My first encounter with coaching was through participation in a management development programme in 2011. On this programme I received one-to-one coaching and participated in peer coaching and action learning sets. I also had time and space to explore my development with my line manager.
This experience had a profound impact on me and my approach to work and relationships. I learnt as much about myself and what drives me as I did about managing a team. And it prepared me well for coping with a significant change in my life. A change that saw me move 250 miles and rebuild my life, both personally and professionally, over a period of two years.
Once I’d regained some equilibrium I found myself in 2016 with a decision to make about my future. My options were to:
- Continue as things were, in part-time employment with a portfolio of freelance projects on the side
- Take a full-time role either with my existing employer or in a new organisation
- Make the leap into full-time self-employment
To make this decision I took myself on a personal retreat and practised some self-coaching. I used exercises from Pete Mosley’s excellent book The Art of Shouting Quietly. I considered my values and how they are fundamental to finding fulfilling work. I looked at all of my previous jobs and examined what I enjoyed and what I do well. Then I assessed each of my options alongside all the evidence I’d gathered and it became clear to me which path I needed to follow.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, it was option number three.
So, now I knew what I wanted to do I set out an action plan for the first steps to achieving that goal. And that’s how the journey towards starting my own coaching business began. More about the practicalities of that in a future post, perhaps?