A day in the life of a coach: Sorrel Roberts

07 May 2018

Training as a coach can be a life-changing learning and personal development experience but what is life actually like once the training is over? We spent a 'day in the life' of three Barefoot Coaching alumni to help shed some light on the daily realities, challenges and rewards of working as a coach.

 

I start my working day...

...when one of my daughters wakes me up. When I was in a full-time job I used to separate ‘work’ from home, but since becoming a self-employed coach and a mother/stepmother of 4, they have to work together.

 

My job involves…

...working with 1:1 clients and facilitating workshops. It all falls into one or more of three areas: professional development, coaching skills development and supporting working parents. I also write about coaching, partly to get my own thoughts clear but also to demystify coaching for others. As one workshop delegate put it – “it’s not rocket science but in it’s application it can be transformative”.  I’m always learning – from other coaches (including my mum who’s been coaching for 20 years), through supervision, CPD, the world around me, and reading. My latest read is Carole Dweck’s ‘Mindset’.

 

In the morning…

If I’m facilitating a workshop I’m out the house early trying to ensure that I’ve left without any rice krispies on my dress. I’ll arrive early at the venue to prepare the space and myself.  When I’m working with a 1:1 client, I’ll make sure I’ve got my coaching toolkit on me which generally comprises of: post its, large blank sheets of paper, Barefoot Coaching Cards and coloured pens (a great excuse to indulge my love of stationery). 

 

After lunch...

If I’m facilitating an all-day workshop I’ll find myself 10 minutes to regroup; I get such a buzz working with people, but I also know that where possible I need to carve out 10 minutes of absolute quiet. That way I’ll come back refreshed for the afternoon session.  At least two days a week I’m home in time to collect the girls from school.

 

I end my working day…

...by eating dinner with my partner and switching off with something strictly lowbrow on TV.

 

The most challenging part of my job is...

...being prepared for the unexpected. An important part of coaching is not having the answers. I’m there to help my clients find their own. So I go in with a process and a structure but the content is theirs. I never know what’s going to come up and I have to be prepared to adapt to whatever is needed.  It’s part of the joy of coaching but it is also the challenge. It certainly keeps me on my toes.  

 

The most rewarding part of my job is...

...the incredible variety. No single day is the same. It is intellectually motivating and stimulating. People are extraordinary and fascinating and I get to help them achieve what they want. I also get to do this work in a way that is compatible with having a full and hectic family life.  One of the best things is when I receive a message a year down the line from someone who has achieved something they are delighted about, and they credit coaching as having played an important part in that. I definitely do a little dance for joy.

 

Sorrel Roberts is a coach, facilitator and consultant. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook.