Suzanne Bourner Career Coach for the UK's over 40s

Transition from global brand marketing to 1-2-1 career coaching

My Own Story

What on earth led me to providing the UK’s over 40s with career clarity? I could easily have carried on marketing household brands such as Panasonic, HP, Alcatel-Lucent, Royal Mail, SSE, Siemens and Orange. I was updating their brands, writing brochures and press releases and researching competitor organisations and market trends. However I came to the conclusion that my clever Sales colleagues wanted to take all the credit for appealing to potential clients so they would receive their sales commission. Around the same time colleagues were voicing their concerns not knowing what was going on within the organisation.

Respecting people

In 1997, whilst I was working for HP, I saw this need for clear internal information. I decided to set up weekly management conference calls and one of the first email groups (yes, back in 1997!). Managers had content they could share and cascade to their teams.

After a short time, I realised that I preferred working where I could see for myself the difference it was making to reducing managers’ and peers’ stress levels. I started asking my colleagues what they wanted to know about company plans in order to feel clear about their own roles. They told me and I went out of my way to get answers from the most appropriate senior people.

Later, I discovered that this activity was called internal communications. I hadn’t actually known that was a thing.

Creating cultures of trust

While employed, I created anonymous intranet micro-sites, employee surveys and wrote CEOs emails and Chairman’s speeches. I stood my ground and questioned CEOs when they told me the twisted version of the facts what they wanted me to write. Truth – not lying – is extremely important to me.

This is another reason my clients say they like working with me so much. I spot insights to the real truth of the matter as to why people are lost or struggling and speak the truth, even if it’s not easy for me to say or for them to hear.

Confidential support

As I became the “one source” of Internal Communications, progressively, my colleagues shared with me their more private concerns. I gave them information and also what I now know to be coaching. I validated them. They became motivated. I inspired them. They got clarity. I helped them in practical ways too – writing difficult emails, presentations, helping them with CVs and cover letters, understanding their unique skill offerings in the world of work.

Everyone has a path

After working in internal communications I was an Employee Engagement Manager and then a People Coach. Having got to the place in my working life where I was privileged to be employed to coach, I was able to learn even more about the uniqueness of people, business and cultures. That was the last small stepping stone I needed. My whole background has been invaluable and I am so grateful for everyone who has shaped my experience!

My mission has been unchanged for decades: I want people to be proud of what they do to earn their living.

Certified Coach and Writer

A Certified Professional Coach (level 7 ILM), I have written hundreds and hundreds of CVs, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters that bring interviews fast. This toolkit needs to be accurate as well as appealing. The most ethical way for me to do it is to learn about and care about my clients so that the toolkit sounds like them and not me.

I love getting the right person’s foot through the right door. When my clients get offered roles – or start their own business – the only credit I can genuinely take is whatever the client chooses to give me. But I do allow myself to get rather excited for them.

Who I work with

I work with accomplished, proactive people over 40 in the UK who are committed to making positive changes in their professional lives and maybe even to the planet. I particularly enjoy working with demanding clients who listen and take action. They are more satisfying to work with as they get better and very often faster results.

If you are managing your career well enough at the moment, that’s brilliant. Why not bookmark this page in case you have a future career crossroads?

However, if you are ready to shape your future, why not Schedule an Appointment for a complimentary  conversation and tell me about your situation? We all need guidance and genuine support at some time or another.


Association of Coaching Motivational Maps logo for career coaching
BILD British Institute of Learning and Development
Suzanne Bourner Certified TAP Practitioner in Career Clarity CoachingThe Institute Leadership & Management logo
CMI Chartered Institute of Management Human Driven Business