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You are about to embark on the next, new and exciting phase of your life – retirement! But are you ready for it?

The concept of retirement has changed a great deal in recent years. For many, it is no  longer the gold watch at 65, and then a gentle retreat into your twilight years accompanied by pipe and slippers.

Today’s retirees are often much younger and not 100% ready to give up full time work.  Or you may have reached the official retirement  age, but still have loads of energy and curiosity for the world around you.  There may be things you still want to achieve but have no idea about how to plan them.

If up until now, you have been wholly focussed on your professional life, you may not have given much serious thought to how your retirement might look, other than to plan a couple more holidays and look forward to no more commuting!

To many, retirement creeps up on them and they have no real plan for it.  Or they have ignored the issue as they don’t know where to start. This is where BLT’s FutureLife Coaching programme comes in. We believe that to get the most out of this next phase in your life, you need to apply the same level of planning as you have to the rest of your life and career.

This programme will work with you to develop a framework for your retirement. Do you want to continue working – not necessarily in your professional field? If yes, what type of work? What are the options? What skills and experience from your working life can you apply to new challenges? How do you go about finding these opportunities, whether it be paid employment, charitable endeavours, community projects – the list is endless.  What other activities do you want to pursue? How are you going to fill your time?

And what about the more subtle aspects of retirement? Are you ready mentally? How do you look back on your career? How will you approach the lack of structure? The absence of work colleagues and clients? The mental stimulation and challenge that your role has provided?

BLT FutureLife Coaching programme will equip you with the skills to plan this next phase of your life in a positive and constructive manner.  As your Coach, I will work with you to address any of these issues you are facing, establish a road map for the coming months and years ahead that you can use as your guide and reference point and provide you with a totally confidential space in which  to work through any fears and anxieties you might have as you approach this milestone.  I will  help you to find ways to realise your hopes and ambitions and give you practical guidance as to how to achieve them.

This can be a time of mixed emotions – retrospection, pride, anxiety, joy, apprehension, excitement, trepidation.  Channelling these so that you approach retirement with a positive attitude and a plan that will work for you are crucial to achieving a successful retirement and the BLT FutureLife Coaching programme will work with you to achieve this.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion as to how this might work for you, please contact Liz Watt on 020 7419 6416 or



You’ve passed your professional exams and  your career path is on track. Maybe you are about to take your first steps as a Manager or equivalent, or perhaps you have been identified as a rising talent in your business.

However, whilst you have the technical skills to undertake your role, do you feel  you  are lacking some of the softer skills required to really make a success of your career? For example, does your role involve developing business and making connections within your organisation and you aren’t sure how to go about this? Do you attend networking events but feel ill-equipped to make an impact in an effective way? Perhaps you are required to take clients out to breakfast or lunch but are not sure how to handle the etiquette of such occasions whilst having to make small talk.  Perhaps you are required to make presentations to colleagues or clients but lack the confidence to tackle public speaking. Or perhaps you find it difficult to make your voice heard, or make an impact in meetings. You may not be quite sure how to dress appropriately to reflect your growing status and feel that the impression you make isn’t quite right.

These are but some of the issues that you may be facing as your career progresses, and if not tackled, have the potential to impede your progress.

BLT FutureTalent Coaching programme will equip you to face the challenges unique to this phase of your career. We will cover areas such as networking, both internally and externally;  business development; creating business connections within your industry; handling conflict; managing the transition from trainee to Manager or equivalent to your industry; plotting a future career path; looking ahead to where the pitfalls might be and developing strategies  to avoid them.

You might feel uncomfortable about discussing some of these issues with your Managers or peers. This is where a Coach can be invaluable, providing a safe and totally confidential space to work through these issues and come up with workable solutions.  I will work with you to establish a way forward and help you to develop  the confidence to overcome any hurdles that might undermine your career progression.

If you would like to find out a bit more about BLT Executive Coaching FutureTalent programme, please contact Liz Watt on  020 7419 6416 or for an initial conversation.


Core Values

What are Values?  In short -  values are at the root of who we are. Our  values are the things that we believe are fundamentally  important to us  in the way we live and work.

When our values align with what we are doing and the way we behave,  then we are more likely to feel content and fulfilled; acting against our core values usually results in discontent and even unhappiness. Life can feel off kilter in some indefinable way.

