Coaching is a special form of professional consulting that provides counsel and support to individuals in phases of personal or career change. Working towards a PhD is a prototypical period in life during which coaching can play a productive role. It contributes on the one hand to bringing a major project to its successful conclusion. At the same time, gaining a PhD implies a phase of biographical transition after years of studying and – at the very latest at graduation – a time of professional (re-)orientation. The support that coaching can provide in this process rests on the premise that every doctoral candidate is an expert on his or her own situation. Seen in this way, coaching is not consulting in the sense of dispensing advice, but rather a dialogic form of communication, which provides tailored support to develop and adopt new perspectives, as well as to overcome alleged limitations through the use of individual resources and skills.
All questions of professional orientation and challenges are dealt with at GCSC Career Coaching sessions. Further, Career Coachings provide space for working out professional prospects for the time after graduation, as well as challenging perceived conflicts between career and private plans and goals. Researchers wishing to take part in career coachings are asked to file concrete coaching requests describing their individual set of problems for which personal coaching is desired. All issues discussed during coaching sessions are, of course, treated confidentially.
GCSC Career Coaching is offered by Dr. Martin Zierold, who has completed a one-year training course in Systemic Coaching and Change Management at Cologne University’s ineko Institute