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Sara Smalley

Sara Smalley

Working with clients to gain clarity on their next step, focusing on strengths, motivations and opportunities to move towards a career where they feel motivated, satisfied and have purpose

Location: Gloucestershire

Year Qualified: 2022

Areas of Expertise


My experience of being coached by Sara has been wholly positive: she is professional, engaging and has immeasurably helped me move forward with the objectives/ areas I identified at the start of the process over the course of our six sessions. She used a variety of tools and techniques to help develop my thinking on a few things that were holding me back, and she went above and beyond to share podcast recommendations with me outside of our sessions. I will take the ideas and tools I learnt confidently forward into the rest of my career! ​

Suzie, Civil Service

Sara was fantastic to work with; she is warm, friendly, fun and really helps to challenge your thinking. She is insightful and great at supporting you to achieve your goals, helping you to remove barriers and unlock what might be holding you back. I'd definitely recommend Sara if you're looking to get some clarity and focus with a smile and some laughs along the way. ​

Natalie, Learning & Development Manager

This was my first experience of coaching and Sara's positive, authentic and practical approach turned me from a slight sceptic to a full coaching convert! Sara really helped me identify my core values and prioritise decisions regarding the next steps in my career. Having a coach meant that I was accountable, and I saw real progress as a result of our sessions together. I left the process knowing I will enter my next career with the self-awareness to make a positive new start. I would thoroughly encourage you to have a conversation with Sara and explore what you could be able to achieve!

Emily, Armed Forces leaver

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    Coaching Qualifications

    • Dip Effective Coaching & Mentoring, accredited by European Mentoring & Coaching Council, International Coaching Federation & Institute for Leadership & Management
    • Resilient Leaders Elements, Consultant
    • C-Me Behaviour Profiling, Activator

    Professional Background

    A portfolio career before they were even a thing…

    Having completed the world-renowned officer training course, I commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In my six years with the Army, I had six different roles.

    As a Troop Commander, responsible for the leading and objective setting of a troop of soldiers with accountability for training, personal development and career management, I also deployed on a six-month operational tour. Subsequent roles included officer recruitment, an attachment to the Spanish Army and planning and managing work packages that supported the implementation of the largest ever business change to Armed Forces human resources.

    During the following ten years, my career was shaped indirectly by the military as my husband continued to serve. With regular relocations, both in the UK and internationally, and the arrival of two children, I explored different roles as our circumstances and locations dictated, leveraging my transferable skills. In this time, I worked with The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust, was a recruitment consultant supporting service leavers, became a trustee with The Military Wives Choir Foundation, I led a pilot to deliver careers advice to partners of university staff at the University of Oxford and was the Executive Officer to His Excellency the Governor of Bermuda.

    The military wheel finally stopped spinning, and I was left wondering “what next?”

    I found working with a coach invaluable in drawing out my priorities, highlighting my strengths and interests and helping to define my next step. I loved the exploration process. It gave me clarity, confidence, energy and focus.

    I believed in the process so much that I chose to retrain as a coach so that I could draw on my breadth of experiences – the scope of roles and responsibilities I’ve had, the range of people, cultures and languages I’ve worked with – and work with others to find clarity in their next step, develop their careers and fulfil their potential.

    What drew you to coaching?

    With a career that has covered the military, third sector and the corporate world, both in the UK and internationally, I understand what it feels like to be questioning if you’re on the right path, to ask yourself if you’re working at your optimum, to question your sense of purpose. You can feel unhappy, unrewarded and frustrated.

    I wanted my professional life to have purpose and to make a difference to those I work with. In the last 18 months, I’ve developed coaching packages which support clients to uncover their professional or personal ‘why’. Working together using exercises and tools within coaching sessions, clients identify their priorities and the path that’s right for their next step.

    My role as your coach is to provide support distinct from any other. I will focus solely on your situation with the kind of attention and commitment that you rarely experience elsewhere.

    A coaching relationship is like no other, simply because of its combination of objective detachment and commitment to the goal(s) of the individual. I will listen to you, with a genuine curiosity to understand who you are, what you think and generally how you experience the world.

    I have an energetic, intuitive and fun approach to coaching which enables me to quickly establish a positive rapport with individuals, leading to lasting, impactful results.

    Fee Structure

    • £100 – £200 per hour

    • Six sessions for £850

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