Career Coaching Testimonials

I value the feedback I receive from my clients

Leo

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

I was furloughed and life had changed. I’d had time to reflect on the new way of doing things and started to appreciate some of the things that I’d previously taken for granted again.

From being mad-busy at/with work, with pressures of deadlines, targets, responsibilities, team-mates, meetings, travel and assignments, to a relative calm and lots of quality family time whilst being furloughed – but the trade-off was a big drop in income. But with so little available to do it didn’t seem to matter so much? My outlook on things had changed.

Then I was made redundant – Ouch!

Surrounded by so much uncertainty, I didn’t know what to do about it. I had to take stock, but I wasn’t very good at reflecting and resetting. We all have transferable skills but I’d never had to transfer any of mine before.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

The 3-4 months we worked together made me think differently. Over a period of time I learned about becoming more adaptable, without giving up the things I really needed, more accepting without losing my values and principles. More understanding of what types of roles I may easily fit into, where I could take my skills and be valued and rewarded for them.

With the space to think, a willingness to approach things differently under Fiona’s guidance, and a format and blueprint that starts to challenge you to do things differently, it soon became apparent that there could be a host of opportunities to go after, none of which I would previously have considered suitable or potentially enjoyable.

Don’t tell Fiona but I had started to become reflective….

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

Ultimately the fact that I have found a new, fulfilling, enjoyable yet challenging senior role, slightly different to the types of roles I have been used to, but still with the strategic decision making and leadership requirements I enjoy. Within a company where the culture is right, a role with a level of autonomy whilst still being able to collaborate openly with other senior leaders, and in a business that due to its size aligns to a different profile of client and is better able to support its staff. All of this within two months of completing Fiona’s coaching programme, and all at the desired pay grade and benefits package. Purely on the goals set at the beginning of the programme that has to be the biggest upside.

But additionally, my outlook towards how success and the importance of owning our own definition is a real shift too. I have adopted a new approach to making things happen. I try to influence things in a different way.

What did you discover about yourself? And how do you feel about coaching now?

I still love the fast-paced nature of business, the cut and thrust of making a difference, and the sense of reward when leading a successful outcome – but there are successful outcomes happening to each of us in our everyday lives too, outside of work, and we need to take a bit of time-out to recognise those as well. Often, they can be more important and carry a bigger long-term reward.

I am totally bought-in to making your job choices your own, understanding and valuing your values for what they are worth to others.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Fiona made a difficult and challenging project enjoyable! Challenging at times she was always calm, supportive and encouraging.

Close up portrait of man laughing

We all have transferable skills but I’d never had to transfer any of mine before.

– Leo

Emily

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

After almost 20 years in the same career, I felt quite burned out and despondent. I had a strong sense that something needed to change but, I could only see one option which was to leave my profession entirely. This left me with few alternatives in terms of income and fulfilment and I very much felt the need for a reassessment of my strengths and qualities. Being in the same vocational career for so long really left me feeling pigeon-holed and a bit trapped.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

I found your approach and interpersonal style to be most helpful. You have a very skilful way of gathering the information you need in a way that feels natural and genuine. This helped me feel both listened to and entirely understood. Your ability to view me as a whole person, not just my professional role, was refreshing.

I took away the confidence that I didn’t necessarily need to continue on the treadmill of my chosen career and that my qualities might be valued elsewhere. You also helped me focus on the things I did love about my role and, in the end, this resulted in me applying for different jobs which maximised these areas.

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

Well – I have now secured my dream job! But, if that ‘dream’ doesn’t in fact work out, I feel more confident that I am not tied to anything forever – that I can potentially use my skills differently and still feel like I am doing valid and important work.

What did you discover about yourself? And how do you feel about coaching now?

I discovered that creativity meant a lot to me and that this was an under-resourced area of my life. I learned that there are huge parts of my job that I do in fact love, and that I was very focused on those parts which were draining me. This was really skewing my feelings about the career in general.

