I am Shirley - The Change Agent

my story

Coach, property dabbler, crocheter and big fan of Bournemouth’s seafront

I became a coach after 25 years of working largely in financial services.  I had experienced the effects of coaching first hand as part of a management development programme so knew how powerful it could be.  One day, I thought, this could be my career.  Of course other things happened including going on some free coaching training which put me off the whole idea for a long time.  Free tip for you, not all training is the same and it is worth paying for.  

The idea never went away so I invested in my training (which never ends by the way)  and having got thoroughly exhausted from commuting as a contractor, I stopped contracting and started my coaching business from scratch.  I have since discovered that this isn’t the smartest way of doing things and its more difficult than it looks.  That’s another free tip for you right there.


“Shirley has a substantial corporate experience which provides her with the informed platform to engage constructively and develop a deep relationship with her clients.”

I’ve had a variety of work roles – the good, bad and (sometimes) ugly – and my career has been peppered with some great decisions, some poor decisions and plenty of drift. I’ve worked in teams, run teams and built teams; I worked in full-time employment and freelanced. I am now in my third phase; running my own business.  I have come to understand what makes us happy in our work.  Combining my experience with my coaching,  I help you take control of your career and make the most of opportunities that come your way.  You’ll get to where ever you want to go in your working life, however you want to get there, a lot faster than I did!

“Approachable, personable, knowledgeable and highly professional”

One consistent theme across my working is a sense of what it was all for.  Plans weren’t necessarily detailed; more a notion but I was always asking “what’s next?” I looked for progress and interesting roles without aiming for anywhere in particular but knowing what I enjoyed (or thinking I did) and having a sense of where each role might take me.  I went contracting when I recognised that I needed to shake things up. Life had got too comfortable.  I had the freedom to walk away from a good job in a great company because we had the aim, which we achieved, of being mortgage free by the time I was 40.   Later, we invested in property and when we realised that our house was far too big for us (the cat had her own day room  – big clue!), we downsized so we had more funds to invest and realised another goal which was to live by the sea.  Hence Bournemouth. 


Having lived in land-locked hilly Swindon for 25 years, my legs really appreciate the relative ease of my Bournemouth seafront runs although there is always a chine to negotiate on the way home. 

The legs also appreciate the rest when I curl up on the sofa to hook up a blanket.  My grandmothers have a lot to answer for!

“I have developed more confidence when taking interviews and with Shirley’s help I have developed a mindset which allows me to take on any situation with a winning mentality.”



My “why”

My own experience tells me that when we are happy in our work, we can give our best to our work and to every other aspect of our life.  There’s just more of us to go round when we learn how to perform at our best and find roles or business models which truly fit with who we are.

As I have found out the hard way, when we’re unhappy in work, we bury ourselves under exhaustion and doubt.  We plough on overthinking, overwhelming and over-reacting without being able to see what’s going on or do anything about it.    


I love to see people thrive, to achieve their goals and just feel able to go to work each day knowing why they do what they do and feeling able to give of their best.   I hope to have the opportunity to do the same for you. 


My coaching style 

I am playful and challenging.  My approach is designed to help you overcome your roadblocks, see your situation with fresh perspective and  connect with what’s really important to you so you can have a working life that works for you and those you care about.  

“Shirley is an intelligent and thoughtful coach. She’s inquisitive, engaging and collaborative.”

I can be provocative and cheeky but it is for good reasons and always appropriate.  It doesn’t help to take ourselves too seriously.  That said,  sometimes we need to go deep to explore beliefs and thought patterns, other times some serious whiteboard based action planning is called for.  I have a range of tools and techniques available to me and work to a very loose framework which is designed to get results whilst being flexible to your needs. 

mBIT coach logoNLP Practitioner


“Warm, charming and honest, Shirley is a truly lovely person to work with. And if my experience is anything to go by, the help she offers is worth every penny.”


Ultimately, I help you develop the courage to take action and keep at it so you see results.  Let’s have a chat and you can decide if I’m the coach for you.