Coach in the Spotlight: Nicky Chambers

Nicky Chambers has a passion for coaching individuals who make a difference in the world. Here, she shares how she's built a successful business through multiple associate roles, with clients from entrepreneurs to executives.

Tell us about your journey into coaching.

My career history is varied, and I've enjoyed a whole portfolio of roles!

Initially, I worked as an Art Director in the media industry and then went into teaching.

I later launched my own business. I played a crucial role in the start-up, transformation and expansion of diverse organisations and spaces in the cultural and creative industries.

This was whilst completing an MA and advising on a variety of private and government initiatives!

As an entrepreneur, I got invited to sit on various advisory boards for organisations across the cultural and creative industries and diversity in leadership.

Mentoring others has also featured a lot in my work, and this naturally evolved into coaching.

I wanted to make the experience as impactful as possible, so I knew I'd need a coaching qualification.

I gained my core coaching skills with Clore Leadership, Relational Dynamics First and then later with CTI. I'm also trained in the Solutions Focussed approach and Careershifters as well as gaining an ICF accreditation as a Coach-Mentor.

Evidence-based practice is essential to me.

In 2013 I transitioned into being a full-time coach.


Mentoring others has featured a lot in my work, and this naturally evolved into coaching.


Why did you decide to invest in the Firework programme?

I found myself asked to do more and more coaching related to careers, so I needed a credible framework.

For me, it was important that my training was accredited and the programme had been thoroughly tried and tested. I wanted something that suited my style of coaching – authentic, professional and creative.

When I did my CTI training, I met the wonderful Sue Powell. I loved her practical, down to earth approach and once I realised she was one of the Firework trainers, I signed up for the programme!

Firework has allowed me to work collaboratively with my clients to achieve their goals.

It's flexible enough to use with a range of clients, from executives to those who are transitioning careers, and people who are just starting out.

I work with people who may be at very different stages of their career change journey, and so it's great to be able to pick and choose from the suite of Firework tools. I can also bring in other resources I have too.

My favourite tool is the Ideas Bank because it works well with so many different types of clients, from people starting out thinking about their careers, to leaders transitioning into projects and sectors they really care about.

It allows the individual to broaden their minds to new possibilities. They begin to notice what they're drawn to and where their energy comes from.


I wanted something that suited my style of coaching – authentic, professional and creative.


How did you make a return on your investment with Firework?

I've got a solid return on investment as it's given me a fantastic grounding in career coaching.

I wanted tools that could be 'dipped into' for clients at different stages of their career journey – the Firework programme allows for that.

The sheer range of exercises and the flexibility of the programme has meant I use it all the time, even if I'm not using the entire framework with every client.


What has training with Firework helped you achieve?

What's excellent about Firework is that the programme can be used in a bespoke way so I can create a fulfilling experience for every person I work with.

I have everything I need to help my clients, at whatever stage of career transition they are.

The programme is fun and creative, allowing individuals to delve into what's possible for them, as well as getting them into action mode.

It's vital to me that I'm offering something of quality. Firework is a gold standard in the career coaching industry, and having the license has opened doors for me.

Being trained to such a high level in career coaching has made me more visible to other coaching providers such as the Trusted Coach Directory.

When I'm coaching in corporate organisations, people can see I've got a solid grounding in career coaching, whether the focus is career transition or career development.

Having that sort of credibility has been invaluable.


It's vital to me that I'm offering something of quality.


How did you build your business? What are the most effective ways you have attracted clients?

I've always been an associate coach with various organisations, and my private practice grew organically off the back of that.

I'm an associate coach for SEVEN, a career coaching organisation and INTOO where I coach individuals facing redundancy and outplacement. I'm also an associate coach for Sanctus, where the focus is on mental fitness and resiliency in corporate environments ranging from global tech companies to management consultants.

I use various tools to coach individuals around their wellbeing, leadership skills, and career coaching is quite a big part of it.

I also coach leaders in major corporate institutions as an associate coach for BetterUp and The Leadership Coaches.

In addition, I work with the Young Women's Trust, a charity which supports low socio-economic women around confidence and employability.

My range of career experiences has led to a strong network of connections. As a result, I've been invited to work with a variety of organisations over the years.

Being an entrepreneur, I find myself saying 'yes' to the majority of opportunities that come my way, or I create them for myself!

My broad range of training also means I'm able to attract clients and work with a vast range of people from senior executives to those just starting out.

I've also built up a private practice through referrals (and my LinkedIn profile) and through having conversations with people!

