business? How can I work on the business without the details of implementation eating seriously into my time?

If you’re not online, are you out of the game?

 I would live in a smaller world if I weren’t online.

There would be fewer opportunities and I would certainly know fewer people who share the same interests as me. On the other hand, I have to take care of my time and I experience (many times a day) the pull of the internet on my mind when I know that I should be doing other things.

For small businesses, the challenge is often in getting the right people to help us grow our businesses. I hope the little case study in Boost This Business! helps us think about how to deliver real value to small businesses like mine.

Categories: Blog, Creative DigiFest 2, and SxSC2 Bio. Tags: SXSC2.