Over the past month, I’ve added coaching to my provision.
I know! I hear you say – ‘isn’t everyone a coach these days?’
Coaching gets a bit of a bad wrap.
It is understandable as in the UK there is no regulation; so anyone can set up as ‘a coach’ and claim to help clients sort out their lives.
Indeed, you could hire a life coach, a wellness coach, a career coach, a self-development coach. The list is seemingly endless and in some cases – the offering vague.
It may well not be worth the price tag. If something seems to good to be true, it usually is.
Yet, coaching is a growth industry – including amongst younger people.
Coaching is no longer the preserve of the privileged or bored.
It helped me.
So, what is coaching?
Coaching is a process that helps you to identify what it is that you really want – in life, in your career – and helps you to establish clear goals to get the change/s you want in motion.
The key to good coaching is enabling changes that are grounded in the client’s real life – the client identifies the process of change too. It has to help you see what is realistic and feasible for you.
Coaching is NOT therapy or counselling.
This is where you must be clear on what support you need.
I only booked my first coaching session once I had been to my GP and addressed my mental health concerns and began treatment to better manage my chronic pain and fatigue.
If you are looking for emotional support, or require mental health support, then it is vital to address that with the right professionals first.
How does coaching work?
I booked my first session with a career and writing coach because I wanted to speak to a neutral person with relevant experience and expertise.
It was important to find a coach who would understand my working environment and why I wanted to make changes.
For me, a coach offers not only someone who can listen, but who provides the space to work through the difficult questions that deciding to change provokes.
I genuinely do not think I would have faced up to what I really wanted in a concrete way without that support.
What are the benefits?
The main reason I hired a coach was to have a space where I did not feel I had to be guarded about my real ‘dreams’ – as I would have been with a workplace mentor or family member or friend.
I was not shut down or told ‘you can’t do that’.
Taking the step to work with a coach was giving myself the permission and accountability that I needed in order to make change happen.
In working with a coach, I was also able to see what a realistic time frame for change would be – and begin to plan for the new. Then I began to put that plan into action.
There was no bullshit either. I was not sold a dream.
Coaching helped me because it allowed me to vocalise and plan my change.
It validated the process of change to myself.
It made me question all the things that had stopped me before.
Think it might be for you? Do your research first
Before you spend any money – find a coach that suits your needs.
Spend some time thinking about what areas of your work/life you want to change – and why?
What do you want from a coaching interaction?
Are your expectations about that realistic?
Get a trial consultation or indication of the coaching approach before you commit.
Why I began coaching as part of my business
I began coaching in the areas of academic writing and career change planning.
Why? Firstly, because people asked me!
As I began to consider the possibility, I realised that there is a gap in space and non-judgemental listening for many people working in academia. It may be that you want to find ways to work ‘better’, or that you are thinking about whether there might be another career path out there.
These are not easy conversations to have within the current academic workplace or job market.
It is too competitive and feels to risky to disclose plans and dreams for many.
Who does she think she is? Why do I think I can coach?
Having been an in-post, full-time academic for over a decade, I understand the workplace and pressures.
As a published author and teacher, I can advise and cheerlead and help you see your writing for what it is – good. Or a crappy draft, that can be changed! It’s fine.
I have been a PhD supervisor , and although not a coach, there are many commonalities in the mentoring and goal setting support skillset.
As well as actually coaching, I’m a keen advocate of upskilling; I’ve been doing my own homework on courses in the areas of coaching, goal setting. journalling and mindset.
In my first few months, I have worked with people on a range of issues. These include work on reconnecting to the PhD; planning a career change; and working on writing development and diversification of outputs.
You can read a recent testimonial about my coaching here.
I also offer coaching for those managing chronic illness and parenting.
I’m not a counsellor or therapist or a parallel supervisor.
You can read my Coaching Manifesto here.
Think you could work with me?
I am currently opening my list for December 2019. I have limited spaces between 02-20 December.
If this sounds of interest, please do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask questions!
I also offer a FREE initial consultation via Skype with an accompanying initial goal-setting workbook.
It is vital to assess whether you can work with a coach – and vice versa – before any agreement or payment is made!
You can find coaching option descriptions and purchase options by clicking the links below.
Coaching: career & life pivots (90 minute session)
Why coaching for career & life pivots?
Coaching can help you identify what kinds of change you are looking for – in your career and in your life. Coaches help you to identify how to translate that change into a set of realistic and actionable goals.