NHS Portsmouth is fortunate in having four qualified coaches on its staff, who are also qualified to carry out career coaching.


Current reforms in the NHS have made this a high profile and popular resource to staff working for the PCT, and the confidential sessions have given staff the opportunity to look at their career options.


What comes as no surprise is that almost without exception, the element of the coaching session that causes most difficulty is the part where we look at skills and strengths. It’s like pulling teeth.  As a nation, we are brought up not to show off, not to “blow our own trumpet” or brag about our achievements.


Oh dear.   That doesn’t help when writing our CV or talking at interview about what we are good at, what we are proud of, or what we do best.


When faced with a blank sheet of flipchart paper and asked to write down our skills and strengths, the pen hovers in mid-air, as we gaze into the middle distance trying to think of something.  A gentle prompt usually gets things underway and before long a decent list emerges.


But why is it so wrong to be proud of our achievements? I suspect that if we were in the USA the list would flow fast and furious and run to several pages.


What’s my point?


We can’t afford not to blow our own trumpet.  No-one else is going to write your CV, answer questions at your interview about what you achieved in your last position, or how you will tackle the challenges ahead.


The ball is in your court, and you need to be brave, unselfconscious and unapologetic if you are to secure the place in the new NHS that has your name written on it. 


Do you believe there is such a thing?  In the words of Goethe:


“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.