Last year, I worked with an editor who wanted to shape a new career path. She approached me for coaching having read my CV writing book, seeking my help with her job applications. We did five sessions together, during which I used a combination of mentoring and coaching. The difference between the two is that with mentoring, I offer direct tips and experience. I reviewed her CV and showreel, and gave my professional opinion on how she could improve them. However we spent plenty of time coaching, where I helped her discover her own answers to her challenges.

At the time she felt stuck working for a news channel with whom she believed she had little chance for career progression. Then, a year after our sessions ended, I saw and liked her LinkedIn post to an animation she’d recently worked on. A few minutes later I received an email from her:

Finally, I made it! I embraced the freelance world and I must say it is going better and better. I still remember our precious mentoring meetings and all the invaluable advice you gave me. Now everything is paying back.

I am now developing my skills into the motion graphics field and I love it!

This was so lovely to hear. She was able to move her career on, sound enthusiastic and excited. While I did give her plenty of mentoring advice, there was also a lot of coaching. Helping her come up with her own ideas, and encouraging her to reflect on what was going to make her happier and more successful in her career.

The key for me, though, is that she has made change. Change to her working life, which impacts her personal life. This is what coaching is about for me. Setting a new career path and then working towards it. It doesn’t happen instantly, sometimes it can be months after the session that something falls in place. I’m just glad our work together created change for her!


Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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