8 questions to ask yourself before you switch jobs


The end of the year is looming and you may be thinking about your next career move. But, how do you choose between ‘good’ and ‘good’, when you receive two ‘similar’ job offers? Will you be wooed by a larger package or a more senior job title?

The Job. Ask yourself:

  1. What do you love about your current role? Are these tasks even listed on the job description? To find out how to accelerate your career by determining your sweet spot click here.
  2. Will you have visibility to senior leaders to be recognized for your work or to learn from them?
  3. What is the new role offering you that’s new? How will it challenge you; if at all?

The People and Company. Once you’ve been for an interview, ask yourself:

  1. What do you like or dislike about the people who work at the new company? Remember they will not change for you!
  2. Could these people be overselling the job and the company, to lure you to work for them? You can often find information online about companies and what it is really like to work there e.g. Glassdoor.
  3. Are the company values aligned to your own?
  4. Are there opportunities to grow and develop; to study?
  5. Where is the company located? Will your travel time be acceptable?

Whatever you decide, remember that the job title, salary and benefits package are just the start. Don’t be wooed too quickly. Take everything into consideration and if it doesn’t feel right, listen to your instincts and carry on searching.

Good Luck!

If anything in this article has piqued your interest, please contact me.
Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. She can be contacted here.

Accelerating Change

Organisations often need to change quickly to stay ahead of their game, but since it’s people that roll out and implement change, how do they change?

New processes, management, reorganisations….it’s all about change! Over 70% of change programs still fail because of resistance to change’ (Beer, 2000) and organisations experience higher costs and greater risks when the people-side of change is not managed effectively, yet we continually focus on organisational change and not on employee development.

It’s individuals who need to understand, manage and implement change, adapting to new circumstances, so how do you ensure that your employees are set up for success and embrace change?

Whilst little literature exists on how organisational development and people development can best work together theoretically, (Bachkirova, 2017:163 – 168), opening channels for two-way dialogue and understanding some of the reasons why individuals resist change can be helpful in improving the process of gaining acceptance for change.

Knowing what drives a team member’s behaviour is a good start to understanding whether their inherent traits will serve your organisation well, or not, during change.

Team coaching is a method which I frequently use to understand what makes individuals tick in the team context; their resistors and drivers; in combination with the next generation of professional development tools, Lumina Spark, supporting individuals, teams and organisations to work more effectively and improve the bottom line.

Unfortunately there’s no 24-hour pill for change projects, but ongoing personal development in the form of individual and team coaching combined with channels of communication which encourage two-way dialogue are a great start to successful change initiatives!

If anything in this article has piqued your interest, please contact me.

Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. She can be contacted here.

Do we need to trade success for happiness?

I wrote this blog 6 years ago, but it’s just as relevant now as it was then.

During my career, I’ve met many professionals, who have chosen to ‘hand in their career’ with large organisations in order to ‘do good’ elsewhere. These accountants, lawyers, analysts and branding experts, felt that they were trading success for happiness, but were they?

I have always been convinced that the happier you are, the happier you can make other people and the more successful you can be. So, you can imagine the pleasure I had watching Shawn Achor’s TED talk, The happy secret to better work, pretty much confirming my ‘sunny’ point of view.

Happiness is on the opposite side of success. We often think, that we need success in order to be happy. Whereas, all we really need is the happiness advantage. The happier we are, the more successful we can become.

I live my own life by my personal motto, “As soon as you start living your dreams, your dreams evolve.” By being happy, you can achieve anything you want to, especially your dreams and when you’re happy, you can make everyone around you happy too.

I would advise anyone to selflessly start by making themselves happy. Once that’s done, ensure that the people around you are happy too.

Let’s spread the happiness advantage!

Happy weekend.

Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. Helen coaches two people per month at no charge. She can be contacted here.

What would motivate you to change?

What would motivate you to change? Money, what other people think, or is it something else?

As a coach and someone who is interested in changing behaviour, I’m curious to know what inspires individuals to make a decision to behave differently.

Daniel Kahneman, a nobel prize winner and recognised psychologist, notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, challenges the assumption of human rationality. In his book, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’, he suggests that individuals are driven more strongly to avoid losses than to achieve gains; individuals are not only loss averse but are also motivated by the negative instead of the positive e.g. if an individual were to be offered a good sum of money to finish a project, they may not finish it, yet they may finish the project if their job is threatened. I’m not suggesting that managers use the stick instead of the carrot, going forward, but this is definitely food for thought.

The book goes on to discuss how individuals are nudged by ‘what other people think or do’. Many of us have stayed in hotel rooms which use a sign in the bathroom, requesting guests to ‘Save the planet and use your towel again.’ Kahneman’s research however shows that using the sign, ‘Join the 75% of our guests, who re-used their towel’, had a greater impact in re-usage than the average. 10% more, in fact! Small changes can have enormous impact.

Companies can change all that they want (processes, management, new ways of working, reorganisations, etc.) but it’s the individuals working in those companies, that need to embrace and implement change. Without the support of individuals, change doesn’t happen. So how are people motivated to change?

