Why choose us?

We're here to answer all your questions

If your question isn’t listed here, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you right away.

 

  • Who do you work with?

    A wide variety of private individuals and organisations.  We’ve worked with 100s of people from all walks of life, employed, not employed, entrepreneurs, graduates, mid-career changers and senior leaders.  Our organisational clients range from professional services, banking and finance, oil and gas, construction and FMCG to elite athletes.

  • Why would I need a psychologist?

    Don’t worry.  We won’t ask you to sit on a couch and tell us about your difficult childhood.

    Psychology is the science of human behaviour.  Psychologists can therefore offer new and different perspectives on how and why we get stuck.  This helps our clients understand what’s holding them back.

    Getting unstuck and finding more effective and meaningful work can be a long and complex journey.  Along the way there can be many challenges – practical and psychological.  We can help you deal with both.

    If you like the sound of this, get in touch.

  • How are you different from other coaches?

    Read about the 5 reasons to choose The Career Psychologist here.

    If you like the sound of us, get in touch to set up an informal chat.

  • How long does the career change process take?

    It depends.

    In general, our career change plans are designed to help you think differently about yourself and your career.  This takes time and effort.  We would estimate that on average each step of the 5 step career change process takes 3-4 weeks.  Our aim is to help clients feel that they truly did all the ‘due diligence’ they could possibly have made on their career decision.  In some cases, this can be very rapid.  Even a one off session can do the trick.  But we have also had clients commit to a 12 month process, which allows a slow and planned transition.

    The average is something like 3-4 months.

    If you’d like to chat further, get in touch.

  • Will I inevitably change career / job after your process?

    No.

    Many people do, but the objective is to make the best possible decision. In some cases (perhaps 30% of our clients) they choose to stay where they are.  For now.  But in general, these people make a clear plan for the future (by working on a clear transition plan) and / or they take some concrete steps to improving their job right now.  This is called job crafting.

    Career paralysis, or being ‘headstuck’, is a kind of mental limbo, a non-decision. That’s very different from consciously deciding to stay in your current work on your own terms.  Ultimately the Getting Unstuck process is not about leaving your current job, but making a conscious decision about the future.

    Get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further.

  • Can you help me move from 9-5 work to something more flexible?

    Yes, if that’s what’s right for you.

    In the Getting Unstuck process there is a specific section on generating options.  At this stage we encourage people to imagine what different combinations of jobs or projects might look like (for example, 2 days per week on an exciting freelance project, 2 days per week doing work to pay the bills and 1 day per week childcare).

    Or we explore transition moves, for example cutting down to 4 days in your current job and creating 1 day per week to work on your new business or freelance idea.

    All options are systematically evaluated and in the final step, a clear plan created to help you move forward with clarity and purpose.

    Get in touch if you want to discuss how the Getting Unstuck process could help you.

  • Do you use psychometric tests?

    Yes, where it helps – but we use them cautiously. Personality cannot capture your whole essence – you’re not a ‘type’, you’re a human.   Second, personality is contextual, not absolute: a strength in one context is a weakness in another.

    And we don’t believe in ‘matching’ people to an ideal job.  Job markets are far too complex and fast-moving. They’re based on backward-looking data, and can only cope with the major career types. Because of this, they can’t recommend new careers, nor less well-known careers or portfolio careers.  Humans are even more complex.  It’s easy to find introverted sales people and extravert librarians.   And psychometric tests have a tendency to reinforce someone’s rigid view of themselves, when what is needed is reinvention.

    So unless used wisely, psychometric tests are just as likely to keep you trapped in old ways of thinking as to open new avenues.

  • What’s the first step?

    If you feel we might help transform your career, it’s usually best to meet or speak with one of our career psychologists informally about your situation.

    If after that we both think we could work together, we’ll make a proposal (i.e. number of sessions, cost, objectives and outcomes) based around your specific requirements.

    So to take the first step, just get in touch.

  • What are your prices?

