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My Journey into Coaching - by Sarah Howarth


Posted: 1324 days ago

I have worked in the education sector for most of my professional life, initially teaching and latterly as a senior manager for over 18 years. My first interest in coaching was through a short training course at work and I found that coaching approaches fit with my desire to always help all people to achieve the best they can for themselves.

However, I thought that I was quite able to make my own decisions and find innovative solutions on my own, as I had not really experienced being coached. How wrong I was! Having studied and experienced the strength of self-understanding and the clarity of decision making that can be generated through coaching, I am now a total enthusiast of coaching and being coached myself.  

I am delighted to be a graduate of the Coaching Academy, having successfully completed their Personal Performance Diploma. The Diploma experience has been very positive. I have been really impressed with the fantastic input from the expert coaches and the support offered to trainee coaches. Overall, there was a great combination of flexible learning and expert support, which allowed me the space to work at my own pace. I have worked with other wonderful trainee coaches and met so many great people at the Accelerator Days. All round, it was an uplifting and positive experience!

I gave up my full-time job, became self-employed and trained in new areas. Through coaching, I have made the transition from the area of work where I had been comfortable and successful for years into a new and exciting venture of self-employment as a trainer and coach. I have long had a dream of reaching across the world and providing training to people in numerous different places, to fit my sense of adventure. Through coaching, I have been able to find my niche role and I am now well on the way to developing an internet-based coaching and training service that can help people who want to move on and try something new or who find themselves at a crossroads in their careers. 

One of the things I enjoy most about coaching is the opportunity to have a positive impact on other people. As a trainee coach, I found the peer coaching worked brilliantly. I learnt and was able to help people at the same time. What’s not to like! I also volunteered as a coach in a local community group that supports people with mental health issues, coaching staff and clients. Through this work, I have helped people to take many steps forward in their lives. My coachees have done great things, including gaining their confidence to go back to work, running mindfulness workshops, planning for their futures and generally being more positive about themselves. Overall, it’s been the impact of coaching on both the confidence and the self-belief of my clients that has brought about a wonderful visible difference.

I decided to focus on career transition for midlife professionals as a coaching area, as it is a recurring theme amongst my coachees and my wider circles of friends and colleagues. To find clients, I have used my existing networks of colleagues as well as developed new networks. There are several very good networking events around Merseyside and some of them are free! Through networking at every opportunity, I have built up good contacts and started to spread the word about my coaching offer. I have also added my coaching offer and package to my website and begun to use social media and blogs. I found the input on marketing from The Coaching Academy really helpful in getting started.

To any new coaches, my advice would be - offer to coach everyone and anyone. Don’t be scared if topics come up that you don’t know about, give it a go! It’s all a learning experience. Practising coaching is the only way to learn how to do it. For me the theory really came to life and made sense once I had worked with a few clients. I am still learning and I plan to keep learning to keep improving my skills and knowledge. It’s a fascinating area!

To anyone considering The Coaching Academy, I would wholeheartedly suggest you give it a go. The amount of information, the excellent input from experts and the assessed sessions with feedback ensure that you are well prepared to be a coach.

It’s important to me to know that I am doing a good job and I know that The Coaching Academy have thoroughly assessed my coaching skills and knowledge and have verified that I am now a coach. Going through the Diploma process, I feel that I have gained the skills to be able to authentically call myself a coach.

I would totally recommend coaching and being coached, as it helps you to solve problems both big and small and you really learn a lot about yourself along the way.

If Sarah's words have inspired you and you feel that Coaching could be a potential full or part time opportunity for you, or if you would just like to know a little more about what Coaching is and how it can benefit you and the lives of others, please contact our Specialist Course Advisor, Jamil on 0208 996 4830 or email: Jamil@the-coaching-academy.com

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