Sharon Lake – Coaching and Mentoring

With a background of working in teaching and care, Sharon had decided that it was time to try and improve her skills and become more effective at the work she enjoyed doing. Finding out about the course from her Work Coach, Sharon thought it sounded interesting and decided to get in touch! Having completed the course, Sharon is now a part of the Learner Support team here at Release Potential, providing support for learners on all of our courses! Congratulations, Sharon!

What were you doing before you started the programme?
I was doing a couple of things. First of all, I was a teaching assistant for a while and then I moved into care. Just before the actual programme started I was doing voluntary work at a residential home here in Wolverhampton as well as some private tutoring with two University students.

How did you find out about the training?
My Work Coach reached out to me and explained that Release Potential was offering a programme in Coaching and Mentoring, an area that I am very interested in. I was very interested in upgrading my skills. Coming from a teaching background, it is very important that you be relevant, marketable and consistent, and I do enjoy being a lifelong learner.

Why did you decide to join?
I’m very service-oriented. Throughout my work career, I’ve been in teaching then in care, and if not care then volunteering. These are very supporting roles, which is what I have found to be my calling and where I’m most comfortable. Getting some sort of training in Coaching and Mentoring seemed to be a fantastic way of learning a new skill that would allow me to really be a bit more efficient and effective in being able to support other people, particularly vulnerable people.

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
I thought the training was relevant, interesting and intensive. But at the end of the day, I would say it was empowering. How has it helped me? I would say it has allowed me to get a job!

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
I don’t think there were any barriers or obstacles that I had to overcome. I’m a lifelong learner. I’m very interested in learning and upgrading my skills. I understand the benefits of consistency and self-discipline. So the course would start at 9:00 AM precisely every morning and I had to make sure that I was at my computer ready for nine, hence the self-discipline.
Whenever we had a break, it was going towards completing the workbook and sharing experiences and ideas within the teaching and learning environment. So I wouldn’t say there were any obstacles or challenges that I had to overcome per se. But an online environment teaches you self-discipline, self-awareness and being very sensitive to timelines, which is what I had to do while I was a part of this course.

What are you doing now?
So here I am speaking to you as a Release Potential member of staff! I’m now a member of the Learning Support team at Release Potential!

What impact has the training had on your life?
Okay, let me see if I can list them. For starters, I have a wonderful newly minted certificate in Coaching and Mentoring! The training has allowed me to be able to speak about my own personal experiences in this platform to other students. Especially those who may be having difficulty completing their work or having that enthusiasm to engage in the course itself and see the relevance of where completing the course may be able to take them.
It has allowed me to have a real-time, real-world experience that I can share with other people within the course environment just to understand that this is not a waste of your time.

What are your plans for the future?
That’s a very large question. So from a general perspective, as I said, I’m a lifelong learner, so I am really excited about having further learning opportunities. As well as online courses, I’ve been told about some upcoming face-to-face courses, and I’m really very excited about attending those.
I’m looking forward to really be nesting in the Release Potential environment. I think the staff have been extremely supportive, extremely caring and very willing to hold my hand. As I said, this is a new work environment, so your systems are not necessarily what I’m accustomed to, but I’m really looking forward to getting very comfortable here at Release Potential environment and being a valuable employee who can help to empower learners as we go along!

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
Anyone who is interested in doing this course but maybe is having second thoughts about registering should go ahead and register for the course! Not only do you meet other learners from all walks of life, but you also have an opportunity to upgrade your skills, get an accredited certificate that you can add to your CV, interact with really caring and supportive tutors and staff, get a chance to make new friends and finally be better suited to apply for different jobs within the civil service or even a private company. Go for it!

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