Nobody is born with a playbook for how to live their life. The lucky few find a purpose or a vocation. The majority muddle through. If this is true at the start of a career, it’s even more true in ‘later life’. I offer career coaching aimed particularly at helping people – particularly those coming towards the end of a full-on, full-time career – find how they want to use the time that they have. I also coach people who have been hit by life events such as a serious health diagnosis; divorce or bereavement. All things that challenge our sense of self and force us to ask deeper questions about meaning, identity and what we really want to do with our lives.
Everyone is different, so the coaching is always tailored to the topics you want and need to work on. Everybody will have different priorities. Some people are crystal clear about what cash means to them, for example, and how much they want and need to work. Others have been quietly working on a dream project for years – they just haven’t told their partner about it. Others are asking the deeper questions about meaning they just haven’t yet found answers to. We start by looking at what’s on your mind and tailor the coaching accordingly. Typically the topics include:
— Working identity; how important is your job title? What role do you want work (paid or unpaid) to play in your life? What roles have you played at work? What needs does work satisfy in you that you will be relucant to lose?
— Money; what part will cash play in the next stage of your life? Do you need to earn money – or has money been the driver for your career to date?
— Relationships; if you have a partner, how much do you have a shared understanding of what your life will be like once you leave ‘work’? Has working life given you structures that have made it possible for you to avoid facing difficult conversations up to now?
— Family and friends; do you have caring responsibilities and/or financial demands from family that you need to fulfil? And do you have strong and supportive friendships that sustain you?
— Health and energy; what health concerns do or might you have? What have you been avoiding? What steps do you want to put in place to maintain your health and support your energy?
— ‘Re-creation’ aka ‘hobbies’; for many people fulfilment comes as much from leisure activities as it does from work. If the word ‘hobbies’ alarms you (as it does many), what leisure activities do you want to pursue and with whom?
— Personal and spiritual growth/legacy and contribution; where our early careers are largely preoccupied with climbing, achieving and performing, later ‘careers’ focus more on what we want to do with the time that we have – questions that fall into the camp of personal and spiritual growth and meaning – who am I without a job? what does a good life look like? what do I want my legacy to be? – take on a great urgency.
— The Basics: What does your ideal day and week look like now that you have the freedom to design it yourself?
Chemistry check/discovery or research call
I do this work because I love these conversations. Start out by setting up a free 60 minute conversation. Tell me what a bit about you; what’s on your mind and what you’re looking for. At the end of the call we can decide whether we both want to work together on one of the paid programmes below. With your permission, I may draw on themes raised in our conversation for research into the area of late career transition.
Two hour coaching sessions held every month or two months on Zoom (or face to face if you have the good fortune to live in or near Gloucestershire).
Next Act Coaching Day
A one off Coaching Day held at Barnsley House or the Royal Overseas League in London’s Mayfair. Pre-work consisting of a detailed questionnaire and psychometrics. A full day of exercises and conversations all aimed at helping you start making sense of what you want your ‘Next Act’ to look like. You leave with a clear Action Plan for how to move from ‘pre-contemplation’ into action, followed up by a 90 minute coaching call 4 – 6 weeks after the day.
Next Act Coaching programme
For some people, a one off Coaching Day is enough. For others, particularly senior leaders whose work and travel schedule makes it near impossible to plan life ‘post retirement’ the regular rhythm of Quarter Coaching Days, a full Coaching Day held every quarter, provides the time and space to do the work and reflection necessary to make sense of their Next Act.