Coach in the Spotlight: Amy Savage

We speak with Amy Savage, an HR specialist, on how she's pivoted into career coaching and co-founded a partnership helping company workers and working parents perform at their best.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a coach.

I wanted to study dance at university but had doubts that I'd be able – or want – to make it in the professional world.

So I decided to enter the world of recruitment.

It was here that my daily contact with HR professionals sparked my interest and led to a ten-year career in HR.

Back then my main driver was career progression, working my way up the ladder and broadening my expertise.

In HR, I was dealing with organisational restructures, disciplinaries and employment legislation.

I often had this sense that I was holding people’s lives in my hands, which didn’t always sit comfortably with me.

The part that I really loved was organising training and development. Whilst working for MTV, I put forward a proposal to create a small learning and development team who could provide both in-house and external training.

I started to appreciate the value of coaching and when I moved to Channel 4, I took on a more facilitative role as an in-house coach.

I also had the opportunity to get my first coaching accreditation.

At the time, the organisation was going through some restructuring so I got a lot of experience of helping people think about the next step in their careers.

After the birth of my first baby, I decided to set up my own people development consultancy with the aim of offering private and corporate coaching.

I had a lot of contacts in the HR industry so I began getting corporate coaching contracts and workshop facilitation. I was doing a lot of different things and had my fingers in so many pies!

Eventually, I got to a stage where I needed to pause and think about the direction my coaching business was going in.

When I thought about what I wanted for my career and my business, being the expert and a specialist felt important.

I decided to narrow down my focus to career transition and development.

That's when I came across the Firework Career Coaching Programme.


When I thought about what I wanted for my career and my business, being the expert and a specialist felt important.


What has being a licensed Firework career coach helped you to achieve?

Before I did the Firework programme, I had a set of tools to help people explore who they were. But I didn’t have the confidence or knowledge to help people make that shift.

I also found that many people were still living in a linear world and were struggling to find ways to step away from that mindset to develop their career.

When I did the Firework programme, I gained a comprehensive and creative toolkit to help people make big changes.

The timing was perfect because I had a corporate client who’d asked me to design and roll out an international career development programme.

There were many elements of Firework that I was able to introduce and use straight away in that programme.

I also had a private client who was looking to make a big career change. She gave me the opportunity to coach her through the whole Firework programme end to end.

What I love about Firework is that I can pull out different exercises in different circumstances, not only in my private one-to-one coaching sessions but with my corporate clients too.

One of the things that Firework showed me was that career transition takes time and patience.

It introduced the idea of exploration and being curious to find the right direction. This idea runs through all the work I do.

I encourage my clients to take time to reflect as well take action and it’s an approach I am very confident in.


Career transition takes time and patience.


How did you build your coaching business? What have you found to be the most effective ways of attracting clients?

I was very fortunate to build some great relationships when I worked for Viacom (MTV).

I worked hard to continue to nurture those relationships and as those people moved on, they often brought me with them, working as a consultant.

For the first eight years of running my coaching business, I didn’t really need to actively market myself to build my client base.

Most of my work has come through word of mouth and recommendations. Some of my private clients have come through coaching directories and even more through client referrals.

Whilst I could’ve grown my practice more quickly and taken on more clients, I wanted to maintain a balance between my work and my role as a parent.

Last year I merged my business and now have a Business Partner who I’ve known for about ten years.

We both wanted to grow our business with the aim of helping people find the spark and energy in their personal and professional lives. So, we formed Glow.

Glow focuses on three key areas: career satisfaction, coaching and mentoring, and supporting working parents.

We’ve worked hard to create a strong brand. All our materials are beautiful and we have a great website which articulates our message.

Most importantly we have great relationships with our clients.

We work in partnership with them so that we can have honest and open conversations that allow us to get to the heart of what really matters.

Whilst many of our clients are creative and media organisations, we’re beginning to expand and work more with tech companies.

We’ve got better at marketing ourselves through social media, particularly on LinkedIn, but there’s more we can do.

We’re more intentional about growing this business and want to create a team of Associate coaches so collectively we can take on more work.

Now, during Covid times, building that client base has become even more important.

Learning and Development is one of the first things that gets cut when company budgets are tight. We were worried our business might struggle.

However many organisations recognise the importance of resources such as coaching during a crisis.

The impact of what we do isn’t short-lived. It’s about life-long learning, updating skills and ensuring employee wellbeing.

This is a priority for the organisations we work with.

Whilst some still haven’t been able to offer longer coaching programmes, we’ve been able to support their employees through ‘spot’ coaching and virtual group workshops.


