Career Coaching: Was it worth it?!

An Assessment of Simon Scantlebury as a Career Coach: Was it worth it?!

This is the sort of question that nagged at me – and is probably nagging at you – on making first contact with Simon Scantlebury. Who is this guy? What motivates him? Is he going to be worth the considerable amount of money that I am going to pay him? How can he really get to the bottom of my career aspirations, and what qualifies him to enter my life and help me make positive changes?

Well, in short, he can provided that you have the desire to make a tangible change to your life, whether it be career, personal, or – as in most cases – both. The fact that you are reading this suggests that you are taking that first important step. In other words, you have a sufficient degree of self-respect and self-worth to see the merit in considering investing in your future.

Simon is different. There is no hard sell, just no-nonsense underlying professionalism and a belief and pride in he does – and in you. By all means read the “bumpf’ on the services he can offer for your “X” thousands of pounds. This will give you a degree of security that you are embarking on a serious and methodical programme of professional coaching, which you will be.

But the secret of Simon is that he offers more than the bog standard “X” number of personal coaching sessions. There is no clock watching and giving the impression of wanting to get to the next meeting, as I believe some of them do. At the risk of sounding trite, he actually cares about you, gives you as much time as you need on any given day, and encourages you to explore what you really want to get out of your career and your life. He then helps to instil in you a belief and confidence perhaps you never knew you had in order to achieve it.

My personal case is a good example. When I came to Simon I had reached a fairly senior position in the public service and my career was taking off. That said, for several years I had been thinking seriously about making a (fairly drastic) change to the private sector. It was one of those key mid-life decisions that I had been putting off, as it was easier to carry on in my relatively successful comfort bubble.

Then one day I was hit by a bus. Not literally, but the impact on me was the same. A fraud was discovered in the public sector division that I was heading at the time and I was unjustly crucified by my office. This was the view of independent HR professionals, not only mine. To cut a very long and bloody story very short, I signed up with Simon just when the going started to get very tough. Simon was at the forefront of my professional and personal allies network that encouraged me to mount a fight back, lodge a formal grievance and get my name cleared. After nearly a year of battle, in which Simon played an integral part, I managed to get all of the hideous charges levelled against me dropped. Not only that but my employer was forced – effectively through our formidable joint resolve – to give me a formal written apology and I subsequently secured a pay-off.

In parallel, mainly because of the intensity of the battle, I made only sketchy progress on alternative job seeking, although Simon gave me every possible encouragement and practical support in doing so. But after the pay-off and the proverbial monkey was off my back, we began to think together on what lay ahead. Through another intense process of selfexamination, where once again Simon pressed all the right buttons, we arrived at the only possible conclusion: I should start my own company. I had the skills, experience, contacts, determination and perseverance to succeed. Hence the letterhead at the top of the page!

It is early days, but the liberated feeling is getting stronger by the day, as is the prospect of my first tangible chunk of well paid work.


I will leave you with one scenario to help you make up your mind. A few weeks ago, 15 months after I had signed up with Simon (and Lord knows how long after my” 14 one and a half hour sessions” limit had overrun) Simon came to my house to assess my current position. I had just failed at the last hurdle to secure some work for my new company with a reputable national financial institution. I was feeling down. Simon took my product portfolio, held it in front of me, and asked me candidly whether I thought I was capable of delivering it. I said yes. Did he think so? “You bl—y bet I do. After seeing the way you fought last year, this is a doddle”. It was all the motivation I needed, once again, to make me do it.

Was it worth it? You bet it was!

Andy Ashcroft