about me



My name is Sandra Illsley and I am passionate about developing other people.


To complete my Masters degree in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, I specialised in Managerial Coaching, having led and developed teams in global organisations for 20 years in the food, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. I started my career as a lab-based microbiologist and had a wide range of jobs within quality management including regulatory affairs, auditing, training, validation, process assurance...  I’m a QP within the pharmaceutical industry and have many years of managing, leading and developing teams of diverse skills and experience within the field of quality management. A time came when having a full-time job and two kids under 5 didn't mix, so I took a career break.

As the kids grew, I had more time on my hands and tried to work out what I wanted to do next. It.Was.So.Hard....years of working full-time, years of being a full-time mum and zero time taken for myself meant I hadn't the first idea of who I was, what I wanted or what I even liked anymore. Trying to resolve this took SO long and it was a very lonely place: I'd spoken to the same people about nothing else for around two years and I felt guilty I was only ever talking about that so I stopped talking to other people about it too.

After 18 months of sheer frustration and zero progress, I had a breakthrough and found my way out of the mire. Having had such a difficult time doing it on my own, I wanted to make sure no-one else had to go through a similar experience. So, I signed up for a two year MA degree in Coaching and Mentoring Practice at Oxford Brookes University in 2017, building on the part of working I loved the best, coaching and developing people. 

I started my coaching practice in 2018 and have enjoyed every minute of 'not-working' in my passion. The old cliche of not working a day of your life when you do something you love, is so true. I cannot recommend following your dream enough: it is the best feeling ever. In fact, it's my living without limits and funnily enough, that's why I chose this name for my company. 

If you are struggling to work out what you want to do or be and you really want to start feeling excited and free again, give me a shout. Life is too short to waste.