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Career Coach

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Shelagh O’Leary

As I travel back from Oxford on a busy commuter train I was thinking about how important our job/career is to us all and yet how little time we devote to really thinking and planning what we want to do.  We often leave things to chance or react when there is a problem. Someone said to me that we spend more time talking and planning our annual holidays than our careers.

The ‘career coach’ has come to the fore over the last decade as:
a) Individuals have increased and more diverse career opportunities; moving away from “an organisation for life” thinking
b) The realisation that career growth is often accelerated not only by moving from one organisation to another but moving into a portfolio career
c) Professional development is an individual’s responsibility rather than an organisations duty

From my experience, here are the top six reasons why people seek out career coaching:
1) They want to get on and are ambitious – there are not many people I see like this, they are usually in a profession with a structured career path, and want to progress quicker than their experience is allowing so progress is slow for them
2) They are stuck – probably in the wrong job but don’t know how to get out of it
3) They have or are leaving the organization either voluntary or compulsory. For some this has come suddenly and they are in shock
4) There is a problem at work with colleagues or the boss
5) They want to make a change to the work life ‘imbalance’
6) It’s not really about the career/job, although this is the presenting issue

Whilst a small number of situations require support and help practically with job search or interview practice, most need you to focus on the individual to identify the real issue and the long lasting solution.

Here are some top tips for the coach new to career coaching:
a) Develop a person centred approach
b) Get the contracting and process right – have an initial meeting to work out what the client needs from coaching
c) Enhance your skills to understand what is underneath the surface
d) Listen properly and deeply

Learn more; book on the 2 day Effective Career Coaching Techniques ILM endorsed programme, delivered by Shelagh O’Leary.

Shelagh O’Leary – MSC,MA,BA(Hons)FCIPD,FITOL,FCMI,
Shelagh has over 25 years’ experience as a human resource development professional having worked in local government, the criminal justice sector and more recently the National Health Service.

She has been instrumental in the development of HR strategy, organisational development, leadership development, talent management and the delivery of training and education, nationally and internationally.

She is an executive coach and has specialised as a career coach with a wide range of clients in the public and private sector.

She has operated at board level having been a member of Skills for Justice, and is a member of the CIPD membership and CPD committee.

She is a member of the Career Development Institute, the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and the Institute of Directors.

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