I didn’t know what to expect from coaching
I’d been in and out of low paid jobs and I really wasn’t happy. I was so worried about money. One manager I had was a bit of a bully. After that, I was really discouraged and I felt fearful going into work again. Job hunting was horrible. I was competing with people who had loads of experience.
I did really like school but I had dyslexia which I was unaware of at the time. That made it hard. I suffered with anxiety a lot and low confidence so I didn’t do as well as I would have liked to.
You know how difficult it is going out of your comfort zone? I needed help with that. Low confidence had made me reluctant to push myself to find a job. That’s why I decided to go for coaching with Work It Out by Young Women's Trust.
I had my first conversation with my coach, Nicky, over text because I felt more comfortable. Then it eased me in to having coaching sessions over the phone. The main problem was that I didn’t really believe in myself, so Nicky introduced me to a more positive way of thinking. She’d ask me, “if you’re feeling happy, how do you behave? What does ‘happy’ look like for you?” She made me recognise my behaviour so I could repeat it and figure out what makes me feel positive.
One technique she taught me was visualisation. I started to imagine myself in certain situations and think about how I could stay positive. She helped me to remember what I’ve achieved so far, and think about my future.
One visualisation idea Nicky suggested was to make a ‘vision board’. You put up pictures or phrases on it of what you’ve achieved or want to achieve and put it somewhere you can see every day. Mine’s up in my bedroom. The more you see something the more likely you are to go for it and achieve it.
I’ve put the top five things I’m proud of on there to remind me to believe in myself:
- Coming out of my comfort zone and showing courage
- Really growing in confidence professionally and personally
- Trying new things, working hard and being open
- More confidence in my ability
- A clearer idea of a career path and what’s possible for me.
Nicky helped me build resilience so that, when I faced challenging moments, I knew I could cope. Believing that I could deal with difficult situations made it easier for me to be bold and go out and try and find work.
Now I have a job so I’ve got fewer worries. Work is never going to be perfect every day – there are days when you get stressed and you have to deal with loads of problems – but that’s fine. I feel like I can deal with that now. Instead of Nicky telling me, ‘you should do this, you should do that’, she listened and helped me work out what’s best for me. That’s really helped me to learn how to rely on myself and solve my own problems.
I have a much better life now. I’m working with really nice colleagues as a receptionist and I’ve got a clearer career path. I believe in myself a lot more than I did. I’ve got more confidence and focus. I’m just a lot happier. I’m back at college so I’m improving my education. That’s really important to me. I want to retake my English GCSE because I know I can do better.
I’m also a singer and I’ve started doing open mic nights. If I can get myself known I might even consider making money out of it on the side. Everything feels more achievable now I’ve got a positive way of thinking. Who knows what will happen in the future, you’ve just got to go out and try it and if nothing happens – well at least you tried.
Find out more about Work It Out Coaching, our free service for women aged 16-30, by clicking here