When I googled coaching this was one of the pictures on offer, and actually I like it a lot. I like the idea of the orange fish coaching all the green ones, perhaps they are going to be doing the equivalent of the fish Olympics! Any way it is not that kind of coaching that I am half way through learning but the type that you have in relation to your job. This is a course which I have organised for our local HR departments, as they are at the front line when it comes to helping NHS staff who face the need to make changes to what they do and who may be made redundant. Redundancy is still on the cards, though I suspect will be less of an option than it was a few months ago. Now the emphasis is on saving money and on redesigning services to better meet the needs of the future. This will mean developing a more acute business sense and the skills that go with it.
I decided to gatecrash HR’s party on this and took a couple of other ex clinicians with us, because I think we are also well placed to help people with re-evaluating their careers and reviewing their skills. When I was working as a nurse, I was unaware of my potential skills in other areas of the NHS, but actually I had plenty of them, it is only over the last few years though that I have had the chance to develop them. It is great if as a nurse you want to remain at the bedside, but if you don’t or can’t (we have some nurses who have back problems severe enough to end their careers in the near future) then we need to keep these people in the health economy. Like it or not there are other jobs that need to be done outside of the bedside and I for one would rather be using the skills of those who know the system for those roles.
One thing my Masters course is teaching me, is the importance of self awareness, as I see it, if you don’t know yourself and your skills then how will you promote them and sell them to others. To a certain extent, career coaching is about helping people to do just this. It is more than preparing a CV and going for an interview, but is about looking at all of the evidence and working out as much as you can, where your competencies and skills lie and then making sure that you apply for the right job, or indeed develop yourself in the right way within the same one. This is interesting work, and something I am already dabbling in, hopefully now I will get the opportunity to develop my abilities in this way pretty soon.