For example – if one of your core values  is family, but you work long hours or travel a great deal, will this cause you stress?  Or if you prize health as a core value but are offered a role with a tobacco company, how will accepting that role make you feel?

Spending some time defining your values therefore can really help you as you seek answers to questions about your career and other major life choices.   To help you define what these values are, here is a brainstorming exercise to start you thinking.

Ideally you should aim for around 10 values that are most important to you.  At the end of this article, you’ll find a list of the most common personal values, if you need a bit of extra help.

Once you have your top 10 values, it is an idea to rank them,  and then use these as a measure against important decisions you  have to make. And don’t forget that your values and their relative rankings can change over time. So for example at the start of your career, ambition and success may be fundamental to you, but at a later stage, balance  and freedom might come to the fore.


Core Values


If you would like some help in defining your values and how defining these values will  give you greater control over your career and life,  call Liz (020 7419 6416) for an initial discussion.

Core Values - Words


A great headline – though sadly not mine.  I stole it.  To be fair to me, I’m just making a point; it was far easier to lift it from another article than to use my imagination – but am I wasting what sets me apart?

I recently read about a very interesting idea related to the ever-growing predominance of artificial intelligence and machine-centric automation in our workplaces; The House of Beautiful Business.  It is an initiative based on the premise that as machines take over more a more of our jobs then we, as humans, need to re-evaluate our purpose in the business world.

“As machines take our jobs and do them more efficiently, the only work remaining for us humans will be the kind of work that must be done beautifully rather than efficiently”

The initiative was created and run by Tim Leberecht and some like-minded partners, and they held a ‘pop-up’ event in Barcelona recently to coincide with the Mobile World Congress. Leberecht is the author of ‘The Business Romantic’, is an acclaimed speaker at Ted Talks and a regular writer and event-creator for this very idea.

Fundamentally, he doesn’t want to fight the growth of AI but instead ask the question of what we can offer that machines cannot. What advantages do we have to offer? For him it comes down to our basics; our ability to feel, to transcend and to imagine (not just predict!). Our ability to hope, create illusions, and develop entirely fictitious worlds, says Leberecht, separate us from animals or robots.

“It is paramount that we don’t surrender to a reductionist market-based view wanting us to believe that the wonder of life is a simple economic equation”

It’s an interesting view – and I tend to agree with it; some of the most innovative and loved products or businesses throughout history have not just led directly from existing conditions. Innovations by nature don’t arise from just incrementally building on what we already have – they come from crazy, out-there ideas where someone has thought beyond what can be predicted.

For me it’s the ability to surprise which is key. Positive and intelligent surprise.

We live in a ‘click and paste’ world where so much information at our fingertips leads to a predominance of plagiarism, fake news based on half facts, re-shared tweets, re-posted Facebook messages and even classic movie remakes with endless sequels. At a time when we should be thinking more and more about what makes us stand out, our behaviours seem to be pointing the opposite way.

-          Tariq


TAS Blog


Over the past few days I’ve mentioned in  conversation that I am attending an event to celebrate International Women’s Day this evening,  and whilst in the main the people I’ve spoken to are ‘in the know’ about IWD, I have also encountered some quizzical looks and raised eyebrows! And I would hasten to add here that the latter responses have been cross-generational and not age or gender specific!

So it got me thinking about the assumptions we make, and how these in themselves can exclude others – the antithesis of the values of IWD, which are :

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

If for example I assume that everyone I meet of course knows about IWD, and don’t explain what it is and what it means, I am effectively creating barriers where they don’t need to exist and excluding people who might want to find out more.  This does not help promote the inclusiveness we’re aiming for!

So, in an attempt to educate and inform,  in essence – ‘International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.’

In practice, what does this mean? International  Women’s Day is a global event played out on a local level and sees thousands of events – global gatherings, conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, corporate events, concert performances, speaking events, online digital gatherings and more. Events are held by women’s networks, corporations, charities, educational institutions, government bodies, political parties, the media and further communities.

To find out a bit more, visit the  IWD website.

The theme for this year is  #BeBoldForChange. Will you?

As for me – well I’m very much looking forward to attending the Voice at the Table  Women’s Day Reception  this evening .

By Liz Watt – Executive Coaching at BLT


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