St James’s and The Abbey, 1998 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Alice Stapleton

Prior to becoming a Career Coach, I studied Psychology and Criminology at degree level, moving on to train and work as a Probation Officer helping to rehabilitate offenders. I’ve always been fascinated by people, and why we behave the way we do. It felt incredibly rewarding to help offenders change and cease their criminal behaviour. However, I decided, fairly soon after qualifying, that I didn’t want to do that job forever. I was quite young at the time, and the role was quite stressful because of its high workload. Government cuts meant that you had very little time to help those most in need. 

When exploring alternative career options, I found that coaching matched my natural strengths, people skills, and previous training in how to motivate people to change. I therefore retrained as a Career Coach by completing a Masters in Coaching and Mentoring Practice.

Eight years on, I am now a self-employed Career Change Coach, working one-to-one with individuals in their 20s and 30s who want to change career but don’t know what they want to do instead. I help clients identify what careers would suit them best, and what role would give them purpose, fulfilment, and enjoyment. I hate the thought of people feeling stuck in a job they hate; life is far too short for that! I feel very privileged to be part of their journey, as they move into something they are truly passionate about.

It’s hard starting your own business but the flexibility, autonomy, and lack of office politics is brilliant. Because of my decision to specialise in coaching young professionals, I’ve found that what I do is very appealing to the media. As a result, being a coach has unexpectedly opened me up to some fantastic press opportunities for well-known magazines, newspapers, radio, and TV. It’s a great job for anyone that likes to listen and talk all day!

What does success look like?

Success to me is when someone feels utterly content in their life and work. They are truly happy with what they have, and wish for very little more.

What is your best piece of advice?

Whatever you do, don’t just take the first job you’re offered after you leave education, unless it’s something you really want to do. It’s very easy to get stuck there for years after. Give your career a good deal of thought before you make your first move.

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