How are you motivated as an individual?

Or, how does your company guarantee successful change?

I welcome you to share your comments.

Further recommended reading:

  1. Nudge (improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness), Thaler & Sunstein
  2. The power of Habit (Why we do what we do and how to change), Charles Duhigg
  3. The Marshmallow Test (understanding self-control and how to master it), Walter Mischel
  4. Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

What is your immediate thought?

A dear friend shared this lovely story. Please read it and then answer the question below.

Apple story

How quickly did you judge the little boy?
There’s a lot of learning from living in the moment, not getting ahead of ourselves, not thinking for other people and, generally being mindful of our thoughts and how they make us feel. The weekend is a great time for reflecting on what we may have done differently this past week.

Have a great weekend.

Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. Helen coaches 2 people per month at no charge. She can be contacted here.



Redundancy: learning from the biggest taboo

“I understand what being made redundant feels like. I’ve been there. I knew change was on its way, but I never actually believed that it would affect me and when it did, my world stopped revolving. I felt angry, I felt sad, I felt happy, and then I felt angry all over again. I was surrounded by incompetent people, so why was I being made redundant?  I went through all the emotions on the change curve; one’s that I had learned as a manager; and I was gobsmacked that I was feeling the way that most text books described. I felt embarrassed by my predicament and having to explain my new situation to anyone was excruciating.

For me, talking to others, brought healing. My anger subsided, I felt less sorry for myself and I began to realise that while I was not entirely at fault, there may have been things that I could have done differently while I was employed. Talking to friends and family helped me to accept my situation. I became more self-aware and I explored new opportunities. It also helped me to articulate my story with a little more ease and taught me that showing this new vulnerable side of myself wasn’t as negative as I had led myself to believe. Redundancy is not a dirty word!” Published with permission from the author.

What can be learned from redundancy on the short term:

  • Talk about it. Talking is often a good way to soothe painful emotions. Talking to a friend, family member, health professional or coach can help the healing process.
  • Allow yourself to feel sad. It’s a healthy part of the ‘grieving’ process.
  • Keep up your routine. Keeping up simple things, like going for a run or walking the dog can help.
  • Sleep. Emotional strain can make you very tired. If you’re having trouble sleeping, please consult your GP.
  • Eat healthily. A healthy, well-balanced diet may help you cope better.
  • Avoid things that “numb” the pain, such as alcohol. It will make you feel worse once the numbness wears off.
  • Speak to a coach or counsellor – Only you will know if this is right for you.

What can be learned on the longer term:

  • Use the time to become more self-aware. No new organisation would go to market without a business plan and a strategy, so reflect on what you have learned from your situation, think about your own personal brand, what you are good at, what you love doing and create your own game plan. You may also want to read one of my latest blogs: How to accelerate your career.
  • Stop using the word ‘redundant’. There are many reasons why companies make employees redundant. For a prospective employer, hearing that a company has restructured, downsized or moved to another location and how any one of these changes affected your position, will make sense.
  • Update your CV.
  • Reach out to your network. By the time you do this, you should be able to articulate your story as positively as possible. Know what you want, and while I wouldn’t suggest that you ask everyone in your network for a job, you may ask them to consider you, if they hear of something.
  • Approach recruiters.

People who lose their jobs through redundancy don’t own this space. Similar feelings and emotions are described by people when they experience any massive change e.g. losing a loved one, going through a divorce, losing your home, becoming insolvent, moving to the other side of the world for work or study and leaving family and/or friends behind, etc. It’s often hard to look on the bright side and it’s almost impossible to learn from the experience while you’re in it. The future however, can be bright.

Helen Martin is a qualified coach and trainer and lives in London. She is a member of the Association for Coaching and coaches individuals through change. Helen coaches 2 people per month at no charge. She can be contacted here.

Coaching through the Ages

My great aunt was inspirational; a generous woman; the glue in her community; a friend and confidante; everyone was welcome in her home and the little that she had, was shared. I believe that people like my great-aunt were the coaches of their day. Their doors were always open, the kettle on and they were always available as that listening ear.

It’s easy to assume that everyone has someone to confide in, but today, that may not always be the case. People may: live far away from their families and friends, be alone, hold senior positions which make it impossible to discuss the bigger issues, etc.

The only difference between the coaches of today and my great-aunt, are ‘the number of tools in their toolkit’. Today’s coaches may have more knowledge about how the brain works, but they listen and question in similar ways.

“A coach has questions for your answers”, encourages you to think deeply about your assumptions and challenges your limiting beliefs. A coach is someone you can trust, a confidential sounding board who can help you reach your personal goals and aspirations, through reflection, self-discovery and awareness and behavioural change.

Reflecting on my great-aunt’s wonderful life, I trust I can carry on her good work as a professional coach and trainer. These are big shoes to fill. Wish me luck!

In loving memory of Agnes Rogers 1920 – 2016.