    Individuals:

    Our aim is to make the very best career coaching and psychology available at the most competitive prices.  Prices continue to vary for individual career services between psychologists, location, number of sessions booked and availability.

    We offer a free introductory session  to assess what kind of career services you need after which you will receive a detailed proposal with cost information attached.  Get in contact here to book your introductory session.

    Organisations:

    For all corporate coaching services prices are available on request – please contact us.

  • Do you work with companies and other organisations?

    Yes!

    We offer both Executive Coaching  and tailored training programmes for organisations.  Our clients include Astra Zeneca, Boston Consulting Group, Bank of America, Danske Bank, Laing O’Rourke, London Airports, HMRC, the UAE Government, Thames Water and UK Power Networks.  We also work with the third sector, offering coaching and workshops at discounted prices.

    For more detail on our services go here.

    To discuss any of our corporate services and prices please contact us.

  • Career Change

    Is Materialism Blocking Your Career Change?

    Sarah was unhappy in her current job. She didn’t seem to achieve anything meaningful through her work. She often felt frustrated and dissatisfied. She didn’t quite know what she wanted to do next but she knew that she wanted things to be different.

    She dreamed of starting a business, or enrolling in a university course.

    As her coach, I wanted to know how much flexibility she had to make some bold career moves. So I asked her how she would fund the change. She smiled and told me that she had some savings. She looked almost apologetic as she said, ‘I am really careful with money. I always have been.’

    As she spoke, my heart lifted. I knew that it was going to be so much easier for her to transition into joyful and meaningful work.

    Thrift – using resources efficiently and wisely – is one of the neglected skills of career change.

    Frugality can lead to freedom. As you get better and better at living on less, more options open up. You are no longer caught in a trap where you have to stick with a job you hate, in order to maintain a lifestyle that doesn’t serve you.

    ‘…debt will always be the abattoir of creative dreams’ Elizabeth Gilbert 

    But if frugality is such an important skill, why is it so rare?  Is it possible to change our spending habits and become thrifty?

    Why aren’t we thrifty?

    We tend to assume that humans are naturally insatiable consumers.  We see plenty of evidence for this in the demand for more and more stuff. It seems like it is inevitable.

    But this behaviour of endless consumption is actually something we have been trained to do.

    Sharon Beder, a researcher at Wollongong University, Australia writes:

    ‘The desire to consume is often portrayed as a natural human characteristic that cannot be changed. However it is clear that populations have been manipulated into being avaricious consumers. What people really want, more than the multitude of goods on offer, is status and history has shown that the determinants of status can change. If we want to live in an ecologically sustainable society, then we need to award status to those who are happy with a basic level of comfort rather than those who accumulate possessions. If, as a community, we admired wisdom above wealth and compassion and cooperation above competition, we would be well on the way to undermining the motivation to consume.’ Sharon Beder, ‘Consumerism – an Historical Perspective’, Pacific Ecologist 9, Spring 2004, pp. 42-48.

    In the 1920’s factories became more efficient and production started to increase. The natural response to this rise in production was for people to work fewer hours. An employee could have the same standard of living, working four days a week, and a three day weekend looked good! However, this isn’t how things turned out. An extensive and longstanding campaign convinced people that instead of more leisure, they needed more stuff:

    ‘the desire to consume did not come naturally, it had to be learned: “People had to move away from habits of strict thrift toward habits of ready spending.”[Clapp, 1996] ’ Beder

    Governments and corporations put a lot of effort into training us to be consumers. This wasn’t with evil intent. Businesses were acting from simple self-interest. They wanted to sell what they produced. Governments wanted the economy to grow and for that to happen, they needed people to consume more and more.

    This determined campaign to make us think that spending was a good idea, worked well, perhaps too well. It might be time to push in the opposite direction.

    What if we decided to make thrift a virtue?

    I want to suggest that we pivot and start to see thrift as a virtue. To see thrift as providing freedom and choice; even a measure of security.