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to spend some quality time reflecting on their options, even those in a vocational profession which seems quite clear cut. It is an excellent way to gain clarity on what motivates you, and that can be a guide for future decisions. It also helps to get an entirely objective viewpoint – out with the public sector preferably! I am so glad that I spent the time with you – it really was hugely valuable.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you! I would have no hesitation in coming back for some top-ups and most definitely would recommend you to others.

Young blonde woman sitting

Well – I have now secured my dream job! But, if that ‘dream’ doesn’t in fact work out, I feel more confident that I am not tied to anything forever.

– Emily

Ruth

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

After 17 years with the same large IT organisation, moving from technical to non-technical roles, I had no idea what I had to offer other organisations, or how to find out. My last job was advertised in a trade magazine, and I wrote them a letter to apply, so I had no experience of job-hunting with online resources. I was nervous, and lacked confidence, and assumed I would have to take a pay cut to secure any new role.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

There were two aspects that worked well for me – firstly, the practical side of things. How recruitment worked in this day and age, advice on interview techniques, how to sell myself well to hiring organisations. Secondly, Fiona worked with me on my confidence. After so long in a relentlessly negative working environment, I was very self-critical, and had a tendency to focus on my weaknesses and negatives, and Fiona worked with me to identify and promote my strengths and experience. It is a technique that I took with me to my new role, when working with my direct reports – focus on their strengths and achievements, and how they might strengthen themselves further – with really positive results.

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

When I was looking for a new role, I had one organisation in mind that was my first choice, and I managed to secure a new role there. It wasn’t a like-for-like role that I moved to, so I had to persuade them of the strength of my transferable skills, something I don’t think I could have done without my coaching with Fiona.

What did you discover about yourself? And how do you feel about coaching now?

I discovered that I can get a new job if I want one. That may seem obvious now, but it wasn’t obvious to me back then. In fact, I am now ready for my next move, and feel a lot more confident about this than I was last time. That said, I will definitely be speaking to Fiona for a refresher and a boost before submitting any applications. And I definitely won’t be looking for a pay cut.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I would recommend career coaching to anyone in a similar position to me, that feels a bit out of their depth in a given situation, to improve their preparedness and boost their confidence.

Ruth

Fiona worked with me on my confidence. After so long in a relentlessly negative working environment, I was very self-critical, and had a tendency to focus on my weaknesses and negatives, and Fiona worked with me to identify and promote my strengths and experience.

– Ruth

Alison

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

Before we started working together I felt panicked about my work situation. I knew I had to make a change but I didn’t really know where to start which left me frozen and fearful.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

The sessions allowed me to explore the positives in my situation. It was empowering to separate myself from my current role at work and assess my strengths and  skills. This led me to open my mind to the possibilities for the future. I took away a feeling of optimism and I felt energised rather than scared about making changes.

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

I feel that the sessions gave me an opportunity to step off my hamster wheel in a safe environment. Working for the same company for 20 years, even though my role had changed several times during that period, meant that I was stuck in a rut in terms of creative thinking. I’ve been able to think about where else I could work, what else I could do, what else I WANT to do. I haven’t got all the answers yet, but there has been a shift in my attitude because of the work we did together.

What did you discover about yourself? And how do you feel about coaching now?

I discovered that I try to hide from difficult career conversations using humour sometimes, but that if you have the conversation anyway, nothing bad actually happens – rather something good happens, because if you face up to your fears, you reduce them. I feel that coaching is a structured way of helping you make changes in your career. I’m surprised how it helped me gain a new perspective on an old situation.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Fiona is a calming, caring presence who helps you identify where you are and where you want to be, and crucially, equips you with the skills to get there.

Alison

The sessions allowed me to explore the positives in my situation. It was empowering to separate myself from my current role at work and assess my strengths and skills. This led me to open my mind to the possibilities for the future. I took away a feeling of optimism and I felt energised ratherthan scared about making changes.

– Alison

Donna

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

I feel I was at a bit of a crossroads for my work life. I had had a varied but successful marketing career but felt I needed to get more from my work than just money. I just didn’t have the confidence or drive to do something about it. I was unhappy in a role and frantically applying for everything and anything but not really getting excited about the opportunities that were presented to me.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

The sessions with Fiona really made me stop, reflect and explore what I needed from my work life in a safe and encouraging environment – something which is very difficult to do with family or friends. Fiona helped me look at my strengths and weaknesses and most importantly what I enjoyed about working.

