“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are”.

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It would appear that at the moment the world is full of coaches; no, not the type you travel in.  The type that enable individual’s personal and professional development. Sports coaches, Executive coaches, Life coaches… the list goes on.

One definition of coaching states “The term coaching typically refers to methods of helping others to improve, develop, learn new skills, find personal success, achieve aims and to manage life change and personal challenges. Coaching commonly addresses attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge, as well as skills, and can also focus on physical and spiritual development too”, (

If you are stuck, or just unsure, in terms of: 1. Deciding what you want to do with your career; 2. How to take your career in the direction you want it to go; it is not always feasible to generate your own solutions.
As a PhD researcher it is not always clear where you want your career to go after PhD graduation. Often people begin a PhD with no idea of the career they want subsequently. Sometimes, it helps to have a little outside guidance, not to give you solutions but to clear the path that will enable you to find the solution that is best for you.

Coaching can also be particularly useful if you are thinking about changing direction: perhaps you set out with the aim of being an academic but now you would prefer to do something else; or, perhaps you set out with the aim of being a research scientist but now you would prefer to do something else. This kind of change can be messy, scary and play on all of your insecurities.
Our career management provision is expanding to incorporate coaching. This differs from consultations which are focused on answering specific challenges; e.g. how to get a job, interview preparation etc… Coaching provision will be focused on more process questions; e.g. where do I want to go? how do I get to where I want to be…

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Martin Coffey

About Martin Coffey

Career Management Skills Developer, Researcher Development Team.

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