A lockdown silver lining and how I came to be a career coach

by | Jun 18, 2024 | career goals, Coaching Blog

In the Autumn of 2019 when my daughter called me from Paris to tell me that she had no idea what she wanted to do in the future, little did we know that the sparks from that conversation would guide her next 5 years!

She was completing a six-month work placement and concluded that marketing was not her calling. As we delved into a discussion about her skills, she reflected on what energised her.

‘I really enjoy meeting the needs of clients.’

‘I want to be challenged.’

‘I like being organised, planning, being efficient.’

‘I love leading a project.’

Becoming a lawyer

When we moved onto brainstorming career options, becoming a lawyer struck a chord with Meg, who had previously dismissed it. She had believed it was beyond her capabilities. This was a pivotal moment – by asking if she had considered law, I had inadvertently conveyed my belief in her potential, instilling the initial confidence she needed to begin to explore the legal profession as a career. She began to find out everything she could and even applied to a firm despite having another 18 months to finish her first degree!

That application, first video interview and subsequent rejection only fuelled what became my daughter’s steely resolve to learn and understand everything she could about becoming a lawyer and everything she could about being a lawyer. Networking was key to achieving this and she sought insights from connections through family and friends. The more she found out, the more inspired she became.

However, it quickly became apparent that a significant hurdle stood in her way – the need for a law firm to pay her fees to do the law conversion – 2 years of further study and there was no way of getting a student loan.  This meant securing a training contract and securing a training contract is not easy!

Learning all of this came at the same time as the pandemic hit and we went into the first lockdown. Meg had to complete the remainder of her degree online from home. Frustrating as this was it gave her the time to focus her energy on her future and working from home, I was able to support her.

Virtually every day we discussed it on our daily walks:

  • How to find new contacts to reach out to
  • How her prior experience would stand her in good stead for starting a career in law
  • Which firms to apply to and why
  • Interview practice

And then success! She secured the interest of two firms and was offered what’s called a ‘vacation scheme.’ It was anything but the name that’s implied – it was like a 2 week-long interview!

All the networking, interview practice and preparation during our time stuck at home had paid off

– in July 2021, Meg got the news that she’d got a training contract. Move forward almost 3 years and she is now a trainee solicitor – fulfilling her dream.

This experience was my first foray into coaching. I’d thought I was just doing what a mother should do and support my daughter to achieve her goals but when she thanked me for everything and said she couldn’t have done it without me I realised that this was something I could help others to do. The period of lockdowns had also given me a chance to re-evaluate my work and my own career goals.

I trained as a career coach and I’m now coaching people to achieve their career aspirations.  I take them through the same process – knowing yourself and your values, finding your purpose and developing a clear action plan. At the beginning it’s an open approach which involves practical tasks alongside reflection on what’s worked or not worked well in the past, moving onto an exploration of what’s out there. Once the action plan is in place, the coaching becomes focused on CV writing, application letters and interview practice.

It’s all about finding work that you love doing, that you want to get up for every day! Click the button below to start your career action plan.