What on earth does a career coach do?

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FaB’s Meg Burton is a career coach

One of FaB’s newest members, Meg Burton, is a career coach. Here she explains what on earth that is and why you might need one.

“It’s a question I hear quite a lot: what’s a career coach and how does that work? I help people achieve their dream career or perform brilliantly in the one they’re in. I work with a wide range of people from young people who are just starting out on their career journey to help them understand the world of work, explore what they would like to do, help them sell their skills and experience in their CV and to make a great impression at interviews. Then right through to senior leaders and executives looking for a sounding board to help them navigate work challenges and support them with leadership and personal development to help them be successful in their roles, achieve a promotion or guide them through a career transition.

My work revolves around giving people the confidence and skills to be the best they can be, in a career context. Many of my clients have voices inside their head (a bit like the emotions in childrens’ film Inside Out) which whisper negative thoughts and can take over, convincing the person they can’t do something or they won’t be good at that task. These thoughts can be paralysing and can often affect decision making and give reasons to avoid risk-taking or change.

imageUsing a range of techniques I help people to make sense of all the thoughts going on inside their heads. We think of strategies to help manage this negative self-talk and work together to build confidence and self esteem so that they can be at their best.

Another large part of my work is helping people who are moving into a new role. I recently worked with a lady who had reached a compromise agreement with her current employer and was therefore unexpectedly seeking a new opportunity. The company paid for my time as part of the agreement and I could tell she was at the sceptical end of the spectrum when we first met.

Over three sessions I worked with this senior executive to unpick what had happened at her current employer to mean her continuing to work there was untenable, to identify what she could learn from the situation that could help shape her next choice of role, and to talk through her approach when starting a new job.

This lady was an experienced leader and was more than confident of securing another role – so the work we did together helped her frame what the right role would look like for her, including critical factors such as organisational culture and how this would fit with her values and preferences. This helped her to clarify what she was looking for in an employer and role.

We did some work on self awareness with personality model Myers Briggs (MBTI) to help her flex her personal style and we explored some tips around leadership. We also spent time planning how she would create the right first impressions and build her personal brand in her new role.

I was delighted to get an email the day after our final session to say that the client had accepted a new role that she was really excited about. She was confident the organisation fit her approach and values and couldn’t wait to get started. For a career coach there’s nothing more satisfying than that.

I had 3 sessions with Meg where we covered a variety of areas such as CV enhancement, career aspirations, personality profiling and Leadership training. Meg is very professional and inspiring and has great knowledge and resources at her disposal. Meg’s friendly and approachable manner made the sessions a real pleasure and I would thoroughly recommend Megs services to both individuals and corporate clients”

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