I was asked recently about the typical career path of a career coach and how my career path took me into this line of work. I think those who asked me were a little surprised by my response!
My answer to the first question is that there isn’t one. Career paths and expectations are different for everyone. The risk is that as soon as we define career paths as ‘typical’ we inevitably start to move away from our own paths and what we want to the expectations and requirements of someone else’s path (and who says they are typical!).
My answer to the second question is about to follow. As you will read, my career path is certainly not typical!
- I did a music degree.
- Following my degree, I studied and trained to be a lawyer and worked as family law solicitor for a few years.
- I then decided to take a career break to give myself time to piece together what I wanted to do in my career as I felt there was something else. I really wanted some of my work to eventually include working with children.
- During this time, I gained experience working with children as a teaching assistant as well as on other voluntary projects and completed Place2Be’s Foundation Certificate in Counselling Skills for Working with children.
- Following my career break, I secured a job working as a Major Gifts Officer for Macmillan Cancer Support.
- During my time at Macmillan Cancer Support, I came across the idea of career coaching through various conversations with people and the penny dropped.
- I have now been a career and performance coach for over 10 years helping individuals gain confidence to achieve the best careers for them, perform well within their careers and overcome both emotional and practical difficulties. 50% of my work is with lawyers and 50% is with individuals from all professions.
- While building my business, I also continued to work with children on a voluntary basis in different ways and study.
- A few years ago, My Space 4 Me was created which is a part of my coaching business providing confidence coaching to primary school children to start linking my interests in psychology, counselling, education and children.
- …and then in 2020, I set up and co-founded Voices for Life, a very exciting charity to inspire children to be happy and confident through music.
My path has had its ups and downs and it has sometimes been challenging working out next steps but it has been so exciting when things have come together. Some of the steps I have taken may have appeared unexpected to others but they all slot together. My music has come back into my career, my skills as a lawyer helped me to set up my business and the charity and my experience of fundraising is proving to be quite useful too! I am also using my coaching skills which include still working with lawyers.
For this all to happen, I had to create my own expectations and career path which is what I now help adults to do as well as preparing young people and children to be able to do the same.
I love seeing others become excited about what they can achieve as they create visions of what they want and move forward step by step towards these visions. It is so important to manage your own expectations and career path in line with what you want, not the ones you think are typical, and go for it.