Top 5 tips for career coaching yourself

One of the topics I’m most frequently consulted on is career coaching.

Career progression is more important now than ever, as is the need for a work/life balance and as a coach, I’m continually working with my client’s to ensure that career excellence is achieved with pleasure and without the need for aggressive competition.

If you’re serious about your career, then my number one piece of advice is to get yourself an experienced coach. Hands down with a coach on your side, career progression will be easy.

However, there are some things you can do for yourself easily, which will have a big impact on your career, without the need to consult a coach.

Top 5 tips for 'career coaching yourself'

I’ve come up with my top five tips for career coaching yourself and I would like to share them with you now. In no particular order they are the following:


Without fail, I advise every single one of my career coaching clients to find a mentor. This is a person in your industry, who has more experience than you and probably that person you aspire to be professionally. Identify one and ask them to be your mentor.

Not everyone will say yes and that’s fine. If your first choice says no, move onto number two. Don’t let a “no” put you off.

The mentor's role is to meet with you every quarter (or so) and brainstorm your career: the good and the bad and come up with a progression plan and solutions.

TIP: There is normally a good mentor inside your company, but it can also be someone outside the company.


On a Friday afternoon, take 30 minutes (ish) to plan your work week the following week. Remember nobody succeeds in their career by being mediocre, you need to shine. Identify that one thing that is going to earn you rock star status and make sure you allocate sufficient, undisturbed time the following week to attack it.

TIP: Do your rock star work when your energy levels are at your highest.


This is the number one place in the world for recruiters and head-hunters to find candidates and for networking opportunities to be created.

I stress the number one way.

So, regardless of whether you’re looking for a new job or not, it’s absolutely vital that you ensure your Linked In profile is completed to a high standard, that you regularly update it and that you have a professional photograph of yourself.

It’s a networking network with over 500 million people so ignore it at your peril.

TIP: Listen to the podcast I did (show 38) with Victoria Mclean of City CV on how to fill in your LinkedIn profile for expert advice. 


If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that actively promotes from within and proactively encourages career progression, then fab. Ensure that you’re working closely with the in-house training team to continually grow and learn.

But if you don’t work for a company like this (most don’t) then don’t sit back and wait for career growth opportunities to fall into your lap, make them happen yourself.


Training courses, additional qualifications, understand internal promotional pathways, networking and looking for external opportunities.

TIP: Try to move jobs every five years or so. Generally, it ensures quicker career progression and higher salary leaps.

Lunch hour

I’m frequently shocked by the number of clients, who when I start coaching them, boast about the fact that they work long hours and never take a lunch break.

I quickly make them see the error of their ways.

I can’t stress enough that both as a coach and former manager of many people, that someone who has to work long hours and through lunch is (contrary to popular opinion) not a good employee; in fact, they are the total opposite.

They are somebody who is silently screaming they are not in control and can’t manage their workload. It’s not cool.

So, trust me, take frequent breaks and at the very least take your lunch hour and get away from your desk to refresh your mind and body.

TIP: The time when you feel most frazzled and the need to “work through” is the time you need to step away from your desk and go for a nice long walk to revive you.

I hope this has helped you, this is just an example of five small things you can do to improve your career progression instantly by yourself.


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