Ask for help

It can be really daunting looking for a new job or trying to change career. Don’t be scared to ask for help – chances are you’ll have so many people around you who will be keen to help.

Take writing your cv for example. At the time it seems a monumental task. Put all your skills, experience, education, qualifications, interests, volunteering, into one document, two pages or shorter? Also making sure that each word you write is entirely relevant to the job you want to apply for? Only including the skills the that appear on the job spec, and that the recruiter wants to see?

You don’t have to include everything little thing you’ve ever done – but miss out something which could be important, at your peril.

Most of us would rather do anything but.

Here’s where learning to ask for help comes into its own. Chances are you have someone within your network who is a whizz at cvs, who has the eye of an eagle, who is skilled at synthesising what a job spec is asking for and what you can offer. And they can help you out.

Maybe it’s a friend, a family member, a trusted colleague? An ex-colleague? A university or school friend? Someone you do sports with, or a class with?

It’s a breeze

Most people are busy and have their own things to be getting on with. But – when people are good at something, they usually jump at the chance to do what they excel at. For them it’s a breeze, fun even. And won’t take too long.

And it is massively helpful. Another pair of eyes, another perspective, someone who can see the whole picture and isn’t dismissing your achievements as inconsequential or lame – is a great asset. They even help you to look at your experience afresh, and realise how much you have achieved. That not everyone can do what you can do, you’re just so used to it it seems boring, but for others it’s a great skill.

They may also be a bit more up to date with the world of job applications, and be able to give you some tips on how to format the cv, and make it all a bit more readable and appealing.

Go for someone you trust, who knows a thing or two about cvs, or the industry you are interested in.

And if you really don’t have someone you feel you can ask, there are a ton of online support articles to help you out. Just find the one with the right tone of voice for you, that will make you feel buoyed up rather than depressed.

If you’d like help with career change coaching, you can book a 1-hour session here: Or get in touch if you’d like to learn more. Find me on LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The daunting prospect of contacting a coach

Contacting a coach for the first time – I know how it feels. You’re putting yourself out there. You are not hiding away, as you may secretly want to do. Therefore it can be daunting. Contacting a coach can seem like a really big deal, you’re admitting that you need help, that perhaps you have a problem.

You feel you are putting yourself up for scrutiny.

You’re going to have to think hard, answer lots of questions, be honest, maybe admit some hard truths.

You’ll have to face the facts and the reality of your situation.

You’ll have to do some work – and you may wonder if you’re ready for it.

Are you ready to share your secrets and dreams with a total stranger?

The thing is, there can be such a relief and release in talking to a stranger. You can be honest. It’s a non-judgemental environment.

You can really let it out and talk about what you want. Maybe you want to make more money, you want to be valued for your skills. You know you could do better and have more.

There’s nothing like getting it all out there and then with the help of your coach, unpicking it, working out what to focus on and what to let go of.

Coaching is about taking action , moving forwards.

The coach’s sole goal is to help you and make things easier for you. You’ll be challenged, you’ll have to do some work – but with support and empathy and cheerleading from the sidelines.

If you’d like to sign up to career change coaching with me you can do so here: Or get in touch if you’d like to learn more. Find me on LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Sort it!

I love to organise and plan. It makes me feel good. I love a new to-do list, getting it all down on paper, getting my head together. I like sorting things out, the feeling of ticking something off a list. And I love a good makeover.

If a book I’m reading mentions anything to do with decluttering, or someone getting their life together and having a makeover, I’m thrilled. Particularly if it’s about the space they are in. Sorting out a room or a house, cleaning, repairing, chucking out old, broken, useless stuff. Sprucing it up, giving it a refresh. A bit of paint here, a good clean, moving the furniture around. That stuff sucks me in. 

This love of organisation and decluttering comes into my career change coaching work. I love helping career change clients to sort through the fog and gain clarity.

Get rid of the murky thoughts

They’re overwhelmed, stressed, with lots of thoughts and ideas milling around in their heads. Quite often it’s a bit murky, a bit negative. Sometimes there are some old beliefs in there – reminding them that they are not good enough, or what they should or shouldn’t be doing.

More often that not, these clients have some great ideas and dreams. But these are clouded by feelings of inadequacy, a lack of confidence, a fear of failure. 

So – I work through all this with a client. 

Like we would do tackling a house makeover – we sort stuff out. Then we clean it up. We get rid of the stuff we don’t need, the thoughts or beliefs that are dragging us down or making us feel bad. I work with a client to really understand what is behind a particular negative belief.

For example if they say, ‘but I’m not creative’ – what do they really mean? Have they had a bad experience where they think they’ve failed or someone has told them they are not creative? How has this affected their thinking going forwards? Can they think of any time where in fact they have been creative? 

Gain clarity

Meanwhile, we gain clarity. We sort through the mess, sort through the ideas. I aim to get to the heart of what a client wants, what do they really want to do?