    If I practice thrift, I don’t need to earn as much money. I can then choose to focus on work that I find fulfilling, even if it doesn’t pay well.  Or I can choose to spend more time with the people I love and less time working. Or I can continue to work hard for a few years, pay extra on my mortgage and save some money… and then change careers.

    If you are considering a career change, thrift can make things so much easier.

    What are the first steps in becoming more frugal?

    Become more aware and curious about your own spending

    Without even realising it, we have internalised some ideas that deeply influence our spending. Once we become mindful of this, we have more choice.

    When you are about to spend money, pause and be curious about the underlying reasons for your choice. Your mind might give you very sensible reasons for spending money but dig deeper, what is really going on for you?

    It might be:

    I deserve it!

    Other people will think I am…successful or attractive or smart or cool…

    If I don’t spend money on x …other people might think I am unsuccessful or poor or mean

    I want to feel …successful, attractive etc.…

    I am feeling sad, anxious or bored and this will make me feel better

    I don’t want my kids to miss out

    I don’t want to miss out

    I am tired and I can’t be bothered cooking

    I want to be a good Dad/Mum/Partner/Friend and this is what a good Dad/Mum/Partner/Friend does

    Take a mindful, self compassionate and deeply curious stance. If you stop and notice your thoughts, what do you discover? Once you see the programming, it has less power. You start to take control of your consumption.

    Set Yourself Some Simple Rules

    You can also support yourself in making wise choices by setting some simple rules.

    You might decide:

    • Not to buy any new clothes for a year
    • To limit take-out meals to once a month
    • To make a realistic budget, so you know how much discretionary spending you can have each week and still save money
    • To set up a regular direct debit into a savings account or to pay off a debt
    • To value time with your loved ones over spending money on your loved ones
    • To shift from consuming to making
    • To avoid shopping centres, where you know you will be tempted to buy something you don’t really need

    Take some time to consider, what rules would help you to make wiser choices in your own spending?

    In making these rules, however, don’t mistake thrift for being cheap:

    ‘Cheap people are psychologically pained from spending money, and therefore are willing to sacrifice their well-being to save a buck. Frugal people, on the other hand, take pleasure is using money wisely. They’re more likely to deploy their money to pursue meaningful goals.’ Scott Sonenshein

    You might also make some rules about your exposure to the media.

    Manage your exposure to media

    Research shows that exposure to media, leads to more materialistic values (Tim Kasser).

    If you are planning a career change, it isn’t possible to avoid media completely but you can become much more mindful and intentional about what you are exposed to.

    Some types of media tend to trigger more materialistic cravings than others: home make over shows; reality shows about the rich; Facebook posts from friends who seem to live in a perfect home and go on perfect holidays. This type of ‘entertainment’ doesn’t support thrift!

    After you watch something or read something, notice how you feel. If there is a sense of ‘I want…’; ‘I need,,,’ or ‘I am not good enough because I don’t have…’ then it may be worth avoiding those triggers.

    In addition to avoiding triggers to consume, I have also found that I need repeated support to encourage me to make frugal choices. I easily slip back into spending money on things I don’t really need. So I also subscribe to blogs that support me in becoming more frugal and living more simply:

    Be More with Less

    Becoming Minimalist

    Frugal Woods

    Our permaculture life – Morag Gamble

    Choosing Freedom

    In the end, a choice to live frugally, is a choice that moves you towards freedom.

    I am working on:

    • Becoming more mindful of the impact of cultural messages on my spending
    • Choosing to take joy in using resources efficiently and with wisdom i.e. becoming thrifty
    • Increasing what I create and decreasing what I consume.

    I hope you can join me and as a result have more flexibility and choice in your career.

  • Career Change, Getting Unstuck coaching

    Career Change Lessons from an Icy Forest Run

    After eating roughly one fifth of the world’s cheese over Christmas, I took a run in an icy Helsinki forest.

    That should fix it!