From a Dietician to a Life Coach
A client recently contacted us to discuss their feelings about their career. Having spent many years as a dietician employed by the NHS, she was very confused about her future.
Career Advisor’s CasebookIt was clear that the client enjoyed some elements of her job and was especially skilled at putting people at their ease. However, she was growing increasingly concerned about how little impact her work was having and feeling frustrated at the lack of progress possible in her role. Although she was not really sure about what new direction she wanted her career to take, she was clear about some details.
The Key IssuesFirst, she was committed to utilising her experience as a dietician, rather than retraining in a totally unrelated field, as she felt she had invested a lot of time and effort into becoming an expert in diet and nutrition. Second, she was keen to stay in a people-focused role, as she felt this was an area of her job in which she excelled and felt fulfilled.
The third issue was more of a practical consideration. Having worked for the NHS since starting her career around 15 years ago, our client had a great final salary scheme in place. Very few jobs offer this any more, so it really is a golden opportunity for a secure financial future when ‘jobs for life’ don’t really exist.
However, it was this very fact that was seeming to suck all the air and positivity out of her, as she felt like she was wasting her happiness for the next 20 or so years for the sake of a pension. While this is certainly something to be taken into consideration, there are other ways to save for your retirement and, ultimately, if you change career and become Self-Employed, there is no limit to the money you can earn.
This fact offered some comfort to our client and she immediately felt freed up from the pressure of maintaining her job for the sake of the pension. She told us, “I will have to make a success of my next career so that I earn more than the pension!”
The First ConsultationOur first career consultation focused on the aspects of her job that she enjoyed, with plenty of time to talk around her problems at work. It was clear that she was unhappy with the ever-decreasing autonomy in her role and the shrinking time she was allowed with patients. She missed the long appointments she used to offer, where she really felt she was making a difference to the patient’s long-term future.
She continued to enjoy the interaction with patients and being able to make a difference to people, so it was clear that her new direction needed to utilise this Skill.
Having talked at some length about possible career options that would suit her skills and background, such as a Fitness Coach, a Lecturer or a support worker, we started to talk about the idea of becoming a Life Coach. As a life coach provides a very important emotional support to their clients, it would fulfil this aspect of her requirements. She was also excited about the idea of being able to offer nutritional advice as her USP (Unique Selling Point), bringing an holistic approach to her potential life coach practice.