Friday, 30 December 2016

New Year, New Job

If you are thinking of making a career change in 2017, please read on.

This post is designed to help you to reflect on your wanting a new career this coming year.

Please reflect on the following questions to help you to ratify your decision to change careers.

What are you looking for in your new career that is either absent or in short supply in your current career?

What skills do you enjoy using that will be optimised in your new career?

What values will your new career satisfy?

Are there any of your top five work values that are unlikely to be satisfied in your new career?

Who will you be working with in your new career and how do you feel about this?

Where will you be working?

When do you plan to make this change?

What actions do you need to take in order to make this happen and when does each action need to be done?

How will you be working? For example, with a clear job description or something more fluid?

Why are you wanting this new career? What will it give you?

Answering these questions honestly will help you to make your final decision.

If you would like support in this process or with your career research or with CV and application writing and interview preparation, please get in touch:

01761 237400

Friday, 11 November 2016

Are you in your 'Best Self' Career?

If you are struggling with your work and wondering 'what if?' I was doing something that was my ideal job, then this post is for you.

Many of us started and some continue in a career/job/profession that we fell into or indeed planned but are now uncomfortable with it. My own career started in something that my parents advised me would be secure and provide a good salary.

All of the research suggests that, almost obviously, those happiest in their work are matched to it with respect to their personality, their beliefs and values and the skills that they are happiest applying. In so doing this could be your 'Best Self' Career.

I suggest that you start by asking yourself the following questions, which are a part of the career diagnostics process that we use at West of England Coaching and Counselling:

- What is your work personality?
- What do you need from your work to feel valued, appreciated, rewarded?
- What do you want at work?
- What would be your ideal work environment? Think in terms of where you are working.
- Who would be your ideal work colleagues and/or clients?
- When would you like to work?
- How would you like to work, for example, with lots of structure or more fluidly, developing new work solutions every week?
- Why are you working?
- What skills are you enjoying using on a daily basis?

The answers to these questions provide a good starting point. If you would like further guidance we would take your answers and add personality diagnostics with psychometric testing to help to complete the picture of what you are looking for.

As always we wish you well on your career journey.

To get in touch for help and support on your career journey please e mail or call us on 01761 237400.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Career Blues?

If you are unhappy in your current career or just curious about whether you are in the best career for you then this post is for you.

You spend so much of your life at work and as life is short it makes sense to pursue the career that fits you best, your personality, what you like doing and what is important to you.

The career guidance offered in education can be helpful if not comprehensive but what if you have been out of education for some time?

If you do not know where to start on your journey to finding your best career then you are in good company. Plus for such an important decision your research needs to be thorough and ideally supported by a career coach.

Here at West of England Coaching and Counselling, we help you on your journey by starting with a robust process of diagnosing your career preferences, based on a number of criteria suggested by research in this field.

One of these criteria is your personality preferences and for this area we focus on psychometric tests that have a high validity level when it comes to career choice. Very often we meet clients whose personalities clash with their organisation's culture and values. The objective is to highlight two or three careers and sectors that are congruent with the way you work and what is important to you.

During career coaching you will gain a great deal of insight into your own personality and what you need in order to feel fulfilled and purposeful.

Following diagnostics we can further assist you by looking at the career requirements of the two or three options highlighted and help you to action plan to address any gaps.

We can further assist you with CV and cover letter structure and content as well as interview preparation.

To discuss your own particular needs please call us on 01761 237400 or e mail

Friday, 16 September 2016

Address issues impacting your Career

If you want to address issues that are having a negative impact on you and your career then this post is for you.

Here I will cover five health issues that can be caused somewhat by your emotional response to your work life and may have a negative impact on you at work as well as your career progression.

Research suggests that a lot of people use alcohol to self-medicate, to change their state, to numb out or forget about issues and problems in their life. Drinking too much puts your health at risk. It can lead to health problems such as cancer and liver disease.

Research suggests that anxiety disorders are experienced by at least fifteen percent of the UK population with almost twice as many women being diagnosed as men. This could be because less men admit how they really feel than women. Common symptoms may include low mood, crying, negative thoughts, insomnia, dry mouth, shortness of or holding breath, butterflies, sweating, nausea, tight chest.