For the first eight years of running my coaching business, I didn’t really need to actively market myself to build my client base.


Who you work with? How do you typically work with your clients?

In terms of my corporate contracts, I work with a lot of creative and media clients as this was my background, but it’s not exclusive.

I understand the pace and culture of the media industry, so my style lends itself well to many of my clients.

My areas of specialism include coaching leaders and managers to develop personal impact, build relationships, develop communication skills and inspire teams.

I also coach individuals to build confidence through career fulfilment, managing imposter syndrome, presenting and the working parent dynamic.

My approach has been described as human, warm, enlightening and practical.

I'm easy to talk to but not afraid to challenge my clients.

I usually work with my private clients for six coaching sessions but I also offer ‘spot’ coaching, on a one-off basis.

I believe coaching should be accessible and affordable for all.


I believe coaching should be accessible and affordable for all.


What sort of results have you helped your clients to achieve?

At the start of lockdown, we noticed a lot of individuals reverting to routine work because they felt flat and unmotivated.

They didn't have the energy to do more exciting, challenging stuff.

Working from home and feeling detached from office life can prevent people from adding value to their company and maximising new opportunities.

I’ve helped a lot of people focus on their drivers and how they can align these more in their life and work.

I’ve also helped clients to explore new possibilities and gain the courage to make difficult career decisions.

Other individuals have reached decisions that they didn’t anticipate and found ways to create more fulfilment in their life.

My clients often leave coaching sessions with a greater sense of bravery and better able to tackle issues.

They’re more comfortable with being visible too, finding their voice and raising their profile.

Those who are leaders have a better understanding of different leadership styles, how to coach, create a culture of feedback and manage tricky relationships.

I’ve supported organisations to build and empower strong teams and take a step back to focus on the bigger picture.

We’ve had amazing feedback from the clients and organisations who’ve taken part in our recent ad-hoc spot coaching sessions. It’s been a great resource for these businesses.

These sessions have helped to lift people up and make them realise that even though they're not in the office, they’re still able to take control and drive themselves forward.

We’ve also offered virtual group workshops to work through some of the common current challenges that employees have faced.

Since working from home, interactions with colleagues may have become more transactional.

Our workshops have provided a situation where they can communicate informally again, creating an increased sense of belonging and better relationships.


I’ve supported organisations to build and empower strong teams and take a step back to focus on the bigger picture.


How will your work evolve in the future?

My business partner and I believe that we create more of an impact when we have the opportunity to work together.

It makes such a difference when there are two different approaches that clients can draw upon.

We hope that we can find more ways to work together in the same room.

In the short term, this will likely mean continuing to offer virtual coaching and 90-minute training sessions via Zoom rather than the full day face-to-face workshops that we did previously.

Our intention is that Glow will continue to grow, gaining more corporate clients, so that we have a small team of Associates who specialise in our core areas.


What other tools or resources that have helped you build your business or enhance your coaching abilities?

I’m an avid reader and when I worked in-house, I didn’t always have the time for that.

Since running my own coaching business through, books have become my passion. I’m always reading about leadership, self-development or neuroscience.

A couple of years ago I trained with the Neuro Leadership Institute to understand more about the brain and this has helped me take on a “brain-friendly” approach to my coaching. I’m now a certified NLP Practitioner.

I also work with a coaching supervisor who is incredibly supportive.

Having a business partner has really helped not just in growing the business, but also when it comes to developing new ideas.

We have different ways of thinking and doing things which that leads to some exciting initiatives, like our workshops.


Having a business partner has really helped not just in growing the business, but also when it comes to developing new ideas.


What are the most rewarding aspects of coaching for you?

I love seeing a client gain some new insight.

You can see it in their face and you know they feel excited to be taking a step forward.

When a question I’ve asked triggers a new thought in the client’s mind. You know a switch has flipped.

I love it when I’ve got great rapport, honesty and trust with someone.

With some clients, immediately the relationship feels strong and I have a real connection with them. I know they are going to get more out of the process too because of that connection.

Adapting your style is an important skill as a coach but sometimes you don’t have to do that – you just have a natural fit with certain people.

I enjoy getting feedback. When I get a thank you email from a client that says “I did it!”, “I had that conversation”, “I approached that person” – it feels amazing.

When I see them taking that step forward and challenging their inner saboteur. It’s really satisfying to be part of that.


Amy is a licensed Firework career coach and facilitator for the creative industry. Following a career in Learning & Development, Amy started her consultancy business in 2010 and co-founded Glow with her business partner, Abbie in 2019. Find out more about Amy at (Photography by Bethany Brett Photography).