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Client stories

  • What is the difference between career counselling and career coaching?
    There is definitely a more complicated answer to this question, but I tend to distinguish the two as the ‘why?’; and the ‘what and how?’ type questions. Career counselling is the approach that I use with those who are keen to explore their career thoughts in more depth, to understand previous career experiences, and current motivations, strengths, interests, and priorities, for example, in order to get to a stage where they feel confident understanding which career is right for them. Career coaching is the more pragmatic side of things; defining job search strategies, developing your CV and LinkedIn profile, preparing for interview, and getting started in a new role. Once you're in a role, it might mean regular checkins to keep yourself on track with your career goals, or work through issues in your working life that are causing you confusion or concern. Not everyone will be looking to do both – some clients want to focus on the more explorative stages, and others are already confident about what they want to do and why, and just need help with the search stages. We would discuss your own requirements in an initial consultation.
  • Careers counselling sounds interesting but I'm not sure if it's for me...
    If you’re looking at this site, the chances are you are having some career issues that you are looking for some support with. It can often be difficult talking with friends, family or colleagues honestly about these issues – and that’s where discussing your thoughts and ideas with someone external to your own circle can be beneficial. Career counselling offers an opportunity to focus exclusively on your issues and priorities, helping you to challenge (gently!) and structure your thoughts, and work out some solid action plans to take forward. It’s supportive, pragmatic and can be transformative. There are lots of testimonials on the site from people that I’ve worked with over the years, and I hope that they will give an insight into the kind of issues that I can help with, and the difference that career counselling and/or coaching has made to them. Career counselling is an investment, but it is probably more reasonable than you think. Although I take a structured approach, I can work flexibly – and depending on your situation, you don’t necessarily need to commit to a long run of sessions. When we speak, I will always offer a range of alternative options of how we can work together, so you can choose what suits your needs and budget best. The most important part of working with a career counsellor is making sure that you are a good fit. It’s difficult to be open and honest with someone that you don’t feel you click with. Think about how you work best with people generally, and what kind of support or approach you are looking for. Do you feel you need someone with experience specific to your industry? Speak to at least a couple of career counsellors or coaches before you make your decision about who you’d like to work with – all career professionals should offer an initial consultation free of charge. The Career Development Institute maintains a register of qualified professionals, so you are able to look through and see who might match your requirements best.
  • Will you tell me what job I should do?
    In short, no. If you’re looking for a new career, I’ll work with you to better understand your strengths, interests and working values and use those as a basis for exploring a range of ideas. We may well discuss a range of different career options, but it’s your career, and only you can make the decision about what is going to work best for you. I am also not a recruitment consultant, so I don’t have any links with hiring companies and available roles. I will work with you to manage relationships with recruitment agencies if that is the best way of applying for roles that are of interest to you. Occasionally I may share interesting roles via LinkedIn or Twitter, but they are purely for awareness, and I make no commission, and have no vested interest in whether or how the roles are filled!
  • I work full-time – do you work outside office hours?
    I mostly work 8.30am-4pm. I do, however, offer limited evening and weekend sessions via zoom or phone, although these do tend to book up quickly. If in full-time work, some clients prefer to take the occasional half-day off during the process, to allow themselves some focused time for thinking and researching ideas. However, many people are able to create time for a one-hour meeting at lunch or at another point during their working day if that's better for you. Apart from anything else, you’re more likely to have energy and headspace earlier in the day, rather than after a long day at work.
  • I’m not local to you – do you work remotely?
    Absolutely. Recent times have forced everyone to adapt their usual way of working, and I’m no different. Over the last few months 100% of client meetings have been via Zoom or phone, and I imagine that things will stay online for the foreseeable future! Remote coaching works really well as it's much easier to find the time for an online meeting, and it means that I'm able to work with people from all over the UK. If you're not sure how you feel about it, do feel free to book in an initial consultation, and see what you think...
  • Lucy - Marketing professional looking to refocus after having children - Now a published children's author!
    When I first met Tamsin, my kids were very little and I was stuck in something of a career rut. I’d worked in PR and marketing for many years, but was looking for a bit of a change and work that would fit around family life. Tamsin was brilliant at helping me understand my priorities and decide what I really wanted to do. She talked me through various options and my skills, making me realise that I should focus more on my writing. Books and literature had always been my passion, and I began writing fiction as a hobby alongside my marketing roles. Since then, I’ve become a children’s writer. My STEM-themed Leonora Bolt series is published by Puffin. It’s no exaggeration to say that Tamsin’s coaching was life changing. She helped me take the storytelling part of my day job and refocus it, writing stories for kids. I can’t recommend Tamsin’s services too highly, especially for mums looking to rediscover the part of their careers that bring them the most joy.
