Career coaching

Career coaching sessions give you an opportunity to talk through your career dilemmas with an impartial, trained coach.

Career coaching is primarily provided for research staff on Pathway Two, which gives them an opportunity to review their career plans and build on their skills, and self-awareness. It is generally not available to Professional Services Staff as the service is funded to support researchers but if coaches have availability they may be able to offer sessions occasionally.

All of our coaches work within the University and therefore bring an awareness of HE pressures. However coaches offer impartiality: we are not invested in the decisions you make, and do not have any pre-existing ideas about what course of action is best for you. Our clients report back that this impartiality allows them to find their own solutions.

Some staff use our service to discuss progressing within UoB, exploring ways to help them achieve their goals. Others use our service to explore their uncertainty with the University, to evaluate whether this is the right environment for them and to generate ideas for alternatives.

How does coaching work?

The process is different to one many people experience at school. It is not career advice: we do not tell you what career we think is right for you. Rather, we work with you to help you reflect on your motivations, your values, what you really enjoy. We invite you to pause, take stock and seek the information you need to make good decisions. For many people, this can be the first time they feel they have really given this level of attention to their career decisions.

Is career coaching for me?

If you are thinking or feeling any of the following, then career coaching may help:

  • I’ve decided my current job isn’t for me and I don’t know what to do
  • What are my transferable skills?
  • How do I find alternative careers?
  • I don’t know what really matters to me
  • I’m feeling very muddled about what my next steps are
  • I’ve never really stopped and chosen my career
  • I’d like some help with preparing for interview

People who use the service report feeling an increase in their confidence, their clarity and their motivation to make changes.

How many sessions will I have?

We offer up to 3.5 hours of career coaching. Once your first session is booked we will send you exercises that people find helpful to complete ahead of the coaching.


Eligibility and booking

Research staff who are on Pathway Two

Some academics from other pathways and professional services staff when coaches have availability. Contact us if you have any queries.

If you have would like to enquire about booking or eligibility, please contact


If you come for career coaching, you refer yourself and the sessions are confidential. Some clients like to inform their line managers as they find it useful to discuss some of the outcomes with their managers as part of their career development. Others decide not to discuss the coaching with their managers.

Does it cost anything?

There is no charge for the internal service.

Do I need my manager's permission?

You do not need permission from your line manager to ask for career coaching. However, as sessions are held in working hours, you may wish to do so at your discretion. Usually this is not a problem as the service is recognised as an effective developmental activity, fully supported by the University.

The coaching helped me to think through my career objectives and behaviour at work much more clearly and restored a sense of personal agency.

Research staff client

Useful links for academic staff:

Having a completely impartial person listen and comment on what I said was very helpful. Others who have given me advice already have preconceptions about what I am like or what job I should like, having someone with no prior knowledge was refreshing.

Professional services client

Useful links for professional services staff: