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Early Careers Coaching

News views and events from Leadenhall

Early Careers Coaching

by Tilly Catarinella

Coaching has traditionally only been offered to experienced and senior employees rather than those joining the workforce, but this is beginning to change. Whilst the intention of the ‘coaching for all’ approach aims to make the practice available to everyone, it fails to acknowledge the common themes in the experiences of people at their respective stages in their career.  We are providing coaching to graduate trainees, apprentices and others who are new to the workforce – those early in their career.

It’s not surprising that employers are beginning to look at this.  The impact of hybrid working has made the transition from education to work even more difficult and the attrition rate on entry level graduate programmes often high given the amount of investment and time put into hiring.

Whilst much support is provided throughout our time at school and university, this support seems to drop off considerably as we enter the world of work. It’s a transition that many find challenging to navigate. Given that this is such a pivotal transition in our lives both on a personal and professional level, we have found that it can be managed more efficiently with the support or 1-2-1 coaching.

Individuals in the early stages of their career can experience a number of challenges, including:

  • An acute awareness of their lack of experience which can lead to anxiety or concern that they might be ‘shown up’ for making a mistake or error, despite this being an inevitable part of life.
  • Everyone wants to get their career off to the best possible start and those early months feel like everything is under a magnifying glass. The pressure to perform, to prove ourselves, and to demonstrate our value can feel overwhelming.

We can sometimes externalise our challenges and blame e.g. a bad manager, an unpleasant team environment, a heavy workload, but we lack the self-awareness to first ask ourselves ‘what’s my part in all of this?’.

Below are some key figures from The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey :

  • 46% of Gen Zs and 45% of millennials feel burned out due to the intensity/demands of their working environments.
  • 44% of Gen Zs and 43% of millennials say many people have recently left their organization due to workload pressure.
  • 46% of Gen Zs and 38% of Millennials say they are stressed all or most of the time.
  • 46% of Gen Zs and 45% of Millennials agreed that they feel burned out due to the intensity of their workload.
  • While workplace wellbeing and mental health have been taking on increasing importance, 33% of Gen Zs and 35% of Millennials said they would not feel comfortable speaking openly with their direct manager about feeling stressed or anxious or about other mental health challenges.
  • ‘Learning and development opportunities’ and ‘good work/life balance’ are the top reasons that Gen Zs and Millennials chose to work for their organization.

Our Early Careers Coaching Programme has several main objectives:

  • Increased self-awareness through an emphasis on conversations around the self ultimately developing a clear sense of identity, to build a Growth Mindset (Dweck).
  • Increased Confidence. Inevitably there will be moments of self-doubt and the coaching provides a place for building confidence.
  • Proactive working style. We want the new employees to move away from working reactively and towards working proactively, believing that they can find their own solutions to their challenges.
  • Safe Place to explore concerns. We give coachees time to explore their ideas and beliefs in a psychologically safe environment, encouraging them to consider different perspectives and then reflect on any changes in how they feel.
  • Building perspective. We use questioning to open the space and make room for creative and strategic thinking, as well as visualisation to practice throwing our attention and energy into new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new beliefs.
  • Moving away from Parent/Child dynamic. We aim to more away from the parent/child dynamic where an early careers employee has a question and they believe that they need to go to someone else for the answer, and instead move towards adult-adult conversations (Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis) by giving the responsibility back to the employee and allowing them to prove to themselves that, if they give themselves time to think, innovative ideas can emerge.

Our experiences to date have been very positive.  Those who have experienced the programme have offered feedback stating that they appreciated the opportunity to talk about topics not yet explored/covered. They have felt a real sense of progression beyond the point at which they started in their first session, which has been observed by the coach too. There appears to be a genuine interest in learning about the psychological concepts that have been introduced to them, enabling coachees to take responsibility and control of their own psychological wellbeing.  They often request further reading to explore topics in greater depth in their own time. They have also been able to exercise the practical application of themes covered in our conversations beyond the sessions themselves, allowing for the exploration and experimentation of new ways of thinking and behaving, and ultimately leading to more productive habits.



The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey

Dweck Growth Mindset

Eric Berne’s Ego States theory

Berne, E. (1957). Ego states in psychotherapy. American journal of psychotherapy, 11 (2), 293-309.

Berne, E. (1958). Transactional analysis: A new and effective method of group therapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 12 (4), 735-743.


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