Deborah Williams* trained as a solicitor with a law firm in the City of London. Following redundancy in 2003 she consulted CareerBalance, and subsequently moved to a new job as a senior editor for a legal publisher. After eight years in the publishing industry Deborah decided the time was right to follow a career path she had initially considered – that of a primary school teacher. Having her own child re-awakened this interest and Deborah applied for courses to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. She arranged to see her CareerBalance consultant again to provide her with coaching for an interview she was about to have with the University of Roehampton. She was successful at the interview and is now halfway through an 18-month PGCE course so that she can become a primary school teacher.

What major issue did you want to tackle?

I’d spent eight years in publishing so I’d been out of the job market for some time. I felt I needed help with my interview technique and with preparing a CV that would make me attractive to employers. I’d been in touch with Simon Broomer at CareerBalance when making previous career moves and felt he would be the right person to advise me about changing my career and give me guidance on the new direction I was considering. Because this was a potentially big change, I also wanted help with my interview technique, and to build my confidence prior to interview.

How did CareerBalance help you move forward?

When I originally completed a career planning and job search programme with Simon in 2005, he helped me to pinpoint what I wanted to do next through a series of questionnaires. I think he knows and understands me quite well. He is very practical and full of ideas. This time he helped me with my interview technique, making me aware of the kind of questions I might be asked, and how to answer them without getting flustered. He also gave me some very encouraging feedback on a presentation I had thoroughly prepared and, after listening to Simon, I felt confident that it would go well at my interview for the teacher training course. It was at the University of Roehampton, which is a leading institution for teacher training. Simon also helped me to highlight my transferable skills and attributes which were most relevant for a career in teaching.

What made you go back to CareerBalance?

It’s the passion and the understanding of the people there. I think that rubbed off on me. I felt energised to follow my new career path as a result of my discussions with my consultant. I think he understands that there’s much more to a career than the financial rewards.

How might things have turned out differently without the help of CareerBalance?

Simon gave me the help I needed at the right time. Having been in law for ten years and publishing for eight, it was really helpful to talk to him about the challenges of moving into teaching. His expertise in career change was invaluable.

How is your new job going?

I wanted a career that I could put my whole self into, and teaching is certainly that. I feel that I’m now on a long journey that will never end. I know there’s still a lot for me to learn, but I’m willing to put in the effort to have the career that I really want.

Would you recommend CareerBalance or go back in the future?

I’ll certainly keep CareerBalance informed of how my new career is progressing, and I’ll not hesitate to contact them again if I require their guidance.

Deborah Williams* had a CareerBalance CV and interview coaching programme *Not her actual name

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