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Personal Development Coach

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Caroline S

00:00:02 My name’s Caroline S and I work as a personal development coach specialising in careers.  I work mainly with charities and in voluntary sector mainly with people who are unemployed for various reasons and want to go back into work so they’re considering what they want to do and quite often when people have had a break from work they don’t have much confidence so that’s where the personal development side comes into it as well so building confidence and helping people decide what they want to do next.

00:00:33 Did I like school?  It was ok, I think I quite enjoyed learning up until about 14 and then I was interested in lots of other things that didn’t really have anything to do with being at school.  I got a few O Levels and then I started doing A Levels but actually that wasn’t really, for me at that time that wasn’t really in my interest.  I didn’t finish my A Levels and I went off to do other things.  When I left school I think when I stopped doing my A Levels I worked in bars and I worked in cafes and I worked in restaurants and then when I was about 20 I got bored and I decided to go to Tokyo.  So, I went to, I was abroad about for three years.

00:01:17 Towards the end of that I kind of thought, you know, I need to decide what I’m going to do with my life, you know.  I’d always been at school, I’d always enjoyed art so I came back and I decided I would go to art college so I went and did an arts degree which was fine.  I enjoyed that except in my second year I got pregnant.  So, I left in my second year and took a year out and had a baby and looked after her for a year and then in the third year I went back to art college and I finished my degree.

00:01:49 Well, I wasn’t quite sure what to do because suddenly art didn’t seem like such a good idea when you’ve got a child because you can’t really, it’s, I mean, people do make money out of artistic pursuits but it didn’t seem like it was going to lead to a particular job.  I was working in the community project which was very much about helping disadvantaged people.  I had a feeling that it wasn’t, that I didn’t agree with the way things were done but at that time, I suppose I didn’t really have an academic education.  I didn’t know how to, I suppose, argue about it, really.  So, I decided I would go and do a Masters degree in sociology so I moved to London and I did a Masters degree in sociology.

00:02:29 I managed to finish my Masters degree as well, which, you know, there were times when I…it was a bit tricky. And I was really pleased that I did. It was really, it was really interesting. I worked for a couple of different charities, single parent charities and a community charity in an area of Bristol.

00:02:51 I was still thinking, ‘I don’t feel that this is actually the right…there must be a better way of doing this, because from what I’m seeing and what I’m involved in, it’s not actually having any real impact or really helping people. I quite like the idea of how it would be to use coaching, not in business but to use coaching to help people change their lives and organise their lives in a different way so that they can move forward.

00:03:18 So I found out about what coaching was and how you trained and I eventually left my salaried job and became freelance which was partly because I really wanted to do coaching and also partly because I think there’s, there is a part of my personality that finds it hard to work within an organisation and to…especially a hierarchical organisation where people are telling me what to do. I prefer to work in a kind of more equal way and to work with people.

00:03:51 For me, I suppose having a career isn’t like you work out what you want to do and that’s the end of it. For me it’s like a constant process of developing your career and changing what you do slightly and changing your interests. So probably for the next few years I’ll carry on doing what I do. Maybe when my daughter gets older and she leaves home, then I might decide to do something completely different and have a career change, which would be great. So I don’t know yet. Who knows? We’ll see.


Caroline S is a Personal Development Coach. Keen to leave school she did not complete her A levels, instead opting for various bar and restaurant jobs before moving to Tokyo. Eventually she decided to pursue an art degree, followed by an Masters in Sociology. This lead to an interest in coaching and helping people to change their lives.

More information about Vocational and industrial trainers and instructors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

46%  male 
54%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Vocational and industrial trainers provide instruction in manual, manipulative and other vocational skills and advise on, plan and organise vocational instruction within industrial, commercial and other establishments.
No formal educational qualifications are required for entry, although most entrants have qualified in some other area of work and will require a Certificate in Training Practice. Professional qualifications are available from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. NVQs/SVQs in Training and Development are available at Levels 3, 4 and 5.
  • Assesses training requirements and prepares lectures, demonstrations and study aids;
  • Supervises trainee development, assists trainees with difficulties and prepares regular progress reports on each trainee for management;
  • Arranges work experience and instructional visits for trainees;
  • Plans curriculum and rota of staff duties and updates or amends them in light of developments;
  • Advises on training programmes and discusses progress or problems with staff and trainees;
  • Devises general and specialised training courses in response to particular needs.
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