Research suggests that some people self-medicate with food. Overeating often has its roots in underlying emotional problems. You may also be in denial about how much you eat. This is shown in the programme 'Secret Eaters.'

Research suggests that partly because we are busy working, eat healthily can be difficult.
Are you suffering with muscle aches and pains or low energy? This may be consumption related.

Finally, research suggests that a large percentage of the working population have sleeping issues.
For example, problems falling asleep or night waking. Having enough sleep is essential to our health and well-being. Too little sleep weakens our immune system. Studies suggest that getting good sleep can reduce your risk to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The average person needs seven or eight hours, according to sleep neuroscientist Professor Jim Horne. Some people can function well on much less, he adds, but stress, anxiety and sleep apnoea can affect your sleeping patterns.

A good starting point is to talk to your doctor and work out an action plan if you are experiencing one of these health issues.

At West of England Coaching and Counselling we work with you holistically so that you can resolve your issues and be happier at work.

If you would like to discuss your own needs please get in touch via, send us an e mail to enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling or call us on 01761 237400

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Career Searching?

If you are thinking about changing your career or job role then please read on.

Firstly, you are in good company. Job satisfaction has dropped to its lowest level for over two years. Almost a quarter of employees have job seeking intentions according to a survey of 2,000 employees by Halogen and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The survey sample was across all sectors.

Perhaps your own experience resonates with some of the top reasons for wanting a move

1. Nearly a quarter of respondents felt their organisation's performance management processes to be unfair.
2. Over a quarter of respondents identified a lack of opportunity to develop their skills as an issue impacting their job satisfaction.
3. More than a third of respondents said that they are unlikely to fulfil their career goals with their current employer.

A separate similar survey by Love Energy Savings revealed that half  of employees felt that their employers did not provide them with sufficient learning and development opportunities.

Secondly you need to know that if you are feeling apprehensive and alone in your predicament, that this is normal. Since work occupies a large proportion of our life it is important and associated with that is a level of risk and discomfort.

Our role is to provide you with help and support in making the transition from where you are now to a career that fulfils your needs and wants based on a number of factors including your personality.

All potential career coaching relationships commence with a complimentary consultation where we understand some things about what you want and don't want in your work. You will leave the meeting understanding our approach to help you and motivated to achieve your goals.

To book an initial meeting please get in touch via or by calling 01761 237400.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tips to Manage your Career better

If you are feeling somewhat frustrated with your career path then this blog is for you.

Since most of us spend a large percentage of our waking hours at work it makes sense to think extensively about what you want from your career. And, since life is short, to do it now.

Here are my five top tips of tasks that you can get stuck into today.

1. Tell people you are close to what you are thinking and feeling. As you speak you will start to process your thoughts and come up with some ideas and actions to move forwards with. People that you trust can also support you and ask you about how it is going along the way.

2. Reflect on your work to date. For example, when were you happiest? Where were you then? Who were you working with? What were you doing? What did you enjoy the most? How did it work for you? What patterns are emerging that give you insight into what you could do moving forwards?

3. Think about what energises and motivates you in your life. Synchronising this with your career choices is a must as employers and clients will be looking for enthusiasm from you.

4. Research the job market. For example talk to local recruitment agencies about what employers are looking for and go through sample job descriptions. Ask to speak to people who already do those roles about what they find good and less so!

5. Start your career action plan. For example set a time line for achieving your career goal, your broad statement of intent as well as specific objectives. To do your dream career you have to make it happen. What are your qualifications and skills gaps and what are the options for closing these gaps?

For help and support in improving your existing career path or transitioning to a new career, please get in touch via where we specialise in this area of your life.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

7 Career Habits of Highly Effective People

If you are interested in seeking further guidance in achieving the career of your dreams then please read this blog.

I am a fan of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here I attempt to apply these habits somewhat to your career success.

Habit number 1 is to be proactive and this includes with regards to your career. Excuse the crude analogy - have you ever been shopping for an outfit that you really needed only to return home empty handed? Have you ever been shopping and found lots of outfits that you like and suit you that you do  not actually need right now?

When you are not desperate to change you career but you are open to options and opportunities you are much calmer which assists greatly with judgment and decision making. At interview you will likely appear less desperate too.

