Tony, 47

‘Five months after embarking upon coaching with Kedge, Tony has turned the page on a whole new chapter.’

As a single father, Tony had combined a career with parenting. As a journalist, Tony did this by becoming a freelance writer so that he could (theoretically) control his time. For 25 years, Tony’s work has been published across the UK national media, but he had been aware for some time that he had plateaued. After his youngest child went to university, he recognised he needed a new direction, but the prospect of change was also frightening.

A chance encounter led him to Kedge Martin – as Tony says: “My decision to engage Kedge in her coaching process has been transformative. Kedge is an empathic, active listener with whom I instantly felt comfortable. Her questioning yet non-judgmental approach helped me to clarify the stumbling blocks that were holding me back – a lack of confidence that came from working largely solo for two decades, anxiety about abandoning the safety of what I knew for something risky and different, and an acceptance that if I was going to create a new life for myself, only I could make that happen. Kedge was both reassuring – leaving a comfort zone is difficult – but also challenging – the time for paralysis and prevarication was over and I had to make that leap. She set a deadline and, with the help of encouraging but firm follow-up calls and emails, ensured that I stuck to it.”

Five months after embarking upon coaching with Kedge, Tony has turned the page on a whole new chapter. As Tony noted: “Kedge correctly identified that I had to ‘let go’ of my old career in order to make space for fresh opportunities. We role-played my resignation from the publications where I was a regular contributor. When I executed the plan, I felt some trepidation, but also liberation. Whereas before, I felt burdened by work, I now have a mindset of optimism. It took just a few conversations among my network to kick-start new projects and I am now enjoying deploying my interviewing and writing skills for clients in the corporate and charity sector.

“Kedge’s coaching skills are second to none and, thanks to her guidance, I have already created an invigorating and fulfilling new working life and am viewing my future with energy and excitement. I am enormously grateful to Kedge for her invaluable insights and unstinting support.”

Bimpe, 51

‘I’d feared as I approached 50 that I might be heading for retirement – instead I’m embracing a whole new frontier and my working life is the most fulfilling it’s ever been.’

Bimpe comes from Nigeria but was partly educated in the UK; her parents’ expectation was that she would seek a profession. They are both doctors, but Bimpe couldn’t stand the sight of blood, so became a lawyer instead. She worked in Nigeria to begin with and then, after marrying in 1995, moved to London to be with her Cameroonian husband (an investment banker in the City). As they started their family, Bimpe also set up her own legal practice focusing on cross border work between West African and the UK. It was a niche market but one that Bimpe was well qualified to serve.

But after 15 years, Bimpe was restless. Her working day had become increasingly bogged down in tedious problems that revolved around managing the business rather than using her expertise. She needed a change, but couldn’t see a way forward.

Bimple had heard about coaching, but always dismissed it as something for weak people, so was sceptical when someone suggested Rutbusters. As Bimpe says: “From the start, it was an eye-opener. I did some coaching sessions which exposed my strengths, but also some areas of concern. I can be bossy and forthright, which are good attributes as a lawyer dealing with clients, but can be a weakness as a manager if you don’t stop to think about things from another person’s perspective. I also have a strong perfectionist streak, which was holding me back because I wasn’t prepared to give something new a try unless I knew I could excel at it. Part of the programme involved mindfulness sessions with Dr Tara Swart, a leading neuroscientist. Her techniques helped me de-stress, become less agitated and more optimistic about my outlook.

“For years as a lawyer, I had found myself helping clients not just with business litigation but also aspects of their family lives – many of them are high-net-worth individuals moving between Africa and the UK and looking for help with property, children’s education and forward planning. Going through the Rutbusters’ process made me realise I had the right network and the experience to set up a new business in wealth management strategy, which I have now done. It’s called W8 Advisory. I’d feared as I approached 50 that I might be heading for retirement – instead I’m embracing a whole new frontier and my working life is the most fulfilling it’s ever been.”

Johnny, 44

‘I thoroughly recommend Rutbusters. I was uncertain about what I wanted to achieve; Rutbusters helped me organise my loose ambitions into something more tangible.’

Johnny came to Rutbusters having left the Military and secured his first civilian job through a friend, working in the City. He was deeply unhappy. Being driven by financial targets was alien to him and the static working environment, based behind a computer for most hours of the day, had led to him becoming increasingly depressed. Paralysed by financial needs, he maintained this role for two years before having a breakdown. During this time Johnny’s wife, juggling with the demands of three young children and her own elderly parents, had become increasingly disenfranchised with her civilian husband; communications were breaking down. Rutbusters designed a multi-faceted programme for the family to help put them back on an even keel. They are now communicating well, Johnny has recovered from his ill-health and found a job that suits his temperament and meets his needs; the future looks positive.

Sally, 54

‘It has been such a long road – I would like to thank you for all that you have done helping me to get to this stage. Rutbusters is amazing.’

Sally had developed a successful career in banking where she had gained great respect as well as recognition for her significant achievements, but was feeling frustrated. She had been approached with a beguiling offer from a start-up and was not sure whether she wanted to leap at this opportunity and switch to an entirely new field or maintain her current, secure career path. Sally was finding it difficult to see the different opportunities and choices clearly. She was under pressure from family and friends to stay in a secure role but was tempted by the intellectual and cultural challenges and young and vibrant environment that the new opportunity held. After attending the Rutbusters ‘know what you want’ workshop where she had been able to share her thoughts with an independent peer group, she was able to see the choices very clearly and decided to make the radical change. The start-up is flourishing, her role as the wise/grey hair is really satisfying, she is thriving on learning a new setting and she is hoping for significant financial success too as the company takes off.

David, 55

‘I cannot thank you enough – you helped me see clearly, explore the options from a position of strength and take what I know is a very positive step forward.’

David is a highly successful lawyer who, having reached retirement age, was required to step down and look for a new direction. He was concerned about what he was going to do next having spent 25 years focused on his profession, working in the same environment and with the same network of colleagues. His anxieties, combined with his unfamiliar feelings of being overwhelmed and confused, were causing friction, which was in turn exacerbated by the potential change in domestic circumstances.

Through one-to-one sessions, David was able to work through options and clarify his priorities while, through the Rutbusters Associate networks, he explored a number of different fields and opportunities by talking to a wide range of contacts.

David has rediscovered his childhood interest in food and is now planning to open a new restaurant. He has regained his self-confidence and enthusiasm and is now greatly enjoying the next stage, recalibrating family relationships whilst building a new business. Having left the firm with such a positive attitude, David has become an active business developer for his former firm within his new and extended networks.