  • David, Business Development in travel industry – Looking to develop a long-term career plan
    I have known and worked with Tamsin for many years. I can’t speak highly enough of her. I work in the Travel Industry and was very fortunate to find a new role just as the UK was going into lockdown in April 2020 due to Covid19. Without all of Tamsin’s support and help with researching companies, preparing for interviews, brain-dumping post interviews etc., I doubt I would have secured my current employment. I will be forever grateful. After many years of thinking about changing jobs or even industries, I never really managed to find what I was looking for. My wife had met with Tamsin many years earlier and recommended I got in touch. I wanted to become the CEO of my own career and not risk years drifting by in dead-end roles. I wanted to invest some time in myself to explore other jobs and industries. When first starting work with Tamsin I was looking for help with just about everything. My first meeting I went with a very long list! Very quickly she helped me with various strategies through verbal and written exercises to work and shape my short-, medium- and long-term goals of my career. It was great to suddenly have a narrative to use when talking to future employers. The tips on social media were amazing. Tamsin gave me confidence when applying for jobs and really useful pointers, questions, and things to think about, pre, during and post interviews. Having now secured a new role, I now have a long-term growth plan to ensure I keep my career on track and gain the most out of my current and future employments. I would highly recommend Tamsin to anyone that is looking for direction in their career. Be it changing jobs, industries, preparing for interviews or regaining lost confidence. I have a lot to be thankful to her for.
  • Beth, Events Production - Realigning with career goals
    I came to see Tamsin when I was struggling to see direction in my career and what my path should be and if it was suited to me. With four initial sessions she really helped me understand my values, focus, priorities, and interests that helped me work out the roles that would suit me. I learnt a lot about myself not only for my career but how it fits into my wider life goals. Later, when I was looking to move roles, Tamsin helped me structure my CV, which is now really impactful and relevant. When finding it difficult to make decisions about accepting job offers she walked me through the process and helped me end with a job that I was happy with. Tamsin has always been there to support me when I've needed it throughout my career. She really invests in people and gets to know you on such a personal level that you always feel supported by her, even when there might be long gaps between sessions. I have recommended Tamsin to several friends and I would definitely recommend again!
  • Sarah, Global Learning Manager – Looking to refocus career direction
    Now a global learning and development manager within the international development / animal welfare sector, I came to careers coaching / counselling as I was at a real crossroads with the direction in which I wanted to go. I had stepped out of an earlier career in HR and Learning & Development to re-train as a teacher while my own children were young but then yo-yo’d between the two career paths as they were growing up, at one point trying to do both part-time but simultaneously! I was really seeking help from Tamsin to focus and provide clearer direction, as well as to help me make the best of the transferable skills aligned to both careers. The most valuable element of the process was to evaluate strengths, and to really give me confidence in what I can offer. Anyone, including those who are just starting out in a career, or who want to change direction at any stage, can benefit from this support as it is great to ‘check in’ with yourself and Tamsin is very good at enabling you to see what is holding you back from reaching your full potential.
  • Pete, Development Director – Looking for new career direction
    Tamsin has been fantastically helpful in my job hunt. Not only did she help me to craft my CV and LinkedIn profile, throughout my search she was also able to offer me considered, impartial advice delivered with blend of pragmatism, compassion and humour. I would heartily recommend her to anyone considering a career change.
