The Unit for Career and Leadership in Academia offers career coaching for academic staff at all levels at the university. This is a reflective process that can contain a multitude of aspects of working life, and you as a part of it.
Professional career can be, but need not be, synonymous with mobility upwards. With a broader perspective on career it means rather illuminating and reflecting on different choices of development for you, which might e.g. involve broadening, specialisation, a change of direction or just actively choosing to stay where you are but with some new perspectives.
During different phases of our professional life, it may be valuable to reflect on; me in relation to my work, what motivates me? What do I perceive as my strengths and in what contexts do I best come to my right? What do I perceive as potential obstacles that need to be addressed?
Not least due to the quick pace of change today, we may need to reflect on our own development, our strengths, skills, goals, networks etc. in order to make active choices for our own professional development. Coaching is a process that aims to clarify these factors, thereby helping you to be clearer about your choices as well as clearer to others. The purpose is that you will be able to expand your ability to see opportunities, clarify driving forces and skills and develop your own basis for decision making.
The process consists of individual meetings, either physically or via Skype, and whichever tasks you might find useful to focus on in-between meetings. There may be a few or several meetings and the meetings always focus on you and your relationship to your professional life. We decide about the specific process according to your needs.
Coaching is a process by which we can co-create and develop ourselves by being constructively curious about what’s already working well while creating choices for facing future challenges. The coach will not primarily be giving you advice or providing expertise. The coach's role is to be curious about exploring your ideas and thoughts. Throughout the coaching relationship, the coach will assume that you are the expert on your life, that you have the answers. The coach will be curious about your development and strive for a coaching alliance that will help you stay focused and move toward whichever objectives you choose to focus on.
What do you need to prepare? Really nothing. Come as you are. It may be that you feel that you need an initial question to begin with, but career development/coaching does not have to be about solving problems and in any case, the initial question usually tends to switch rather quickly to other issues to focus on.
Career coaching can also work well as an active preparation for a conversation about development with your group leader. Our experience is that managers often appreciate clarity about what matters to group members. Another way is to have a conversation with your boss, as the outcome of career development is often better when the process is open. It's your decision who you're talking to or not talking to. Coaching is confidential and the process's privacy is governed by law.
Career coaching is free of charge, the investment is your own work effort.
To get started, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly describe what you hope to get out of the process.