This week, Julie Nowak, our passionate coach, shares her long-held dream and how coaching has empowered her to become a coaching specialist in her role. Truly inspired by the power of coaching, Julie has been continually developing her coaching skills ever since and her qualification has been opening doors for her as she begins a new phase in her life. We hope you find Julie’s coaching top tips useful.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I was a senior retail operations manager for 30 years with several blue chip companies, I then became a learning and development manager with my current company ten years ago. When I was introduced to coaching, I realised that I had been missing an amazing opportunity as a line manager to develop my people and I became absolutely inspired by the power of coaching. I became the coaching specialist in my role and have been continually developing my coaching skills ever since. 

What was the most rewarding part of your journey?

I found the Accelerator Days inspiring as most people do, but for me it was the conscious awareness of my skills development and the magic that this brought with it when coaching my clients. I found the tools available and the webinars motivating. Practical assessments were a challenge for me and nerves were a blockage to begin with. The feedback and reflection after each assessment has helped me considerably to become competent. From a business perspective, the practicalities of being a coach was a subject I hadn’t considered and it has given me a great insight into how to move forward, I would have been making lots of mistakes without that module!

How did you fit coach training into your busy life?

It was such a challenge but I am a planner, I set out with the intention of keeping all my Learning Record Sheets up to date so that I didn’t forget the learning and also the task did not become onerous. There were a few rainy weekend days when I dedicated the whole day to my studies and I am so glad I did. It does take dedication but then if you are studying a subject you are passionate about, it is not a chore. I tried both coaching face-to-face and telephone coaching to help fit the sessions into my schedule and have been amazed how telephone coaching has worked for me. Before I started along the path of qualifying, I would have said it could never work! 

Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

I am still employed as a coach in my role and also coach individuals outside of work, but my reason for wanting to be a qualified professional coach was to run my own practice. I am taking early retirement in June and will begin a new phase of my life, I am very excited and since qualifying I also feel confident. I am making enquires and networking now to put things in place and I am finding my qualification is opening doors for me. 

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

Over the time I was qualifying I changed my thoughts on this a few times, it was on the DISC Accelerator Day that it all fell into place. I absolutely get inspired when I coach teams and see the power of a high performing team get the results they aspire to. Being able to introduce DISC into team building is an amazing opportunity for me to build a practice in this area, which will bring me personal satisfaction and I know develop team dynamics.

What are your top tips for:

People who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach

Take the decision seriously. Coaching is not easy, it demands a lot of self-discipline and dedication. If you decide you have a passion for coaching then qualifying with The Coaching Academy will give you all that you could need to be a true professional. Be prepared to dedicate yourself and the magic will begin!

Those currently in training with TCA

Be prepared to be open to feedback and learn from it. I found it hard to stay on track at times, especially with all my other personal and professional commitments, but my overwhelming advice is to stay up to date and on track. Never be afraid to ask about the areas you are struggling with - there is always help available from peers and from The Coaching Academy team.

Coaches, that are about to qualify

Well done! Keep the momentum up and dedicate enough time to your final assessment paper. Spend time looking at the webinars about qualifying and getting your journal into a logical and practical style for the assessors. Take care to present yourself in a professional way.


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