Today there is no such thing as a job for life so it makes sense to keep your antennae up, your CV up to date and even to undergo some professional career coaching.

Career coaching provided by West of England Coaching and Counselling begins with a diagnostic to arrive at specific options for you based on your work personality, values and skills preferences. This initial stage can help you to decide whether you may want to transition to a new career where you would be happier.

Stephen Covey's habit number 2 is to begin with the end in mind. Here I suggest that you write a letter to yourself (sorry for being maudlin!) on your death bed which tells you what you did in your work life, what you are most proud of or happy about. This will help to guide you through the years in between now and when you pass.

His third habit is to put first things first, to prioritise. The key question that comes to my mind for you to ask yourself what are my priorities when it comes to my career? For example, my top priorities for my own career are - it gives meaning to my time, my own health and wellbeing and self and others learning and development.

The fourth habit that Stephen Covey found in his highly effective people research is to think win win. This makes me think of you plus others. What in your career plan would best serve your clients or customers for example?

The fifth habit is to first seek to understand and then be understood. You could use this habit to have a conversation with people who are important to you who could be impacted by an career decision made by you. You might want to ask them their views before you share yours and before you make any decision. This may be particularly important if your decision involves moving house, a difference in pay or an ethical issue.

The sixth habit is to synergise. Perhaps you could work with others to come up with a career solution that is greater than the sum of the parts involved in helping you to make your decision.

Finally the seventh habit that Covey suggests is to sharpen your sword, to keep at it, to keep improving, day by day by day.

If you would like help and support with your career transition or upskilling in your existing career, please get in touch via or by calling 01761 237400.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Vacation Career Review

If you think that you may want to change your career direction and have a period of work leave approaching please read on.

Most of us find that work takes up some of our thoughts whilst on leave and resolve to change something about it upon return.

Being at distance from your work often allows your mind to think through work issues and resolve to improve your current work situation or to transition to something new.

Being on leave with time and space away from colleagues and bosses to think often helps to come up with a clear plan.

I suggest that you ask yourself some questions in five areas to help you with this exercise.

1. What is my current work reality? For example what are my likes and dislikes? How do I feel on Sunday night? What would I miss if I left? What can I/not change?
Research suggests that the key reasons people decide to change their careers is due to factors outside their control or influence including dissatisfaction with their line manager or the culture of the organisation. Getting real about why you want to change jobs helps you to avoid repeating the same mistakes or moving to a similar environment.

2.What do I want and value about work? For example what is important to me about my work? what do I need to have from my work to feel happy and fulfilled?

3. What do I have to offer that is transferable to a new job? For example, what tasks do I enjoy doing or skills I enjoy using? What am I passionate about? What am I good at? What experiences and learning have made me who I am? What are my top three skills? What is unique about me? Ask people you respect and trust to help you with this and start thinking about career or role options that attract you.

4. My other resources. Who is in my network that could help me? Who is in the fields that I am interested in? Note down the names of your contacts to get in touch with when you return.

5. My outline plan. This can be something that you have some fun with and will review on return. Taking the pressure off helps you to think more clearly. For example, what is my career goal now? When do I want this? Who can help me? What additional skills or qualifications do I need and what are my options to get them? What will happen when I achieve this goal? What difference will that make? Why am I doing this? For example, to give my work life meaning and purpose.

Happy holidays! If you would like support in your career or with your career transition journey please get in touch via and to see all of our professional services please visit us at

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Lacking Career Direction?

If you are lacking career direction then please read on.

According to research only about twenty percent of us have career direction clarity. That is we are unclear about where we want to go in our careers! Considering that those of us who work spend a large percentage of our waking hours at work, this figure is rather alarming I think.

This blog offers suggestions on what to do to gain career direction clarity.

I suggest that you start by gathering information including what is important to you about work, what skills you enjoy using and are good at as well as aspects of your character relevant to work.

You may find it helpful to complete a personality questionnaire that will often provide pointers to the types of career for you to consider, that may or may not include your current career.

From here you can start to think about the qualifications, knowledge, skills and capabilities required for each type of career that interests you. This may help to narrow down your options, for example if returning to study is not an option for whatever reason.