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

I am now in a role which fulfils me on so many levels and I believe the coaching had a huge contribution in helping me achieve this. The sessions with Fiona gave me a new found confidence to truly feel I can do this and more importantly I want to do this!

What did you discover about yourself? And how do you feel about coaching now?

I discovered how important it is to really stop and think about what it is you need and want from your work life because as much as work and life are very different, they are also very interconnected and you need to be happy in both. Career coaching was something I had never considered. I am so grateful I did and would highly recommend contacting Fiona for an initial conversation – you never know where it might take you!

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Fiona makes you feel at ease straight away. She has the unique ability to bring calmness to the situation, creating a safe space where you can have open and honest discussions about you and your direction of travel whilst giving you the skills and confidence along the way to succeed.

Donna

I am now in a role which fulfils me on so many levels and I believe the coaching had a huge contribution in helping me achieve this. The sessions with Fiona gave me a new found confidence to truly feel I can do this and more importantly I want to do this!

– Donna

Guy

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

I felt unsure if I was following the right path. I had chosen to pursue a completely new path in my career after a lot of careful thought and idea development. However, having spent long periods working on my own on this project, I was questioning whether I was going in the right direction. I was also frustrated with the way I was working which didn’t seem to be giving me the satisfaction I had sought in making a change in the first place.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

Fiona listened extremely well in the sessions. She asked questions that got to the heart of issues and gently guided the conversation to extract the key themes going on in my world. Secondly, Fiona’s advice on how to structure my time effectively to support more balanced energy and motivation has been very helpful. Finally, Fiona helped me to re-frame the story I tell myself and others about this new stage of my career.

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

The image I have of my career now has improved. I have also taken charge of the mix of work I am doing to balance energy and enjoyment and still get lots done!

What did you discover about yourself?

I see myself as a much more focused and determined than I had previously and I am confident about which strengths I am using to develop my business and where I can bring in the strengths of others to complement my own.

And how do you feel about coaching now?

I believe coaching is very important and I will definitely continue to have some coaching going forward. It is so useful to hold constructive, thoughtful conversations with a non-family member/friend; it provides you with objective support and accountability for professional goals, particularly when you are developing new projects and ideas.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Having found the sessions extremely beneficial, I wish I had started them earlier when I was doing a lot of self-analysis and reading the Designing Your Life book!

Guy

The image I have of my career now has improved. I have also taken charge of the mix of work I am doing to balance energy and enjoyment and still get lots done!

– Guy

Aly

Can you remember where you were at or how you felt before we started working together?

I felt anxious about the next transition in my career. I doubted whether I was being logical about what I should do next. I had tried to consult myself and do various mapping activities but it’s hard to do that alone.

What worked best for you in the sessions? What did you take-away from the sessions?

Having someone else playback to me the common patterns of what is going on in my career in terms of the barriers, successes and opportunities provided welcome perspective. The combination of working together and self-guided introspection through a framework was very powerful.

What is better for you because of the work that we did together?

I now have a structure for how to pitch myself and talk about what I’m most passionate about which is a very helpful step towards boosting my confidence in high stress scenarios. Also, having a roadmap of different options has given me the confidence in whatever happens, because I know what to do and what resources I need to leverage.

What did you discover about yourself?

I’ve accomplished more than I give myself credit for and that I have a lot to offer organisations working in my sector. I found out what matters to me at the core of my being, within my job and personal life.

And how do you feel about coaching now?

To be honest, I used to think coaching wasn’t for me and I believed that I could apply consulting techniques to myself. Turns out that doesn’t work and leaves you running in circles. Having someone to talk through ideas and aspirations is more than just someone guiding you through a few exercises; it’s having someone questioning and challenging you to dig deep. Fiona invests in you and your success and this is much more than a transaction. It is about human connection and personal discovery.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

You do need to dedicate time to reflect and complete the exercises but if you are prepared to do that the process is excellent.

Aly

I found out what matters to me at the core of my being, within my job and personal life.

– Aly