  • Monika – Returning to work and retraining to change career
    I had taken a promotion after returning from my second maternity leave, which I hated. Combined with the pressures of taking and picking up two children from nursery 4-days a week and a slipped disc I decided to give up work. I knew I wanted to work in future, but it needed to be worth it. I did not have an obvious profession or career as such, so any job moves were going to be tricky. Initially, I was very focused on having something local and part-time. I had taken up a book-keeping course (which I thought would be beneficial were I ever to run my own business and I also thought it might provide local/flexible employment in the future). I found it interesting and had thought that maybe I would like to pursue my career in that area. However, when I printed off my CV to look for low-level accountancy roles, I was concerned about losing the experience I had gained over the years and knew that I did have a lot of transferable skills. That's when I decided to seek Tamsin’s help. In a naive manner I think I wanted Tamsin to do a couple of personality/values tests and then look at my CV and say - 'this is the perfect career for you'. I did want a quick fix. It did not happen like that. Tamsin gave me lots of homework, that at times I felt stressed about as I had no ‘calling’ about what I wanted to do for a job. But it did make me really think about what I wanted. There were times (like after the summer holidays) when I said: “let’s just pause - I don’t think I need a big job yet”. And I met up with Tamsin and she helped me to get back on track, without being pushy, but just reminding me of where I ultimately wanted to be: have my kids but also have a job that brings me satisfaction. I also thought that the answer to my career woes would lie in doing an MA, Tamsin was reluctant to let me push myself down that route as she wondered whether it would take something different to find the job I wanted. Ultimately the most valuable thing was that Tamsin encouraged me to keep three options open and explore each one simultaneously. I think this was truly beneficial as over the course of six months my concerns and priorities changed a lot, and Tamsin understood this completely as a working mother herself. The understanding motivation that Tamsin provided me with was invaluable. Her great humour and wisdom made the whole process hard but enjoyable. And nothing worthwhile is achieved from doing nothing. I have now embarked upon my CIMA studies. It really was Tamsin who opened my eyes to the opportunity which will combine my interest in the financial and strategic aspects of business, and let me build on all the experience I have gained to date. I am on my own now with my laptop, but know that I can and will call upon Tamsin’s sage advice again very soon.
  • Katie – Setting up a business after a seven year career break
    Before I did Tamsin’s workshops (alternative career and starting a business) I hadn’t worked since my eldest child had been born, had no confidence and no direction and thought my only option was to return to a job that I didn’t enjoy with hours that I felt were incompatible with family life. I was hoping that Tamsin would help me channel my existing skill set in a different direction and give me some ideas about other careers that could be available to me that I hadn’t yet considered. The brainstorming was really useful, even though it was probably the part of the programme that I looked forward to least. With the help of Tamsin and the others on the course, it was during this session that I really cemented what it was that I was going to do (and what I am now doing!). After the alternative career course I continued to research starting my new business and whether it was viable, how it would work, etc. Then I did Tamsin’s starting a new business course which was hugely beneficial in terms of the practicalities of setting up the business (accountancy, Companies House, insurance etc) and the importance of an online presence. It has taken me a year from when I did the first workshop but I now have my own company and feel that I am well on track to achieving a career that is fulfilling for me but also allows me to be at the school gates and at home for my children. I would recommend the programmes without hesitation – it has led me to where I am today. Tamsin understood exactly where I was coming from and was empathetic and offered really practical and workable solutions to the obstacles I felt were in my way. She has a broad understanding of lots of different careers and gave me the confidence to take the leap I needed to take. I am enormously grateful to Tamsin and, without wishing to sound too effusive, I’m certain I would not be where I am today if I had not attended her workshop.
  • Stephanie – Recent graduate, looking for focus
    I had just graduated from University and was stuck in a rut after deciding I didn’t want to follow a career that was related to my degree. I needed to get my career started but I just didn’t know where to start with so many options going round in my head. I was looking for somebody who could help me find out my strengths and weaknesses and what to focus on with confidence. I wanted to not just find a career that would make me financially stable but more importantly, something that would make me happy. After meeting with Tamsin, she helped me realise what my skills were, what drives me as an individual and therefore helped me decide on a few career options. She coached me through every process – from updating my CV to make me look more attractive to potential employees to giving me advice to help me cope with interview situations. Tamsin gave me real confidence and without her resources and coaching I would not be in the fantastic position I am now. I would definitely recommend MCW for any graduates who are unsure on what to do and need support whilst making that huge decision when starting their career. MCW provides a personal experience which I think is unique. She is there to support you when there are tough decisions to make, breaking each step down and making a solution easy.
  • Rebecca – Maternity coaching to support career progression
    I was in the early stages of pregnancy and my company was going through a restructure. I wasn’t sure how to manage the situation, so I got in touch with MCW for some support and guidance. Tamsin made it feel like a range of steps that I could work through and I just didn’t feel so alone. Through the counselling sessions and emails we exchanged I negotiated the salary and job title that I wanted and had a really positive response from the management team. No doubt I’ll be in touch again at my next career junction, especially once the baby arrives and I acclimatise to my ‘new mum’ status.