I also collaborate on coaching workshops with my business partner.

I don't have a website or a social media presence for my private practice, but this is something I'm starting to develop.


I find myself saying 'yes' to the majority of opportunities that come my way, or I create them for myself!


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

I work with people who want to make a difference in the world but don’t know how to do that.

My clients have lots of energy and passion but aren't sure how to channel it or figure out what that might look like.

I help them focus in, find their true purpose, and fulfil their power and potential.

I love the level of diversity that comes through the people I get to coach.

I work with corporate clients who are at an executive level, individuals who are in career transition and entrepreneurs.

I coach leaders at global corporate companies through to 18-year-old school leavers who can't work out their next move.

I also work with coaches in training.

My favourite types of clients tend to fall into three categories.

Firstly, people working within corporate environments who are asking themselves ‘What’s really important?’ and want to transition into areas they're passionate about.

Secondly, entrepreneurs with the nub of an idea who want to create an enterprise and harness that passion and purpose

Finally, high potentials and future leaders who want to step into their potential and power. This includes those coaches who have found their true calling!

I also get satisfaction from working with people who are struggling and haven't had many chances in life.

They might come from an underprivileged background, but they have this shining light of potential within them.

I love partnering with them to help identify real future possibilities. It's like flicking a switch, which is exciting to see and they often go on to do amazing things.

I typically work with clients on a 1:1 basis. Previously this might have been face-to-face although now it all happens online.

I also deliver coaching workshops online and leadership programmes with my business partner around issues we both see coming up in our coaching practices or in the organisations we're working with.

These issues might include building confidence, managing the inner critic, conducting difficult conversations or authentic leadership.


I get satisfaction from working with people who are struggling and haven't had many chances in life.


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

I worked with a management consultant with a background in healthcare who was asking himself what was most important to him.

By the end of the coaching sessions, he'd transitioned from consulting to lead a global project in healthcare, which was a massive achievement for him!

I had a client who worked in advertising and had the seed of an idea around supporting young people with their careers.

She turned this idea into a social enterprise where she connected with other leaders and enterprises in the field.

Being able to make people see what's possible for them and reconnecting them with their purpose and passion gives me a lot of satisfaction.

One of my favourite examples of this was an Oxbridge graduate and stage performer who wasn't secure in her work or her finances.

She was terrific – shining with potential – I got tingles every time I spoke to her!

Together, we worked on building her confidence and believing what was possible for her.

Within six sessions she'd gone from not having a job and drawing benefits to running a department in a major charity.

More recently, I worked with someone in the corporate sector, who'd been in a senior leadership position for the past 25 years but lost his sense of purpose.

After coaching with me, he finally left and decided to fulfil his dream of setting up a bookshop!


Within six sessions she'd gone from not having a job and drawing benefits to running a department in a major charity.


How do you think your work will evolve in the future?

My ethos is to focus on doing the stuff that rewards me financially as well what I'm most passionate about.

I love working with the clients I do, across all the levels of seniority and sectors.

I'll also continue to run workshops and programmes with my business partner, as well as leadership coaching. I'm a big connector and a collaborator. When there is more than one of you in the room, it's so much more impactful.

I also love the Coach-Mentoring. I’m passionate about developing coaches and passing on my experience.

Sharing knowledge through mentoring and coaching other coaches has been a natural transition for me.

So, I hope I can do more mentoring and more collaborating in the future.

I enjoy travelling and want to incorporate more of this in my work too, once the COVID restrictions allow.


My ethos is to focus on doing the stuff that rewards me financially as well what I'm most passionate about.


What are the most rewarding aspects of coaching for you?

The most rewarding thing for me is seeing clients really stand in their power and recognise what’s possible for them.

Being able to initiate change is incredibly rewarding, and I love never knowing what issues the client is going to bring to the coaching sessions.

I enjoy being able to help them move out of their own way and create the future they want, whether they are a leader, an entrepreneur or a coach.

I've got a client at the moment who has worked for a big corporate organisation but wants to start her own business. There's been a significant focus on finding what’s really important to her, harnessing her passion and energy and working out what that looks like in reality.

I find that side of the work hugely satisfying.

Being able to witness a client gain more confidence, 'grow into their skin' and find their true power is fantastic!


Nicky is a licensed Firework career coach who works across the private, public, third sectors and in entrepreneurship. In addition to her coaching and mentoring work, she is a member of several advisory boards, including The Diverse Leaders' Network and Young People in the Arts. Find out more and connect with Nicky on LinkedIn.