Coaching and Career Development
*** Stop Press *** Latest News – The New Free Teleseminar for career changers is now available. See home page for more details and find out how to sign up.
If you are in the middle of a career change, you will know how stressful it can be. Not only am I a qualified careers adviser and experienced business coach, but I have made a major career change myself, more than once. Both times it has been stressful in the process, but so worth it in the end. So I am well placed to help others make the same move. I have two specialities:
- helping people move from public or private sector careers to find their first voluntary / third sector role
- helping people start a business, charity or social enterprise that allows them to do work that resonates with their values
For both of these groups, I work with people who want to bring meaning to their work and allow their talents to enrich the world, even if they don’t yet know how to do this. I focus on both the practical and the emotional aspects of career change or business start-up, from CVs, interview and business plans and funding to defining your true passion, developing confidence and overcoming your fears.
Helping you to get work in the voluntary sector is currently my primary focus. To get free help, just download the workbook by signing up to my newsletter at the top right of this page.
1. BizFizz Business Coaching
I worked with entrepreneurs in the Ocean Estate in East London, coaching them to start or grow small and medium sized businesses. Amongst the success stories were:
- a 19 year old woman who obtained a bank loan and bought a newsagent. I helped her find a suitable and affordable newsagent to buy, wrote up her business plan for her, introduced her to a bank manager and she presented her heart out and impressed him.
- a young man who started a DVD and games sales and rental outlet. I introduced him to the Princes Trust and helped him to write the business plan which got him their loan
- a mother who ran a charity supporting Bangladeshi women. I worked a lot with her listening and helping her with staying focussed and marketing her projects
- a homeless ex-serviceman who first got a job and later ran his own pub. The help I offered was mainly to treat him like a person who had the ability to make his life a success. Visiting the office where I worked meant he had somewhere to go where he felt accepted and gave him the time, space, resources and confidence to get what he wanted.
These were all individuals who mixed determination with uncertainty, like many small business people. The coaching I offered was personal, professional and practical and helped them to stay on track and achieve their aims in tough circumstances.
2. Talking Jobs
Talking Jobs is a web resource using a propriety video system which allows individuals to listen to interviews with people working in a range of careers. Using my careers expertise and contacts and my business experience, I have worked with Andrew Manson, founder and developer of Talking Jobs, in a range of areas. This includes identifying potential interested partners and sales leads within the careers field, coaching Andrew on clarifying his communication of the benefit of Talking Jobs to potential customers and looking at new potential uses for the video system that could generate sales.
3. Refugee programmes
I have worked with refugees for two specialist agencies, first as a volunteer for Refugees Into Jobs in Wembley and later and an employee for Refugee Education, Training and Advisory Service (RETAS). In each, I gave one to one careers development advice for refugees and asylum seekers. Many of them were highly qualified, but unable to use their professional qualifications in the UK, and so were looking to change careers while supporting their families. This group faces particular barriers to the job market which might include discrimination and language barriers, but they are also often determined and entrepreneurial. The help I offered included advice and guidance, help with CVs, interview coaching and business start up training and advice.
Third Sector Management Consultancy
I offer a range of services to organisations in the third sector, centred around strengthening the effectiveness and self-sufficiency of the organisation. Once again, the help might be practical or personal. Services include developing new projects, generating new sources of earned income to reduce grant dependency, strategy and business planning, interim management and resolving internal conflict.
1. Interim Management: Law Centres Federation (LCF)
I was Interim Director of the Law Centres Federation for five months while a new Director was recruited and relocated from Australia. The organisation was going through a period of change with two of its major sources of funding running out and new funding streams starting. Organisational restructuring was therefore imperative. I undertook this restructuring, recruited new staff, clarified the financial systems and left the organisation with a newly developed strategy. I also co-ordinated a successful joint application for discrimination law funding by 40 Law Centres and worked with other advice agency umbrella bodies, Citizens Advice and Advice UK, to generate Big Lottery Advice+ and Legal Services Commission funding applications and implement them for LCF.
Project Development: Broomleigh Housing Association
I developed a new project designed to allow young people and other community members living at or near the Foyer@Croydon to develop entrepreneurial skills. The project was designed as a social enterprise with start up funding from the Croydon LEGI project. It allowed participants to develop IT, marketing, team and organisational skills by selling products through Ebay, which gives immediate customer feedback and is therefore an excellent learning tool.
Feasibility Study: Totally Connected
I researched and wrote a full feasibility study investigating the cost and logistics involved in offering low cost computers and broadband to housing association residents. This feasibility study covered four different social housing providers encompassing a range of contexts from high density urban to remote rural areas. The project included primary research with residents (using questionnaires and focus groups), a basic technical specification, an analysis of the broadband market, financial analysis and recommendations.
Project Evaluation: Vital Regeneration
I undertook a project evaluation of an education project for people living in temporary accommodation. The evaluation involved primary research with project beneficiaries and the people running the project, including focus groups and individual interviews. I also assessed the outcomes statistically, benchmarked with a similar project and made recommendations for future projects.
Business Planning: Live and Learn
I developed a business plan and funding strategy for a residential care centre for young people with learning disabilities and an adapted playground for young people with physical and learning disabilities, including options appraisals and calculations of loan interest.
Social Franchising: Pilotlight
Pilotlight runs a successful charity support organisation which matches business mentors with social organisations in need of expert help. Pilotlight was interested in franchising the model across the UK and beyond. I wrote feasibility examining how this franchising could be developed, what would be included in the franchise fee, territory and training.
Collaboration: Southwark Law Centre
I wrote a report examining the effects of SLC collaborating with other legal advice agencies within the borough. The report considered a range of issues including accommodation, financial and cultural matters.
Fundraising: Cambridge House
I wrote successful fundraising applications for this community anchor to gain Capacitybuilders funding to develop a major refurbishment project at Cambridge House and enable them to offer additional services to their community, often by collaborating with other small charities and groups.