Frequently asked questions
If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to get in touch.
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.
Career counselling and career coaching can also be really helpful for working through difficult situations in your existing role. 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.
Career 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 during office hours, as do the majority of careers counsellors. 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, many people benefit from taking the occasional half-day off during the process, to allow themselves some focused time for thinking and researching ideas. 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. To date, most of my clients are from the Hampton and Richmond area, Surrey and London, and we have usually met in my office in Hampton Hill for our meetings. However, 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 phone, zoom or Skype, and although I am really looking forward to being back in the office, I imagine that things will stay online for the foreseeable future!