How training to be a qualified coach has been my COVID silver lining


Every now and again, usually when I am miles away and walking my dogs on the beach, I forget we are navigating our way through a global pandemic, and when I remember, it’s with a slight jolt back to reality. 


However, it isn’t the same, intense, all consuming panic I felt back in March when COVID kicked off and life went into free fall. 

Image may contain: text that says "YOU ARE NOT ALL OVER THE PLACE. YOU ARE IN PROCESS"

As well as embracing home schooling, which actually my kids didn’t even need me for, and not getting my daily caffeine fix away from my Nespresso, I had to come to terms with losing 90% of my work and wonder what on earth I was going to do. 


I am not a baker, so I wasn’t cooking cakes as a way of escaping, and I prefer rice to pasta, so I didn’t jump on the bulk buying bandwagon, but what I did was use the time to access where I really wanted to be in my career and what I wanted to do. 

I’d had the foresight to sign up for the Kudzi Coach Academy: Coaching Diploma Certification Program and I think this intensive, seven month course was my saving grace and as someone who always look for a sliver lining, this has been mine. 


Yes, I panicked at 4am one March morning wondering how I would pay for it as my work had dried up, but once I got into the weekly sessions, Wednesday and Thursday for two hours at a time, I started to find my way. 


While I didn’t have the same level of media relations or writing to do as I’d had, I was learning so much that my brain was engaged in a new way, and as the weeks went by, I saw that I could stay in the industry I have worked in for 23 years for love, but as a coach, mentor and university lecturer, rather than a consultant doing the work, and that was a real light bulb moment for me.  


Within the ICF framework I have learnt how to coach clients with confidence and impact and each one has seen clear results, and for me this is hugely rewarding. What I loved was that Ruth offered a wide-ranging of theories from neuroscience, positive psychology and transactional analysis as well as normative coaching methodologies but as an ex-teacher, as well as an excellent coach herself, the learning was fun, our knowledge built up over the weeks and as we coached one another, we really got to put the academics into practice is a safe, supportive environment. 

I am now a fully qualified coach and that feels AMAZING.

As a career and confidence coach for PR and media professionals, I work with them by blending this fantastic training, my mentoring skills and mental health first aid training. The magic I also bring to the table, is that I have walked in their shoes. Yes, I am a coach now but I have spent two decades working in PR at every level, in house and at agencies and across the globe, as well as running my own consultancy for 14 years.

When clients come to me and talk about surviving in this fast paced world, I get it because I have been in their shoes, I know the way the business works and the endless expectations and pressures and I give them the time and space to explore what is happening for them.

My job as a coach isn’t to solve their problems, or fix their past, but I am here to help them explore what they want from their careers, and lives, and look at how they do this.

My clients are fabulous, and once recently said:

My experience has been incredible!  You have helped me so much with industry knowledge, improving my employability skills and job-hunting techniques and even helped me with networking opportunities.  But most of all, you have made a huge change with my self-confidence, you have helped see that I do have a lot to offer even if I am just starting out. I am so grateful for all your help and support and I am very much going to miss our sessions.   Thank you so much for everything.  

To get to this point, over the past seven months I covered so much, including? 

  • Module 1: Introduction to coaching
  • Module 2: GROW Model of Coaching 
  • Module 3: Needs, values, beliefs and strengths
  • Module 4: DISC and personality profiling
  • Module 5: Transactional analysis and coaching
  • Module 6: Positive Psychology and coaching
  • Module 7: Neuroscience and coaching
  • Module 8: Your coaching methodology

Ruth loves a value added bonus, so we had training in business coaching, performance coaching as well as career coaching and have the frameworks, tools and techniques to help clients in the best way for them. 

I won’t lie, this was a lot of work, and had I kept all of my pre-COVID clients, I don’t think I would have been able to make the 110 hours of compulsory student contact time including weekly tutorials, mentoring, feedback sessions and group support, and the additional 22 hours self directed study, well there would not have been enough hours in my day. Maybe I could have got there, but knowing I put my all into this, knowing that I have the skills and real training to call myself a coach and with a shiny diploma on my wall, I feel very happy! 

As I write this I not only have one to one coaching clients who I work with ethically and within ICF boundaries, I also have a free Facebook group for PR and media professionals, a sold out coaching group programme and on 05 October the doors open to The PR Pro Collective Private Members’ Club.
I am super excited about this and cannot wait to get started. Unlike any other membership out, this is going to be a safe, supportive space for PR and media people who are looking for live coaching, goal setting, accountability, cheat sheets, expert speakers and so much more.

It will be somewhere creative, supportive and fun to hang out, collaborate and reconnect with your inner PR Goddess, be that whether you work at an agency, in-house, as a freelancer or run your own PR show.

For less than the cost of a skinny latte a day, you can have better banter than you’ll get with any barista and the feel good hit will last all day.

The thing is, if I hadn’t taken Ruth’s course, this new, shiny part of my business would not have been created, but it has and I am just so thrilled. 

You see, while the MPs carry on changing the rules and challenges are thrown at us every single day, what we can do is come together, support one another and be kind, and that is at the heart of my business – did I mention we talked about values during the training. 

Who knows what is on the way, but I will remember 2020 as a year of spending more time with my boys, realising that I can spend weeks weeding and they will all grow back and working hard to create a business I love, and am now working towards full ICF accreditation. 

If you are interested in my work and how I could help you as a career and confidence coach or business mentor, do check out www.natalietrice.co.uk and if you fancy becoming a coach, Ruth is starting another round of her course soon, so check this link! 

Take care, be kind and believe in you. 

Natalie