00100lrPORTRAIT_00100_BURST2020062013270
ABOUT ME

I’m Jess, an ICF-accredited coach with a diploma in Transformational Coaching from the Animas Centre for Coaching, formalising my years of coaching experience in the workplace. My accreditation from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) means that I meet their high standards and ethical guidelines.  I work with clients privately, and as an Associate Coach for the Civil Service (via EY) and BetterUp.

As well as being a coach I am also an experienced Project Director and change leader. My coaching practice benefits from powerful synergies as a result of my wider experience. And having a portfolio career means I’m “practicing what I preach” (that’s an idiom, I promise there’s no preaching!). I have led award-winning teams and organisational change projects within a range of sectors, including the Civil Service, Higher and Further Education, Financial Services and Logistics sectors. I started as a graduate trainee and have worked my way up to senior leadership roles; I’ve worked in the public sector, private sector and the charity sector; I’ve been a permanent employee, a contractor, a management consultant and now also a freelancer.

 

There have been some great highlights along the way (in particular five amazing years working to deliver the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and receiving the Order of Officer of the British Empire (OBE) from HM Queen as a result).

But there have also been some struggles and frustration – particularly as I moved into middle and senior leadership. I know how it feels to work for organisations that I really believe in and care about because of the great things that they can do for their customers – and yet at the same time feel disillusioned and disappointed because we weren’t able to have the full impact that might have been possible. I’ve been frustrated by organisational politics and inconsistent leadership, and as a result had to work twice as hard to role model the leadership my own teams deserved. I’ve experienced the feelings of being an ‘imposter’ and out of my depth, when it wasn’t really the case. I've returned to work after maternity leave, not knowing quite what I wanted to do nor whether I was still capable of doing it. I’ve had to learn how to use ‘soft power’ in the absence of formal authority,  how to build a coalition of support when you feel you're on your own, how to deal with ‘difficult’ bosses and team-mates. My work-life balance has been out of kilter at times, and I’ve narrowly escaped burnout more than once.

These experiences help me so much in my coaching. Not because they mean I can provide answers for clients in similar situations: coaching is non-advisory, and I truly believe that my clients already have the best possible answers within themselves - they just need a little help accessing those answers. My experiences help me to pose just the right question, at just the right time, in my coaching conversations.

Outside of work, I am a mum to a full-of-energy son, a wife to a slightly-more-tired-but still-lovely husband, a big sister, a daughter, an auntie and a friend.

I love to learn, and have recently completed an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at the University of East London. This included a research project into people's experiences of meaningful work and work-related stress.

Outside of work, I love travelling, holidays and daytrips; seeing family and friends; cooking and eating out; yoga and running; and going to stand-up comedy, music gigs and festivals.

IMG_1013-02_edited.jpg