Kick-starting your professional development

Jan Shine

Lead Consultant, AUA Consulting

Jan is an experienced  trainer, manager, coach and HR specialist with a background in higher education. She works throughout the UK providing bespoke workshops and programmes, coaching and organisational development consultancy.  Jan is part of our coaching team within AUA Consulting.

As the end of the year approaches and a new year is just around the corner, this is often a time for reflection.  In HE we continue to be primarily focused on the impact of Covid on our students and institutions.  We have been so focused on firefighting over the last two years that our own personal and professional development has perhaps been put on hold along with other aspects of our life impacted by the pandemic?   What better time to pause and consider the contribution coaching could make to re-igniting our commitment to continuous professional development? 

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as:
‘Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential’. 

In my coaching role, I have noticed an increase in the number of colleagues considering a career move in 2022.  This is borne out by a recent estimate that 1 in 5 employees are thinking about leaving their current role.  Coaching can support you throughout the various stages of making a career move.  In the early stages of this process coaching can enable you to recognise and acknowledge your talents, personal and professional growth, and achievements to date.   It can help you to reflect on and process challenging experiences and to draw out learning that has helped you develop resilience and personal growth.  It can help you to increase your confidence and enhance your readiness for applying for roles and for engaging with selection processes.  Creating your vision for your next role within a supportive coaching environment can bring into focus what is important to you and what is ‘non-negotiable’ in terms of your values and aspirations.   There is evidence that it can be more effective to articulate and capture this vision than for it to remain abstract and held within your thoughts.  Once you have captured your vision it will enable you to make more informed decisions when opportunities arise, by asking “will this take me closer to my vision or will this detract from it?” 

What better time to pause and consider the contribution coaching could make to re-igniting our commitment to continuous professional development? 

As well as career moves, coaching can support your growth and development in many aspects of your professional life.  The benefits of coaching are well researched and include:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved work performance
  • Improved relationships
  • More effective communication skills

Whilst learning and development events can enable you to learn new strategies which may improve confidence in the short-term, sustained increase in confidence requires changes to internal thought processes.  The coaching relationship can offer a safe place for reflective practice about your experiences in the workplace and deeper exploration of belief systems that underpin your thought processes.  It empowers you to find your own solutions and reach your full potential.

There may be opportunities within your own institution for coaching or someone in your network may recommend a coach they have worked with.  At AUA Consulting we have a team of qualified coaches who have extensive knowledge and experience of the HE sector and understand how the AUA’s CPD framework can support your personal and professional development and your career aspirations.  Contact us to find out more.

AUA Consulting is a consulting practice ‘of the sector for the sector’. AUA Consultants are practitioners in higher education administration and management with a depth of experience and professional expertise. AUA Consulting also offers a team of qualified coaches with expertise in personal, professional and career development. To find out how AUA Consulting can help you and your team, email Read more at AUA Consulting.