When I was a Careers Adviser for schools I volunteered to go on a Life Coaching taster course. I'd heard great things about life coaching and how it could benefit the work I was already doing with young people.

What brought you to coaching?

When I was a Careers Adviser for schools I volunteered to go on a Life Coaching taster course. I'd heard great things about life coaching and how it could benefit the work I was already doing with young people.

What drew you to The Coaching Academy as a provider?

I decided to do some research into life coaching courses and came across a free taster weekend offered by the Coaching Academy. I'd also read that the Coaching Academy were launching a Youth Coaching course which was ideal for me. After the weekend I signed up for the personal performance and youth coaching courses. Before Coaching, I was and still am a careers advisor but there are some subtle differences between the roles of a careers advisor and life coach.

What did you find most interesting to learn?

The process of a coaching session was fascinating but I loved learning about values and limiting beliefs because they are so crucial when it comes to coaching and it's a vital area to cover for career dilemmas.

What was the most rewarding part of the training/journey?

The most rewarding part came when I had my first paying client. I couldn't believe I was being paid for doing work I love on my own terms. Little did he know I was a quivering wreck! In fact, I get the same feeling of elation whenever a client 'signs up' for coaching with me because they're not just investing in my service, but in me too. That gives me an enormous sense of self-worth. And the money is good too!

Which bits did you enjoy the most?

It was actually meeting other like-minded people on the same course. I completed my training in 2010 but I'm still in touch with several others from my training days. I used to love going to the training days!

How did the qualification slot in with your current life?

Because the qualification was relevant to my job as a Careers Adviser, there was a seamless transition towards studying alongside my job. The vital element was being part of a coaching community to keep that accountability and also the practice of goal setting. If I was going to be a coach I was aware that I needed to be a living example of a goal setter!

What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

My niche is careers coaching, both with young people and with adults going through a career transition.  I now split my time between working in schools and working with adults who are going through a career transition. I have been able to use the skills gained from life coaching to the existing skills as a Careers Adviser. It's great being part of a couple of schools but it's also great to be able to do my own thing as a Career Coach for adults.

I never had any career guidance when I was at school and therefore felt quite worthless when I completed education, even after university. I've also changed career myself and I know that if I'd had the professional support I would have made better, well informed decisions. I don't want young people to go through school without having career guidance and I'm a true believer that we can all find work we love. That's the message I want to spread.

How did it feel to win an award?

The award felt like a reward for hard work, persistence and following my passion. I was immensely proud and enjoyed the adulation. We often focus on the negative things that people might say about us so it's important to remember the big ups!

What difference has the award made to your life and business?

It's given me greater credibility and I've certainly had more enquiries regarding 1-1 youth coaching than in previous years.

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

The autonomy. Even in schools they just let me get on with my work and I have the freedom to make suggestions and make things happen.

What is your favourite coaching question?

If all jobs paid the same, what would you do?

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