I came to coaching at a time when I was very disillusioned with my career. Read how coaching helped Maria Kelly and now how she is helping others.

I came to coaching at a time when I was very disillusioned with my career. I was achieving great results as a Change Project Manager, was well respected by my colleagues, earning a great income but I had this voice that kept asking “Is this it?” I had managed to turn the volume down on the voice however following personal bereavements I thought if I didn’t go after what I wanted from my career I would always wonder –What if?

I reflected on my career and realised the most successful I had been in terms of results and career satisfaction was during a three year spell as a coach/trainer for a major financial services organisation and I knew I wanted to get into coaching.

I then did some research on coaching and came across The Coaching Academy and signed up for the free weekend event. I sat in the room and it was like a light had been turned back on inside me that was so missed. As I sat amongst like-minded people and listened to the trainers I thought I have been climbing a career ladder that I do not want. The more successful I had become the more removed from people I had become and I just knew I couldn’t spend much longer immersed in project plans and risk maps.

I was working for an organisation where I had experienced a number of restructures and I felt powerless of what the future would bring and my original thoughts in applying for The Coaching Academy was that I wanted to do what I love on a daily basis.

Before coaching I was a change project manager and often saw first-hand how company restructures impacted individuals and the devastation people felt when being made redundant or how unhappy they were due changes to their roles.

My journey to qualification was well planned. I was working full time, and I knew with young children I needed to be extremely organised. I managed to use people in my organisation as practice clients and had great successes with them helping them develop in their careers.

I was voted inspirational colleague of the year by staff members and I know this was widely influenced by the coaching I had provided to managers. At the awards ceremony we had a motivation speaker, an Olympic medalist and he delivered a speech about words his coach had shouted as they were rowing at the Olympics. Those words “If not now when”and “If not you who” were what helped his team secure victory. They really stuck with me as I made life changing decisions about my career and during completion of my personal performance Diploma and NLP Practitioner course.

I really enjoyed learning about values and beliefs on the accelerator days and in particular how these had influenced my decisions in my career and the need I had for security which meant I was remaining in my comfort zone where I was unhappy and unfulfilled. It also helped me understand myself more and how my need for security often sabotaged me taking any risks in life. This helped me come up with my plan of escape from my job to a career I love.

The most rewarding part of the journey was receiving my diploma and knowing I was achieving a milestone in my plan for career freedom!

I was concerned at first about the time I would need to complete my diploma however the accelerator days were fantastic and my family helped with childcare. Whilst qualifying I experienced a year long restructure at my company and I know without the journey I had started with my coaching diploma I would have really struggled with this uncertainty at work. I was able to remain positive and focussed on my goal of running my own successful coaching business.

Now I have left my organisation and have set up my coaching business. I started to build this before leaving my job and had a number of clients set up for when I launched.

When I started to think in terms of my ideal client and how I wanted to the help them my niche was obvious. I realised after experiencing redundancy twice and many restructures that I am really passionate about helping people love their careers, love Mondays and as a career performance and confidence coach I help my clients get the results they need for success. My business Skyrocket My Career focusses on career changers, increased performance and success. I really enjoy helping people in this area as I understand the impact being unhappy at work can have on other areas of our lives.

My favourite coaching question is: What would you do if failure wasn’t an option? I find it often allows clients to think freely as the fear of failure is removed and they come up with great ways to reach their goals.

The thing I love most about being a coach is working with people to transform their careers and watching their confidence grow along their journeys. For many people their careers are making them unhappy, or they feel stuck in their current situation, or are not getting the results their hard work deserves. I like being the bridge that gets them out of career pain and as I tell my clients onto career pleasure island.

My tips for people looking at coaching are if you want to help people change their lives, coaching and NLP are the most powerful tools I have experienced to do this.

For those people in training keep going, write your learning record sheets up as you go it makes the pdj submission so much easier.

Also book an assessment as soon as possible the feedback will be a great help in your learning. For those about to qualify well done and keep going you have a gift to share with the world go out and use it.

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