“Hey, long time no see! How are you?”
“I’m fine, thanks!… Oh, you know….Same old same old…Mustn’t grumble. …Everything’s tickety boo! …Hanging in there…. All good. Nothing to see here. Move along…”
When is the last time you gave an honest answer to that question? I mean really honestly. Hopefully there are at least a couple of people in your life with whom you can debate the real answer to that question.
If you’re a mum, new or otherwise, the chances are the real answers to this question might be somewhere along the lines of one of the following:
“I’ve loved being on maternity leave but feel like I have been living my life in a safe bubble of nappies, coffee shops and Bing Bunny. The thought of going back to work is pretty daunting as I’ve lost all confidence in my abilities, but we need the money. I can’t begin to imagine how I’m going to cope being away from my baby so much.”
“Enough is enough. Something’s got to give. Working full time is grinding me down and I feel like I’m letting everyone down. My work, my family and ultimately myself. There has to be another way to juggle it all, so I can feel like I’m thriving not drowning.”
“Ugh. My job feels so mundane and pointless since I’ve had children. I really want to do something that gives me more satisfaction and plays to my strengths. But I have no idea where to start when it comes to changing career direction.”
“I’m so busy wiping bums and picking up lego that I barely have time to go to the loo, let alone think about how I am feeling. I just haven’t got the time or energy to work out what would make me feel happier and more fulfilled in life.”
“My youngest has just started school and the house is eerily quiet. Being a mum is all I can remember and probably the only thing I’m half good at. I feel like I’ve lost my purpose and don’t know what to do next.”
If you find yourself identifying (even remotely) with any of these statements and are ready to do something about it, I promise you, you’re not alone. And most importantly, all is not lost! Career coaching for mums can help you.
What Career Coaching ISN’T
I’m sorry to say that career coaching isn’t a cosy fireside chat during which a gushy, well-meaning sycophant blows hot air up your backside and makes you feel good about yourself. It isn’t being told what you need to do or being given all the answers. You won’t hear your coach saying “Well, if I were you, I would do X”. And I’m afraid that your coach will leave all the hard work to you. Being coached isn’t an easy ride! A coaching session can actually be pretty hard work if you give it your all. It requires resilience, honesty, grit and determination to move forward; often in the face of adversity.
What Coaching IS
Great career coaching has the potential to bring about profound and meaningful change, by helping clarify those thoughts and ideas that may otherwise remain a jumble in your head and keep you up at night. A structured career coaching programme will help you set clear personal and professional goals, achieve them and then often surprise you by knocking them out of the park. Coaching is a positive, future-focused and action-oriented discipline. It helps you clear hurdles and barriers out of your own way, and it assumes that because you are the one facing the challenge, you actually hold the answers to overcoming it.
Think of me as a sounding board; your partner in crime, your wing (wo)man. Someone who is rooting for you from the side lines and giving you that all-important pep talk when you feel like giving up. I’ll hold you accountable for your own success. I won’t ever give up on you and more importantly, I won’t let you give up on yourself, no matter how bad your day, week or month has been.
I am a firm believer that coaching should result in tangible, practical actions so I often use psychometric tool insights to bring my sessions to life. I adopt a pragmatic yet positive, strengths-oriented philosophy when coaching; providing my clients with a healthy balance of both challenge and support. I am not exactly a ‘tree-hugger’ type but I do pride myself on having a fairly high EQ and a passion for helping people overcome their fears and reach their fullest potential. I would definitely describe myself as more of a career and performance coach than a ‘life coach’ per se, but our lives and careers are so intertwined these days, we need to ensure both are in balance to feel fulfilled and happy.
I am also a mother of two young girls, which helps.
I understand how it feels to lose your confidence when returning to work after a career break. I know how it feels to have forgotten what you used to be good at before you assumed the role of “MUUM!” I also appreciate that having a family changes everything. It gives new perspective to your life and career and makes you question what it’s all about. It also presents itself with a whole other raft of logistical nightmares that can’t be ignored. How do you fit work around immovable objects such as the school run or swimming lessons. I am a massive advocate of flexible working and making work work for you. I have lots of resources available to me which can help you explore ways of addressing all these considerations. Together we can arrive at the perfect outcome for both you and your family.
How it works
Ad hoc 1:1 Spark Sessions
You can book in an ad-hoc ‘Spark’ session which is a 90 minute-long conversation, designed to ignite your thinking and confidence around a specific topic or event. Great for when time is of the essence and you have a deadline you are working towards such as an interview or presentation and could do with a quick confidence boost.
I find that coaching works best when delivered in a programmatic way; a series of sessions held regularly over at least 4 months. This approach helps maintain momentum and focus and increases the likelihood of you smashing your self-appointed goals. I offer a FREE ‘no strings attached’ 20 minute initial chat to see if you think I could help. If you then decide to move forward, we will get to work agreeing realistic but challenging goals and outcomes for your sessions. The pace of progress will largely be determined by you and the time and energy you have available to commit to the plan. I also offer a 10% discount to anyone on maternity leave or between jobs.
Group Career Coaching
If 1:1 career coaching feels a little out of reach financially, you may want to consider my affordable career coaching and personal development membership, The Shine Collective. This is such a powerful (and more affordable) way to access quality, professional career coaching, whilst also building a trusted network of talented women who get what you’re going through and have your professional back. Working through a structured career coaching programme with others can really feel like you are going on a journey of professional self-discovery together. I have seen friendships forged as people share their stories and career aspirations over the course of only a few months together. You can join any time.
All sessions are available either face-to-face*, over Zoom, which means I coach women all over the world, from Seattle to Swansea. I also offer coaching sessions ‘On-the-Go’ if that’s how you prefer to work, and you’re based local to Buckinghamshire in the UK. The benefits of walking and exercise to the brain are well-documented after all! Neuroscience tells us that moving the body and pumping more oxygen around our cells may help us think more clearly and it definitely helps alleviate the feeling of being ‘stuck’. I’m also happy to hold our sessions in art galleries or other inspiring spaces, if vision and inspiration are what you are seeking. That said, I am also more than comfortable to hold our conversations in the comfort of your own home or in a quiet local cafe. Whatever works best and feels right for you. I am a member of The Allbright members club in Mayfair, central London, if you fancy a more self-indulgent back-drop to your personal development conversations!
*It is worth mentioning that there may be additional travel costs associated with some face-to-face meetings.
Get in touch
I’m really excited to be a mum supporting other mums through the fabulous minefield that is motherhood, so please do get in touch if you have questions on any of the above or want more information about how coaching could help.
Drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below to book a FREE ‘no strings’ 20 minute chat to see if coaching could help you move forward. You can also follow me on instagram, Facebook or Linkedin.