How many Career Strategy sessions will I need?

Most of my Career Strategy clients have a single 60-minute session with me. At the end of this session, they have a clear picture of their current situation and concrete steps to take to start working towards their goals. After this, many clients do opt to continue to work with me towards their career goals, often in my Advanced Interview or Insight Premium Coaching programs.

I’m a student. When is the best time to see you about my career direction?

Whilst it’s never too early to start thinking about your career, you will get the most value from a Specialty Selection session with me once you’ve had some exposure to a range of clinical medicine. The ideal time is towards the end of the second last year of your course. At this stage, you have some experience, but you also have time to tailor things in final year to allow you to narrow down your choices and to do things that will help position you well for training e.g. some research or an elective in your area of choice.

Do I need to have some idea of what I want to do before I come to you for a Specialty Selection session?

Absolutely not. Many of my clients come to me with only a very vague idea of the direction they’d like to go, and some have no idea at all. That’s exactly what I’m here for – to get you thinking about yourself and all the options and help you work out the best fit for you.

Can you give me information on specific training programs or is it just general advice?

Every Specialty Selection client receives specific information about the specialty area(s) they are interested in. I’ve developed information packages on all the specialties, and these include “insider” information from current specialists and trainees about the realities of training and working in that area. In over 30 years in the system, I also have a very wide range of contacts across all specialty areas so if there’s something I don’t know, I know how to find out.

Why do you recommend a minimum of 2 sessions for Advanced Interview Coaching?

My focus in Advanced Interview Coaching is on ensuring you have a strong foundation for your interview preparation. This involves looking at your key strengths, being clear about the selection criteria and making sure you can demonstrate that you meet these, having a structure for your answers and strategies for dealing with nerves. We then move on to answering typical questions.  This is just too much to cover in a single session and my clients find that further sessions really help to reinforce the principles we’ve worked on in the first session and give time to thoroughly practice their presentation. If you’ve already missed out on a training place before, I recommend that we start working together well in advance of your interview.

I think I’ve chosen the wrong specialty. What are my options?

If you’ve made a mistake, it’s not the end of the world and it’s great that you’ve recognised the need to rethink things. There are always options and many training programs provide for some recognition of prior learning, which may reduce training time in another area. I’ve worked with lots of doctors in your situation and although some went in a completely different direction, others were able to modify their current situation to make it more satisfying and enjoyable for them. My Career Change Program is specifically designed to help you get clear on your career goals and understand what options are available and what might suit you.

I’m not sure if I want to be a doctor. Can you help me?

Definitely. I’ve worked with lots of doctors who question whether medicine is the right career for them. In some cases we’ve looked at alternative pathways within medicine that might suit them better. But for some people a complete change is the right way to go and there’s a wide range of alternatives. A lot of the skills developed in medicine are transferable to other professional areas and are highly valued. My Career Change Program will help you identify those skills in yourself and discuss the kinds of options within and outside of medicine that would be suitable for you and your career goals.

I have conditional registration. Will I ever be able to get a training place?

There’s no point pretending that conditional registration isn’t an issue when applying for training positions. However many Colleges have some flexibility about their entry criteria and are prepared to consider applicants on a case by case basis. I have a lot of experience working with doctors who have conditional registration and can work with you to realistically assess your situation and support you in finding a role that’s right for you. Don’t forget that specialty training isn’t the only path to a satisfying career. When we work together in my Career Change Program, I’ll outline a range of other options, both in medicine and outside of it, and how you might get into them.

What will we cover in the 6 sessions of Insight Premium Coaching?

The content of the sessions is tailored to you and what you’re hoping to achieve from coaching. Having said that, I have a broad outline of topics that we might address as we work together. This includes: what success means to you; where your career fits in with the rest of your life; things that hold us back, including perfectionism and imposter syndrome; healthy boundaries; workplace culture; and future directions for you.

What frequency do you recommend for Insight Premium Coaching sessions?

About monthly works well. This gives you enough time to implement what we talk about in our sessions and is frequent enough to keep up the momentum. However, I’m mindful that shift work and rosters often mean that a regular monthly booking isn’t always practical. Bookings can be flexible to fit in with your work arrangements.

Client Feedback

Working with Jo demonstrated that she has gathered a rare combination of experience from a variety of roles within her own career. This means that she is incredibly well placed to provide doctors with career advice. She brings an objective perspective to the individual’s situation with a warmth and empathy that makes her very approachable.