Working environment is very important when it comes to work satisfaction. Where do you want to work? Not just the geographical location but right down to what you see when you look out of the window and what the space is around you.

What would you like your work identity to be? What really matters to you? Answers to these questions may narrow your work choice down to one particular sector, for example.

I hope that you find this exercise to be useful and would like to hear about what you discover.

Of course if you would like help and support with your career review or transition please get in touch via, by completing a contact us form at or by calling 01761 237400.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Your Work Values are what?

If you are interested in finding and working in the job of your dreams then this post is for you.

Research suggests that the most important work values to you are:
  • a level of challenge appropriate to you
  • meaning
  • fulfilment
  • feel excited to go to and be at your work
  • happy
The time to explore your options to achieve your values is when you are relatively calm and positive.
However, many people seek a career or job change when they are exhausted and rather desperate.

Something else that research suggests is that a high percentage of people live within invisible borders set by themselves or others, driven largely by fear.

My advice is simple. Do not stay in a role that is not good enough for you, where the best parts are your end of month pay cheque followed by the end of your working week because it is all over for a couple of days if you are lucky.

A lot of people I meet and work with who are happy do not let fear drive their decisions as much as others.

As well as the allure of happiness in your work, please be aware of the negative effects of being unhappy in your work. At least a quarter of us is said to be affected by mental health problems, working long hours and glued to our phones. Stress, anxiety and depression now make up at least one in five GP visits.

If you would like help addressing your fears of striking out with your career and for help in diagnosing the perfect career and role for your personality, likes and values, please get in touch via or by calling 01761 237400.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Your Career Review

If you are interested in reviewing where you are in terms of your career then this post is for you.

Do not wait for a coaching session to start the ball rolling.

You can start coaching yourself by asking yourself the 10 questions listed below.

  1. How do you feel about your role?
  2. Do you enjoy your work for the most part?
  3. Is your role aligned with your values?
  4. Does your work make best use of your strengths?
  5. What have been your main achievements in the last 12 months?
  6. Are you passionate about your work?
  7. What have your learnt about yourself in the last 12 months?
  8. What is the one thing that you would change about your career that would have the biggest positive impact on your health?
  9. What is your career purpose over the next year or so?
  10. What career goals and objectives do you have?

Honestly answering these questions will help you to decide whether your current role is working and what changes, if any, you would like to make.

Doing the work that you want to do to the best of your ability is a big part of what gives you meaning and purpose in your life, contributing to your overall health and happiness.

If you would like a safe place to discuss your career and work with a supportive career coach, please get in touch via or call 01761 237400.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Career enhancer: Managing your Boss

If your career and well being would benefit from a boost you may want to work on better managing your boss. The point is that managing your boss is to make your life better.

You would do well to focus on you first, building your confidence in your strengths and what you bring to the business. This will help you to be strong enough psychologically to derive the best relationship with your boss.

Think about your values and how they align with the business as well as your strengths. A great on line resource to help you with this is

Step two is to become an expert on your boss. What do they value most? What takes priority? Likely they will have a different map or view of the world as well as different ways of communicating and thinking from you. They may well have a different personality type and way of working. An understanding of how they tick can help to reduce frustration and increase empathy.

Responding to and initiating conversation with them in their preferred 'modes' can help to build and maintain rapport. A good place to start is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which you can start to research on line.

To achieve a better idea of what you want from your relationship with your boss and to help with discussions with your boss, you could also look at

One word of caution is not to be too pushy with what you want. Choose your timing wisely and see the bigger picture.

For help with managing upwards and improving your most important work relationship, get in touch via enquiries@westofenglandcoachingandcounselling or 01761 237400.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Calling all Lone Business Leaders

If you are the most senior person in your business and you feel lonely in your role please read on.

According to AXA PPP healthcare, owners of small and medium businesses often feel alone when facing the pressures of running a business. In our experience this is also true of senior executives working for an organisation. This can lead to anxiety and long working hours that put your health at risk.

The AXA survey of December 2015 found that nearly two thirds of respondents have to make challenging decisions alone and over 40% would like more support.

Keeping customers and clients happy was cited as a key pressure issue along with cash flow and regulatory compliance. The biggest area of support need was cited as business planning and improving performance/sales. Other areas where you want support are leadership, communication and dealing with difficult people.

