The Horse’s Mouth
Jessica helped with a range of things. A great example is how to ask for feedback without sounding insecure. Jessica helped by asking good questions, helping me to be specific in my answers and offering suggestions when I asked for them.The important thing I took out of the sessions was realising that resilience means I knew what to do next when things didn’t work out.
I was cautious before starting coaching about it being too ‘hippy’ or verging on counselling which I just didn’t want at this time. Although I recognise there are emotions involved, I wanted to focus on professionalism. I felt Jessica respected this and kept the conversation very much focused on career, work life and all that encompasses. I highly recommend working with Jessica, it has been a brilliant experience.
Well, after some delays as they rescoped the role and I basically gave up on it, I ended up going for interview a couple of weeks ago, and have now accepted an offer to be…. XXXXX …..this feels like a great move. The amazing bit about it all is that they have agreed to me keeping my current working pattern and working 20 hours a week!
It is a very male financial services organisation so I hadn’t expected this flexibility from them, and your advice has been invaluable as I have no doubt that had I mentioned it to the recruiter at the outset they would not have considered me. However, at the end of what felt to be a very positive interview with the HR Director and the Head of HR Operations I snuck flexible working in as my final question. They looked taken aback and exchanged slightly strange looks before saying yes simultaneously. They explained it is a business where there has not been much of a flexible working agenda and there are very few part time employees, however it is something they recognise that needs to change and so they felt it was right that HR led the way. It feels a bit daunting to be a trailblazer, but shows all kinds of things are possible if people really want you!
So I wanted to say a huge thank you, as were it not for our conversation I can’t imagine I would have managed to negotiate a move to such an exciting role on a part time basis. Thank you thank you!! Now I just need to handle a polite resignation next week and then start to plan how to make an impact in my role, which is just the kind of challenge I need for the new year.
I was stuck in a mindset that my children would suffer if I were more engaged in work, mainly through conditioning from family members. As my husband has a very demanding job (academic scientist) and commutes to London on a three-hour round trip, I felt trapped in the main carer role working part-time in a boring job.
Over the last few months I have applied for three science-related roles and whilst they were not all at the level that I was working at before, they would be a step in the right direction and much more interesting (and better paid!) than my current role. I was interviewed for all three and I have just been verbally offered the third of these: a Research Strategy post at the University of Cambridge. It is a one-year contract, but that does not bother me in my new assertive way! Thanks to my new-found confidence that I could manage a more demanding role and that they would be lucky to have me, I have negotiated for a three-day week in order to spend time with my children, the upper end of the pay scale and a scientific remit that I think will be incredibly interesting. It just shows what you can get if you ask for what you really want!
It will be a very interesting role and I can’t wait to receive the written offer and resign from my current post. So, thank you for your help. I think that it is wonderful that you give up your time to do these workshops for those of us who do not have the opportunity corporately and who would be unlikely to spend hundreds of pounds from the family budget on private coaching. I will recommend you to every woman I know who has small children!
Rebecca, maternity comeback workshop participant, 2016
J.Jones, COO and MBA student, January 2016
“I have worked with Jessica a couple of times in the last year and have found her support extremely valuable in two very different circumstances. The rst time round she worked with me understand my strengths and weaknesses, and helped me put in place a development plan for my career. The second time I had already taken the leap to start my own business, and found the coaching with Jessica instrumental for de ning my strategy and getting into the right mindset to succeed in building a business from scratch. Her coaching sessions are very pleasant and create a safe place to speak my mind, which gave me incredible clarity and a renewed sense of enthusiasm and excitement for the future. I recommend coaching with Jessica for anyone who is at a cross-roads and needs help making important career decisions.”
A. Berridge, August 2015.
“Coaching with Jessica has had a huge impact on my personal and professional life. I got in touch with her on the recommendation of a friend and colleague when I was at a crossroads and did not trust my ability to make the right decision. I was unhappy at work, had lost my self-confidence, and was unsure whether to change company, change role, stick it out, or pursue something else entirely. Over the course of 3 coaching sessions, Jessica coached me gently to navigate around the issues using a combination of techniques. She helped me deal with a range of subjects ranging from making the right decisions, managing emotions, fear of the unknown, having difficult conversations, playing to my strengths more, and gave me various cognitive coping methods to help me be more effective. In less than 2 months, the effects have been remarkable; my commitment to my career and company are renewed, my whole outlook has gone from negative to positive, my relationships with friends and colleagues are better, I’m getting better results out of my team, and I’ve even started to fulfifil a secret ambition to write a book. I have already recommended Jessica to four colleagues and friends and would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone who is at a crossroads or has lost confidence in their abilities.”
Nicky, manager level at IT services company, July 2015.
“Jessica is really a fantastic coach and so easy to relate to, my coaching sessions have given me a huge boost in confidence. I feel very energised and in Jessica’s own words ‘very upbeat’ about the next stage of my career. I contacted Jessica a few weeks before I was due to start a new role after being out of the market for nearly 2 years. I started off by doing the Realise2 questionnaire which was a great tool in terms of reminding me of my strengths and also identifying my weaknesses. In our discussions Jessica and I looked at how I could use my strengths to help me build the professional success I am aiming for and also considered whether my weaknesses relevant or not in terms of the career direction I am looking to take.”
Danny S, Returning to work in finance, September 2014
Claire Gubian, Head of Mobile and Retail, PayPal CEMEA – April 2014
I’d been sceptical about coaching, but a late night Facebook procrastination session led me to entering an auction to win a 75-min session with Jessica Chivers and, amazingly, I won! Jessica was the opposite of what I had envisaged. She has a down-to-earth, evidence-based, and intelligent approach. She gave me the chance to work out what my key problems were with a pre-session questionnaire, which started a process of reflection that had unexpected results. In the session, Jessica annulled years of mother-induced pent-up guilt about leaving my child after only a few minutes of anecdotes and data.
I took away a lot of knowledge, developed a new plan that has worked, and use a couple of her suggested strategies regularly to keep my self-esteem up when inevitable toddler/work-induced tiredness strikes.
I love the new balance that I have to my life now – stress can still creep in but I recognise the signs earlier and put into place some of the tricks I learned in the session. I’ve had so many comments since about how much more relaxed I seem, and my husband and I both feel that every aspect of life has benefited as a result. I would not have believed how much could be achieved in a single coaching session – it made a believer out of a cynic.
Dr M, PhD student, business owner and mum, January 2013.
About Jessica Chivers
I am a coaching psychologist with 17 years of coaching experience and my approach can be summed up in four words: strengths, solutions-focused, practical. This means paying attention to what’s already working, a coachee’s strengths and what he or she finds energising, then building from there. As a coaching psychologist I take an evidence-based approach to the way I work and often share relevant practical insights from the research literature with my coachees.