I was first introduced to the benefits of career planning and coaching when I was on maternity leave with my first daughter.  Due to a number of circumstances relating to her health I was unable to return to my full-time position and needed to take time out for a few years.  When I was ready to return, I knew that I needed a more flexible solution to my career that allowed me to work on a part-time basis.  So I hired a coach to help me work through this issue.  

I loved the experience of being coached so much that I decided to train as a professional coach and made a significant investment in this to ensure that I had the right skills and qualifications to develop my career.  17 years later I now run a successful coaching business and leadership consultancy and have a very balanced and fulfilled career that works well around the other demands of my life.

Career coaching and planning is a smart way to develop your career as it gives you a sense of direction.  Instead of randomly looking at online advertisements or being at the receiving end of perhaps an inexperienced recruiter you can create a career path that keeps you motivated and on track.


Here are a number of reasons why you should start career planning.

  1. Sense of achievement - setting and achieving a goal builds confidence.  It also helps move you forward in a manageable way.
  2. Greater ownership - Career planning and in particular working with a Career Coach lets you take charge of your own destiny rather than leaving it to chance. Having a career plan enables you to remain motivated and focused. It helps you anticipate barriers and problems that may arise and what you can do to avoid the barrier or problem, solve it and move on.
  3. Sense of direction and purpose - you'll feel positive about what you're doing, and you will experience greater meaning. It will guide you to doing what you really want to do for a living, rather than just drifting from job to job aimlessly.
  4. Develop a lifelong skill - managing your career is a lifelong responsibility. The more practice you have now, the more confidence you'll have in making things happen.
  5. You can get creative and look at your skills from a different perspective - having some direction will help you identify the experiences and skills that you have.  Exploring creatively with a coach what your strengths and transferable skills are will help you plan and build on skills that might be relevant to a host of alternative jobs and careers.
  6. Know your worth and build your brand - employers look for positive, motivated people with a sense of whom they are and where they want to go. Planning will help improve your prospects, as well as your ability to market yourself.
  7. Invest in your future - whether this is working with a coach or developing a new skill.  

Amanda Widman was Head of Talent & Leadership for the BBC and has worked in recruitment and talent management for over 25 years.  She is an expert in helping others develop and manage their careers.  Amanda runs coaching programmes for rising stars, career changers and individuals that want to plan their career better and achieve more.  She is an expert in emotional intelligence and through the career coaching process helps her clients to develop their self awareness and awareness of others - often a skill required to get the job you want.  Coaching programmes are designed around your individual needs.  Take action and book a 30 minute exploratory call.