I encourage my clients to let the unhelpful thoughts go, and try to see things from a new perspective. What skills do they actually have? Are they transferable? Which skills could they see themselves enjoying using in a different role?

And finally we get organised, we plan. What steps does my client need to take to get them to where they want to be? Can we break down each step into even smaller, less intimidating steps?

We work out what the client can do in the next week, a small doable step that’s going to move them forwards in their shift. And we repeat this over time, keeping moving forwards.

If you’d like to book a career change coaching session with me, you can do so here: Or get in touch if you’d like to learn more. Find me on LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Shake things up

This week I’ve been thinking about my morning routine. In a time where we have so little freedom and so little control due to covid, I’m thinking about the things I can do to look after myself.

Things that I know are going to help me feel better every day.

My routine has shifted during the past year. Pretty much all our routines have changed in at least some way due to covid – and for many it’s been a seismic shift.

For a long time I’ve enjoyed doing a bit of yoga and having a walk first thing in the morning. Recently I’ve also added some dance into the mix.

And it’s rapidly become an important part of my day.

I do 10 minutes of yoga first thing on waking up. Followed by breakfast, getting ready for the day, doing a little bit of writing if there’s time. Then I join a group over zoom and dance to three songs along with around 10 other people.

Whatever my mood at the start – I relax into it. I’m learning to give myself the freedom to move as I want, even if that means randomly waving my arms in the air or doing some strange shuffling moves. More often than not a song makes me smile or laugh as I see others in the group jumping up and down or rocking out. It’s impossible not to grin dancing to The Proclaimers or Tom Jones. I get a little breathless, feel my heart rate going, I feel it in my legs.

I finish feeling energised – ready to bound out the door for a walk. And with a smile on my face. It’s a daily moment of connection.

A year on, we’re still restricted in so many ways. This is a chance to socialise and to try something new and different, which just cannot be underestimated at the moment.

How’s your routine looking? What can you add in that you know will always make you feel good?

As well as enjoying a daily dance around my living room, I offer career change coaching. You can book a session here: Or get in touch if you’d like to learn more. Find me on LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Get out of your own way

Talking to a new client this week I realised that she has clearly spent time thinking about her career change. She has all sorts of ideas about what she really wants to do. But she’s procrastinating.

We uncovered that she had a list of possible roles that interest her and that she’d like to explore.

There’s even a course that interests her – although she’s twice skipped getting started. 

She’s quite clear on what she doesn’t want, 1) to stay working for her company, and 2) a role where she spends the majority of her time writing. 

A company where personal growth and learning is encouraged, and important, is much more appealing. She’s clearly curious and keen to learn and at the moment that is being ignored. So a company where learning is one of the values seems like a good fit. 

She’d also like to earn more money and feels quite undervalued in what she does.

So why hasn’t she yet made the next step – when she pretty much knows what she wants?

Mainly fear. 

What’s stopping her from finding and applying for new roles? Perhaps a sense that her current role is so specific that other companies won’t be able to see her other skills and attributes. 

Maybe she sees the specifications and tells herself she’s not qualified/experienced/able enough. Although – recruitment experts suggest applying for a role if you can meet only 70% of the requirements. If you’re a good fit you can learn the rest. 

Why hasn’t she gone ahead with the course? She admitted that she didn’t feel creative enough. So she’s put a barrier in her way, perhaps feeling inadequate or worried she won’t enjoy the course.

Luckily we came up with a couple of solutions to this – speaking to acquaintances who work in the industry and getting their take on her fears around creativity. And speaking to the course provider and learning a bit more about the reality of what the course entails.  

This is quite common with clients. Although they feel stuck at work and frustrated and despairing – in fact they have a pretty clear idea of alternatives that would make them happier. But they are procrastinating, based on fear, which is totally understandable. Change and putting yourself out there can be scary – you can’t predict the outcome.

You might be setting yourself up for rejection, feeling uncomfortable, failure. 

But the thing is  – staying stuck is not a good feeling. Feelings of frustration. Getting angry at yourself for letting yourself stay in the current situation. That negative voice in our heads can be so harsh. 

The thing about going through rejection, feeling uncomfortable, potential failure – is that you always come out the other side, and you always learn something. Even if you learn that you should trust your instincts more. That no, that company doesn’t hold the same values as you. Or that yes, you should have swotted up more on the company’s vision. Yes, that role definitely isn’t for you. 

With all this you’re moving forward, learning, gaining momentum, getting closer to what you want. You’re narrowing it down, practising for when it really matters. 

Only you can change your situation, really. You have to find a way to take action and stop procrastinating. Whether it’s getting a friend to be your ally and spur you on, speaking to a coach, getting help from a mentor. Find a way to feel supported – and do what you have to do. You already know what you have to do – you just have to get past yourself and start, step by step.

I offer career change coaching. You can book a session here: Or get in touch if you’d like to learn more. Find me on LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash