Suzanne Bourner portrait

Becoming a Career Coach

Marketing brands the best way

After graduating in Marketing in 1994, I started marketing household brands such as Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard, Alcatel-Lucent and Orange. Updating their brand image, writing copy, researching the market, dealing with PR enquiries. However, quite quickly, whilst I was busy communicating externally, attempting to appeal to potential clients, I came to the conclusion that my Sales colleagues wanted to minimise what the Marketing team was doing in order to take all the credit and get their Sales Bonuses. Around the same time, I noticed that some managers as well as employees were confused in their roles, had no idea what new plans the company had, what was changing what was staying the same, and in fact needed a reliable consistent source of truthful information.

Respecting people

In 1997, whilst I was working for one household name, I saw this need for employee certainty and took it upon myself to set up a weekly management conference call and email group (yes, in 1997!) so that managers could regularly share information with each other and cascade to their teams. Later, I discovered that what I was doing was called internal communications. I didn’t know that was a thing.

After a short time, I realised that I preferred working where I could see it made a difference and where I could ask for feedback without sales people getting in my way. It was certainly more satisfying than external communciation as I could see at close quarters the difference it was making to reducing managers’ and peers’ stress levels. I used to ask my colleagues what they wanted to know about company plans in order to feel clear about their roles. They told me and I went out of my way to get answers for them, from the most appropriate senior people.

Creating cultures of trust

This all started years ago as something I did alongside my day job in corporates. For companies, I created anonymous intranet micro-sites, employee surveys and wrote all the CEOs emails and Chairman’s speeches. I gained the wonderful reputation as being ethical, transparent and reliable. If it was communicated to employees, Suzanne Bourner had written it, therefore it was true. If the question was answered, it was with the truth. I used to question the CEOs when they told me what they wanted me to write. I refused to play politics. 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 now was officially in Internal Communications, progressively, my colleagues shared with me their more intimate, professional interests and concerns. I gave them information and did what I now see as coaching. I validated them. I motivated them. I inspired them. I helped them in practical ways too – writing difficult emails, presentations, helping them with CVs, understanding their unique skill offerings in the world of work. Understanding them as individuals.

Everyone has a path

And then in I was employed as Employee Engagement Manager and then People Coach. Having got to the place in my working life where I was privileged to be paid to look out for and coach people, I learned a lot about the uniqueness of people, business and cultures. It was the last small stepping stone I needed to tread as it led me to becoming a Career Transition Coach for the UK’s over 40s.

My background has been invaluable. My environment may have changed, in that I am no longer employed by companies to coach, inspire, motivate and care for people but:

My mission has been unchanged for decades: I want everyone to be proud of what they do to earn their living. My Career Coaching is pure, undiluted support of the individual to find what is right for them, in their current landscape. I am most alive when I have helped one more person dust off their wings.

Finding your path

It is my privilege to find out what makes each person tick, reveal their most suitable professional choices and accompany their journey at each crossroads. We can’t know if you are best suited for employment, self-employement or something else until we work together.

I have now written hundreds and hundreds of CVs, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters. These important door-opening documents need to be accurate as well as appealing.  There are many ways to write, to prepare someone for interview or to evaluate potential possible roles or new business ideas, but the best, most ethical way is to learn about and care about my clients.

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 experienced, proactive people who are committed to making positive changes in their professional lives. People choose the Career Service to suit their timeframe and needs and I offer a money back guarantee. I really like working with clients who take fast action because they are more satisfying to work with as they get better, bigger and very often, faster results.

If people are managing their career choices well enough at the moment, they can bookmark this page for future reference, just in case.

However, if you are ready to re-shape your future, why not Schedule Appointment for a complimentary 20 minute conversation and tell me about your situation? We all need guidance and genuine support at some time or another. Read some client stories here.

mm-accredited-lp-badge Suzanne Bourner Certified TAP Practitioner BILD British Institute of Learning and Development - Human Driven Business Association for Coaching logo CMI Chartered Institute of Management Human Driven Business The Institute Leadership & Management logo