Career progression, overwhelm, change…

Many of my coaching clients are researchers and academics, people who are looking for a permanent post, security of tenure, inspiration for new grants and ideas. Often academics with the permanent contract are struggling with overwhelming workloads, torn by the many demands on their time and resources. The three things that most of my clients bring to our coaching conversations are:

Career progression

  • Finding a new job
  • Getting promotion
  • Moving into a senior management position
  • Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
  • Career planningMy life graphic - skils, interests, friends, family, goals, education, dreams etc

Managing overwhelm

This is so much more than time management and covers many aspects of life and work:

  • How to get more done in a day,
  • How to get the right stuff done when you know there’s just too much
  • Dealing with the important long term stuff that seems to drag and never get done
  • Mindful management of stress
  • Putting fun back into a busy life
  • Managing multiple projects

Big times of change

This brings a need for practical solutions and  often a change in personal identity:

  • Big decisions about new roles, jobs or even businesses
  • Making completely new career choices
  • Caring responsibilities – for aging parents or children

Give yourself some space!

You might be surprised at how much clarity comes from making time and space for a focussed conversation about your situation and your hopes or ambitions.

I write about these topics in my blog. My clients write me testimonials. Come and join the conversation!

“I think the best feedback I could give you is the fact I recommended friends to come to you. In a short time I was able to reuse what I gained from the exercises in my personal and working life. Your life coaching approach is a simple, refreshing and easy to pick up. I found the changes I wanted for the future happened with an ease I had not expected.”

“The one to one coaching time was money well spent. After the first call I found I was able to take responsibility and start to think on a way forward rather than being stuck on what went wrong and how things were unfair.”

“I learned that I need to turn situations around in my head and that by saying no to something I’m actually saying yes to something else. I didn’t realise how much guilt I get from things like saying no to people and I now have a range tools to be able to deal with these situations more positively.”


Do you have a life plan or at least an idea of what you’d like from life? I did.
My life plan included ideas about my career, my life, my relationships – and then real LIFE happened.

Life plan: A vision or direction for life based on your personal goals and values.
A life plan includes career goals, health, wealth, family etc to create a balanced whole.

For me, I chose my career fairly early on and loved it. I had to adapt rapidly when I realised that, even as a researcher, being good at what I did wasn’t good enough to get me promoted. As in any profession I needed to understand what was really going on in the organisation and learn new skills in communication, influencing and leadership.

When my parents became older I needed to learn about flexible working patterns, really keeping focus and maximising my productivity while fitting everything in. When I became full-time carer for my disabled sister I needed to find a whole new way of making a living.

What does your life look like?

Want to feel more direction, fulfilled, rewarded, more in control?

Having a plan isn’t a magic wand.

Having a plan and taking consistent action is one way of bringing your life closer to the dreams and aspirations you have, making them part of your reality and daily experience of life and work.

Do we put more effort into buying a new phone than into planning our lives?
Maybe we feel less in control of our lives than our buying choices. “Stuff” happens.
Some things feel like opportunities, others a natural part of the cycle of life. Then there are the “lemons”…

lem·on  /ˈlemən/
Noun: A yellow, oval citrus fruit with thick skin and fragrant, acidic juice.
Informal: A person or thing that proves to be  imperfect or unsatisfactory.

A lemon can take many forms – a great job with a glass ceiling or an expiry date on the contract, maybe a secure job but with a long commute. Perhaps the work is fine but fitting it into the rest of your life with all it’s demands is causing too much of a squeeze. Maybe it’s just a bum job and you deserve better…

Even having a successful career can bring it’s own demands with high workloads and long hours, especially if you’re juggling work with caring for family or parents. Having a good post doesn’t mean you’ve made it. Many people are wondering how to progress – is promotion more likely if you stay put or move on and what do you do when your contract ends?

Playing the victim never came naturally to me so I learned a lot of different ways to deal constructively with life events which you might view as lemons – squeezing, slicing, sweetening, making lemonade… I even created a short report “5 Ways to Sweeten Life’s Lemons” which you can share, perhaps we can compare notes! Just add your name and email address into the form and press “Submit”.

When you’re ready to learn how to squeeze more juice from the lemons in your life, to make something altogether more refreshing, I hope you’ll find lots to inspire and help you here.

Do read my blog regularly – I share some of my best ideas there. Have a look through the Resources section and see if it’s helpful. Remember to sign up to my newsletter so you can download your free report by putting your name and email address in that box!!

Lemons on green surface