Working together

The process has five steps:


We start with an initial meeting of 1-1½ hours, to begin getting to know each other and to explore the relevance of the process. If it’s relevant, we’ll set dates for all the other steps, typically over the following two or three months. It’s useful to bring along a cv, even if it’s out of date.


In your own time, you’ll put together some initial reflections on your life and work to date, your circumstances and your ambitions. You’ll do this online, prompted by specially developed software on a secure website – typically, it takes two to three hours. The software doesn’t produce answers, but it enables both of us not to waste a minute of the next step – because from the start, it takes us close to the heart of your concerns.


An intensive, three-hour, face-to-face session. The structure isn’t rigid, but typically I’ll spend the first hour asking questions prompted by the material you’ve produced and our initial discussion. This is followed by an exploratory phase, where we look at any possibilities you’ve already thought of for lateral moves, and create new ones; we’ll use our shared imagination and experience to test what upsides and downsides they have. Finally, we’ll work together on narrowing down and identifying concrete steps towards the most attractive possibilities.

If a significant change really does look to you like the right move, we’ll discuss carefully what support you’ll need to get there. That’s a critical step – a challenging lateral career shift might take a couple of years to carry out. I’ll give you experienced, independent advice – not a sales pitch for further training or support.


After reflecting on our conversations, within a few days I’ll send you a detailed letter summarising the themes and specific conclusions which strike me as most salient for you. Typically this will reflect another three hours’ work on my part. It will serve both as a prompt to your own continuing reflection and, if you wish, as a catalyst for conversations with others who know you well.


At the end of the three-hour session we’ll agree a date for a one-hour follow-up session. How soon is up to you – it could be within a couple of weeks, or after several months. Or let's chat at any point afterwards, by telephone or email, without further charge.

What will I get from it?

See Douglas explain what you can expect from the process.