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Posts from the ‘Careers’ Category

Fancy a side hustle?

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Thinking about earning some money on the side? Whatever your reason for taking out a side hustle, you are not alone! Burgeoning in the States and building here with the disruption caused by new technology enabled business models it might just be that that hobby of yours, that passion around wellbeing or your love of travel may in fact enable you to earn a bit of cash on the side. Generally the focus on a side hustle is to make some money out of doing something you love in addition to your current work or you may have come up with an idea or disruption all of your own to add a bit of variety to your life. The following article  gives you a little bit to think about.. Read more

What’s your upskilling strategy?

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If you look back over your career what have you noticed about the technological impact on how you do your job? What we have experienced over the last few decades is predicted to ramp exponentially and the new norm will be just in time learning, upskilling, flexibility and adaptability. For some of us this will hit our sweet spot for others it will create much anxiety and fear. This article is a deep dive into how organisations may go about upskilling their workforce to remain viable, productive and desirable to their staff and customers.

While focused on digital upskilling, wider thought needs to be given to how to parallel this with people’s comfort and abilities in the areas of dealing with change, resilience, creativity, and empathy/compassion. 

And finally, from a wellbeing, healthy organisation and society perspective much research has been done by Professor Richard Layard and colleagues on the huge personal costs to individuals of being made unemployed. 

Access the article here

Career conversations and motivation at work

May 7th, 2013

Heather Johnston


In my workshops and coaching a common question I get asked is how to motivate people that are either a) not motivated b) coming up to retirement c) not in the top 10-20% or considered to be the backbone of the organisation with few vertical career opportunities.

In essence, I feel that one way to tackle this challenge is through the types of conversations that managers are having with their employees on a daily basis and at key review points. While competency systems are helpful in creating focus on what a role needs,  I think managers could benefit with coaching and training on how to have a really good career conversation with their employees. Why? Because the answers to the questions they ask will lead to a greater awareness of what inspires people, what makes them want to get out of the bed in the morning and hence give both the employee and the manager more of an idea about what really motivates them. This motivation drives personal development, performance and productivity.

Through exploring the types of questions to ask, really good listening,  taking a focus on strengths and an exploration of what makes work meaningful for people both the manager and the employee can build up a picture of what an employees’ ‘ideal’ looks like. The conversations are then looking at the alignment of people’s skills with an organisation’s needs, while at the same time addressing an individual’s intrinsic motivation rather than relying on typical extrinsic motivations of pay and promotion. While status, promotion and money are important most psychological research points to people being more fulfilled and flourishing by considering what drives them so that work moves from being just a ‘job’ through to a career or even for some a vocation.

..and what about those coasting towards retirement? Boredom can cause huge problems for those that that are understimulated or underchallenged-they rust out rather than burn out. Key here is exploring new challenges for the employee focused on serving others in the organisation, creating legacy and helping them start to manage the transition on to different things. We all liked to feel needed and appreciated..

If you would like to find out more about making the most out of career conversations workshops and skills boosters for managers and employees please do give me a ring or drop me a mail.



Career Book Recommendations


Great Books that I have read around helping clients with career moves and choices. Some of the books focus on understanding your strengths and talents, others about mindset and others around process. Let me know what you think.

Click on any of the links to be taken to my public google bookshelf which will tell you a bit more about the book, any reviews and where to buy or find electronically:

How to Find Fulfilling Work
by Roman Krznaric
The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age and this inspirational book reveals how one might make it a reality. It explores the competing claims we face for money and status while doing something meaningful and in ...
It's Your Life - What Are You Going to Do with It?
by Anthony Grant
This revised edition of Coach Yourself is for anyone who wants to lead a more purposeful, more successful life. Packed full of scientifically tested psychological tips and techniques, this highly practical book will show you how to become your ...
The Pathfinder
by Nicholas Lore
No description available
A Life at Work
by Thomas Moore
A guide to finding meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction in one's professional life helps readers to overcome the obstacles and challenges that keep them from finding purpose in their chosen career.
Getting Unstuck
by Timothy Butler
You will experience psychological impasse many times in your life. During these times, you have the sensation that you’re stuck or paralyzed. You’re convinced that something must change, whether in your work or personal life. Though this feeling ...
The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People, Third Edition
by Carol Eikleberry
You don't have to stifle your creative impulses to pay the bills. For anyone who's ever been told, "Don't quit your day job," career counselor Carol Eikleberry is here to say, "Pursue your dreams!" Now in its third edition, her inspiring guide ...
If Not Now, When?
by Camilla Arnold
Practical and expert advice for anyone wanting to change careers.
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
THE BESTSELLING CLASSIC ON 'FLOW' – THE KEY TO UNLOCKING MEANING, CREATIVITY, PEAK PERFORMANCE, AND TRUE HAPPINESS Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an ...

Coaching (Executive, Management and Careers)


I have been a coach since 2000 and use a tailored mix of cognitive behavioural coaching, positive psychology, mindfulness, heartfulness (kindness and compassion) and creativity based approaches, we will work together to see how you perceive your challenges and how different perspectives can help you to overcome and/or accept them. We will then put this into a change action/intention plan with the ultimate goal of you becoming your own coach.

My approach to coaching and leadership development focuses on building on an individual’s strengths and how a leader can best bring out those strengths in themselves and others to build engagement, motivation and results. We will also think about these strengths in relation to what the organisation needs of them and how this balances with external pressures that are being brought to bear on the individual and the organisation. I like to mix up my approach, and where appropriate in helping leaders deal with change, ambiguity and complexity, we may use  awareness and acceptance approaches such as mindfulness, compassion,  the creative arts and walking and the outdoors. I have a particular interest in working with those that are going through transitions and I also work privately as a careers coach.

Want to know what some of my clients have said about working with me, what to expect? Click helping you decide

I am able to design tailored leadership development programmes that are centred around helping current and emerging leaders understand where they are in their own personal development journey and how that aligns with what the organisation and wider society needs of them. The implementation of the programme will be tailored to the needs of the organisation and can be offered as a blended solution of one to one coaching, workshops and skills boosters combined with ‘bibliotherapy’, mentoring and action learning groups.

Please click the links to find out more about the inspirations and our approach that inform mindtrip’s coaching.

Case studies

twinings I coached a number of people over a 4 year period at Twinings. Covering those in more senior roles and those that were transitioning into manager roles. Each coachee had a tailored programme based on 3 way contracting for objective setting over a number of months with often a follow up/ refresh session after an appropriate length of time. I worked with people in procurement, marketing and finance.

Heather coached me over a 2.5 year period through a career transition into a leadership role and returning to work after having my first child. Her support has been invaluable during this time. Heathers style is relaxed and informal putting you at ease straight away. She is able to navigate any topic required with the greatest of ease moving seamlessly from one learning to another providing tools and resources with the best fit for each individuals learning style.


St albans high school for girls copyI have coached members of the senior team at St Albans High School for girls. Either helping them to transition into new leadership roles and/or to help in their career progression

Thank you for all help with clarifying my priorities and future plans. I found our sessions hugely empowering.

Senior Teacher on Leadership Team