The majority of you receive some support from family members, other directors or business partners or staff. 10% of you say that you have no one to help you.

In our view even if you have some help the quality of this help may be lacking. For example, family members, whilst well meaning, may lack the resources and skills to assist you properly. Fellow directors and staff may, even subconsciously, be driven to advise you based on their own agendas.

Having your own confidential, experienced, trained, objective, skilled business coach offers you a resource that you can trust to discuss and help you to manage and resolve even the most challenging of business scenarios.

If you would like to discuss you specific needs with us, please get in touch via

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Business Owner Coaching

Are you a business owner who is interested in continuous self improvement? If you are then please read on.

We work with others like you to help with continuous development including helping with upskilling particularly in areas that make a positive difference to your business as well as you such as people management.

For example we are currently working with a number of independent business owners helping them to improve the performance of their people. There is an old adage that 'what gets measured gets managed' and we are helping them to set 'stretch' and achievable targets for their staff alongside providing on the job development support.

We often work with business owners one on one or one to two if you have a business partner. You will have your own stuff that you want to work on such as time or workload management. You will also likely have joint areas to work on such as agreeing the boundaries of each of your roles, shared goals and the way that you communicate with each other.

Working with an experienced, knowledgeable and skilled business coach is the experience of:

- your learning and developing on the fast track as, unlike a training course, the coaching is tailored to you
- having a trusted confidante with whom you can discuss practically anything, personal and professional
- having space to work through your priorities with someone who listens, reflects back and asks good questions to help you to think, sometimes differently in a good way
- working through a coaching process that helps you to get the outcomes that you want
- enjoying developing yourself, your skills and your business.

Individuals with a coach are often interested in continuous development rather than just achieving one set of objectives. They believe in lifelong learning. If this appeals to you and you are ready and willing to be coached, please get in touch to discuss your needs.

You can reach us on 01761 237400 or via

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Boost Your Confidence Level

If you would like to boost your confidence level then this post is for you.

Most of us need more confidence in our days so that we can be at our best self rather than somewhat lower.

Confidence comes from within and there are certain things we can do to boost our confidence.

Here I share with you my top three confidence boosters.

The simplest boost to your confidence is through adjusting your posture and physiology. Whether standing or sitting, have both feet on the ground and imagine being rooted to the ground. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders slightly back and head upright with a slight smile on your face. If you want to measure the difference from your normal posture scale yourself before and after 0-10, where 0 is feeling very low and 10 is your most confident, best self. Most people move up at least three points on the scale, some much higher.

Another tip to boost your confidence is to develop your own daily mantra or affirmation, something that you say to yourself daily. For example 'just for today I will remember that I am a confident person and whatever happens in my day I will address well'. Mantras such as this, rehearsed in your head or out loud, preferably daily, help to rewire your brain so that you think, feel and start to behave as a more confident person.

My third tip for you is to think or preferably journal three things that you have enjoyed and achieved that day at the end of the day before you go to bed. In time your brain will look for positive things to do in the day that can be reflected on at night Also by doing this pre bed induces a calmer more positive sleep.

Please try these out and see how you go. Even better please get in touch via

Monday, 18 January 2016

Why invest in Business Coaching?

If you want to grow your business and achieve a good lifestyle then this blog is for you.

The problem with working on our goals on our own is that we are often not as rigorous as we would be with a good professional specialising in the goal domain.

The best example where you will have seen this is in sports. All successful sports people have a coach.

With coaching in any field, including business, we have someone who helps us to clearly write our goals, keep us on track, help us learn the lessons faster, help stop us from making costly decisions and supports us in making progress. We don't get stuck in fear, can keep moving forwards and grow and evolve with our business.

Business coaching will make a significant improvement to your business and you will feel inspired for the future.

We start by looking at what needs to change, what's not working and what you want for your business and why now?

We uncover the challenges that have kept you from getting what you really want to date.

We discuss the long term impact of not changing and not getting what you want.

We share with you what we do in our business coaching to help you to overcome your challenges and get what you want.

If you would benefit from working with us please get in touch via the website enquiry form at or call 01761 237400.