Career Evolution welcomes new Principal Coach to the team


We are delighted to that our Associate Jo Clare will take up the responsibilities of Principal Coach for Career Evolution this month.  Jo takes over from Kate Howsley, who has been working as our Principal Coach for the past 11 years.

We won’t be saying goodbye to Kate though. She will continue to share her wealth of knowledge and experience with some of our senior coaching clients.

Jo has also been working with Career Evolution as an Associate for some time. She is a highly qualified Executive Coach. She is also an Organisational Development and Leadership Consultant, and an experienced Facilitator.  Commented Jo: “I am looking forward to working with our clients to support them in helping their leaders and teams to achieve their full potential through coaching and development. I will be helping them to establish the culture and environment where everyone feels welcome and can fully contribute, using their strengths, skills, and experience to deliver great outcomes.”

Coaching knowledge

Jo is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and an Executive Coach (ILM Level 7). She has over 21 years’ experience working nationally and internationally in senior roles. These have been within Organisational Development, Talent Management, Change Management and Human Resources.  Jo is recognised for delivering robust strategic solutions that support leadership teams to improve performance and embed new shared culture. She has worked with organisations, teams and individuals to support the people, leadership and talent agenda, to deliver solutions to ensure growth, development and high performance to support organisational goals.

Thank you and welcome

Career Evolution Director, Sue Thomas explains: “I have been honoured to have the opportunity to work with Kate for such a long time. She has brought considerable skills to the team. We have been very lucky to have her advice and support. I am delighted she is staying with us in an Executive Coach capacity. However, I am also very excited to work with Jo. Her background will complement the skill base we have established within the team, and I am looking forward to developing Career Evolution further.”

Jo has over 750 hours of coaching and has been coaching professionally for seven years. She is a Strengthscope® Master Practioner and certified to work with a number of other psychometric tools including Myers Briggs, Facet 5 and Engage. She is trained in coaching with emotional intelligence and is a certified Thinking Partner (Time to Think).

To find out more about the Coaching or outplacement support offered at Career Evolution, visit our website.

A helping hand – Volunteers’ Week 2022

With our busy lives, it’s easy to forget about community issues like volunteering and caring for others. There’s a multitude of volunteering opportunities for people looking to contribute their time and expertise, and the contribution made by volunteers is often very underrated in the UK. There are a multitude of ways to volunteer, from offering care and companionship, to operating and helping out with charity organisations.  It takes a certain type of person to become a volunteer and it is also a two-way street, as the volunteer can often get a lot out of the process too.  Volunteers’ Week 2022 took place from 1-7 June, so I thought now was a good time to look at how volunteering can make a world of difference to someone.

Speaking from experience, I have become involved with Age UK Cheshire as a telephone friend. The opportunity arose during the pandemic, but has continued ever since. I started to be a telephone friend to a gentleman in his 80s, once the pandemic had started, as I wanted to help out and support people who may have felt isolated and cut off when the lockdowns and other restrictions hit. Many people, particularly elderly or infirm individuals, rely on regular contact and help, through meet-ups, societies and clubs, support organisations and other networks. All this was curtailed abruptly when Covid hit in March 2019.

Lending an ear

I found that my contribution has been really easy to fit in to a busy routine – I can carry out the calls wherever I have a phone signal and from anywhere in the country – but has been very satisfying too. The feedback from my ‘befriendee’, if that’s the word, has been excellent. Older people can become lonely, even if they have people dropping in on them to do transactional things, like shopping and paying bills. They often want a supportive, listening ear to talk to about things that matter, past and present, from days in the Forces doing National Service, to talking about their pets. It’s often the little things that matter – not the big picture, the everyday – and being able to communicate with someone for a simple chat has made me realise there are probably scores of people out there who don’t have the benefit of this support.

As a result of the last two years, many of us have realised the need for wide support in our communities, as councils struggle with budget cuts and amenities are stretched. Could these lessons learned be built into us becoming a more caring society in general, after the traumas of the past two years – and to helping each other more, whether professionally or personally?

Lesson learnt

Skills such as volunteering and listening reveal facets about people that formal qualifications and job experience do not. So, I always encourage clients to include broader aspects of their personality on their CVs. This can include such wider interests as volunteering and charity work, and involvement in community projects. It reveals a different skillset than more formal business experience and qualifications, and gives prospective employers a true insight into the person you really are away from the place of work. You can easily search online, to find volunteer opportunities in your area. Think about how you can help out and how you can make a difference to the people in our communities. You may find you surprise yourself as to how much you enjoy the experience – I certainly did.

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.

Knock, knock… who’s there?

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Some jobs are readily identifiable – doctors and lawyers for example – whereas other roles are more fluid and difficult to pigeonhole. If you are a sales or marketing manager for example, or involved in HR or other administrative role, you can easily transfer between a range of sectors. You may be in construction, or private health, or entertainment and leisure, and each sector is vastly different – and offers vastly different experiences. However, if your job is made redundant, you are still the same person, regardless of your job title. When your next employer comes knocking, which ‘you’ will answer the door?

Identity crisis

We think of ourselves at work as ‘I am a…’ and that tends to define us partly as a person too. This is especially noticeable when you first meet people, or in a networking situation, where first impressions matter. In these instances, a shorthand is often required to get your role across quickly and succinctly. We want to impress but we also want to accurately define what we are in terms of our career. In the workplace, some roles are easily identifiable – roles such as doctor or lawyer do what they say on the name badge. And even in those cases, there are all kinds of specialisms and subdivisions across the industries.

Opportunity knocks

Our work – in part – makes us what we are and shapes where our career path will take us. We need to think both what makes us human and also where our work strengths and weaknesses lie. Often they intersect. Unless you’re the Queen of England, anyone can switch roles, change tack and follow any given career. What is life but a chain of opportunities that you either take or you don’t?

Sometimes passing up what looks like a great opportunity does you more good in the long run, but often good opportunities can be passed up without realising it, because you’ll never know how they worked out. If you only think of yourself in your current role, in your current sector, then your career advancement may never get beyond your imagination. On the flipside, if you chop and change between sectors and roles, you may have trouble deciding what (or even who) exactly you are and what your job entails.

Split personalities

There’s also the phenomenon on the portfolio career. This is someone who has a multitude of jobs, often around the same discipline – say accounting, or writing – which they carry out concurrently. In this case, the identity crisis is even more pronounced, if one day you are doing one role, on another day another. Some kind of compartmentalisation is required, and you need to draw lines between where one role ends and another starts. Of course, it’s even more difficult to condense what you do into a single sentence, for that networking session, if it involves an array of disciplines and even sectors. It suits some people, others less so, and often depends on your motivational and organisational skills.

Career Consultants like Career Evolution can help you to define what makes you the person you are at work. Your strengths, weaknesses, skills and aptitudes. We can also demonstrate where you can identify your transitional skills, that can help you make the leap from one sector to another. Being dexterous and adaptable is all part of forging a successful career – just don’t forget who you really are in the process…

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.