  • Louise – Exploring career options after second maternity leave
    I was on maternity leave from a senior and demanding job in the city. I had wanted to change jobs for some time but the arrival of our second child drove home to me the impact of a three- hour daily commute, a job with very long hours full-time and a culture that I was uncomfortable with. My challenge was that I am currently the sole earner for our family, so the sense of responsibility weighed heavy on me. I was looking for someone to help me and my baby-fried brain through an emotional yet vital journey to understand my options, have the confidence to explore new things and make the right decision for me as an individual as well as the family. Tamsin was able to help me gain some perspective on my situation. Exercises that she suggested I do with my husband reminded me of my desires and priorities, but also helped us to remember what we were working towards as a couple and what was important to us both as well as for the family. It was probably the first time I had really shared my concerns with my husband. Once I was clear on what my values and drivers were and what options I might have, Tamsin helped me to explore those options, providing access to resources, feedback of draft CVs and letters and helped me try new ways of approaching headhunters and considering self- employment. Additionally, Tamsin helped me through the emotional stages when fear would take over – breaking down tasks and making them manageable amidst sleepless nights and an adjusting family unit. I ended up making the decision to return to my place of work. But it was a conscious choice, made as result of knowing what other options I had and recognising that the time was not right to explore them. My employer offered massive flexibility on my return to work and for the short to medium term that was what we needed. I have gone back to work more confident that I’m good at what I do and can juggle everything more successfully. However, through the process with MCW I have also built a new network of contacts for when the time is right to move – the next year or so – and I will make that move because I know how to get there. I would recommend MCW not just to mums but to anyone looking to explore new careers. The pragmatic approach is invaluable and the level of support exceptional. The fact that the person you are talking to understands your situation and can empathise with the challenges of managing a family and career was brilliant. I received guidance that was completely impartial and non-judgemental, vital when I had just had a baby. I have seen career counsellors at various times in my life. The experience was totally different. Previously, I had filled out some exercises about preferences and IQ in a dark room and then had those answers replayed to me. Given I know myself quite well, I didn’t learn anything new. With MCW, however, I was credited with knowing myself and supported in a personalised way to verify that before the focus effectively shifted to actions to be taken and support to explore. I have never experienced this before and it makes MCW stand out from the rest in my view.
  • Katherine – Returning to work after maternity leave
    When I first went to MCW, I was six months into my second maternity leave and was unsure about whether or not to return to work, both from a financial point of view and from a career/fulfilment point of view. Having gone back to work after having my first child and struggled to balance my career with being a mum, I was really anxious about how I could make it work having two children. At the same time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to (or could afford to) be a full-time mum. I really needed some professional, impartial advice that could help me decide what would work for my personal circumstances and what options were out there for me. After talking through my options, I came to the decision that I did want to go back to work and Tamsin supported me in putting forward a really strong case to my existing employer to ask for a part-time role that would allow me to get a good work-life balance and fit with my childcare without compromising too much on my own career path. Tamsin suggested new ways of working and gave me tips on how to structure my pitch to my boss. For me, the most valuable outcome was that Tamsin gave me the confidence to ask for a better deal than I would have done on my own. She highlighted the reasons why I was still a strong asset to my company and the advantages to them of my working part-time. She coached me through the whole process and was always coming up with useful suggestions to get around any potential obstacles. I would recommend MCW to any other mums or women who are looking to start a family because in my experience, there is a real gap in the market for this kind of service. I don’t know many women who have the right work-life balance and it’s hard to get back into the workplace after being at home with your children. I felt totally left behind and past it, but Tamsin understood my issues straight away and gave me the support and advice I needed. It was a really personal service rather than someone just talking you through your rights or offering the standard advice on part-time working that you tend to get from most HR functions.
  • Mark, Commercial Director – Looking to explore career options and better balance with family life
    I thought that the discussions and sessions with Tamsin would be useful, but I was really impressed and pleased by the breadth and depth of the questions and analysis, as well as by the confident, competent and approachable manner in which Tamsin managed the discussions. It always felt interesting and engaging but when I think about it afterwards, I realise we did dig quite deep into my thinking and aspirations but it never felt like hard work. The work she helped me to do really contributed to identifying the path I wanted to take, and I feel very lucky to have found the second job in my career which feels absolutely perfect and I can see myself being at for a long time. I also have some clarity about the longer-term path to incorporate other ambitions.
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