About Us

Shewbridge Coaching is here to make the world better. So far, so generic mission statement, but we genuinely believe we’re different. We transform people’s lives by giving them more autonomy, more self-sufficiency, and more dignity. What’s more, we do that without the bullshit many companies use to win customers. Because we aim to give our customers more autonomy, we can’t also take it away by manipulating them. What would be the point? How would that make the world better?

We tend to win trust gradually by showing who we really are, maintaining personal contact with our clients and being recommended to others. It’s slower than most modern marketing techniques, but we think it leads to better business in the long term, while staying true to our values of autonomy, self-sufficiency and dignity.

So what problem do we solve? Let’s take a closer look at the modern world of work.

Humans get used to the way things are; that’s just how we work, and, in many respects, that’s a good thing. If we were in a permanent state of horror, or even elation, we wouldn’t be able to function. But it also comes with a cost; it can be difficult to see that how things are isn’t acceptable. Another way of looking at it is this: as long as we’re in a situation we can handle, we often don’t see how bad it is. And if you look at the world of work from a couple of steps back, it is, for many of us, a horror show.

The problems all stem from one crucial cause – the balance of power rarely favours the employee. That’s you. No matter how senior you are, unless you’re the sole owner of the company, your employer will always have power over you. Without spelling out the obvious, that’s because you’ll die without a job. Ok, we exaggerate a little, but being unemployed is a serious problem for most people. Losing a single employee, on the other hand, just isn’t that big a deal. It’s a pain; sometimes it’s a big pain, but that’s all it is. Never fall into the trap of thinking you aren’t replaceable. No matter what anyone tells you, you are. Facing facts is difficult sometimes, but wise always.

All of this means that employees lack the dignity we all like to pretend we have. We pretend that we’re exchanging our skills for money in a fair deal in which both parties win, but the facts of the matter belie that dream. We get paid exactly as our contract stipulates, but we give so much more. It’s there in the countless rounds of interviews, the unacknowledged applications and the generic, soulless rejections. It’s there in the unpaid overtime, the untaken leave, the threat of a poor reference and the subjective performance reviews. It’s there in the expectation that we dress in a certain way just to provide our services; it’s there in the demand that we not only work but pretend we’re enjoying it too.

In the past this was, in one sense, more bearable. Long before we adopted the principle that all humans are equal and worthy of respect, strict hierarchies and imbalances of power were accepted facts of life. Bosses had power, workers had none, and everyone thought this was more or less how it should be.

Then the Sixties happened, and we reevaluated what it means to be human. For the first time in our history, we started to understand that nobody should have total power over anyone else. Since then, our workplaces have become less formal, the structures less rigid, and whole companies now socialise together.

But deep down, if we allow our thoughts to reach their natural conclusions, we know that nothing has really changed. Almost nothing. The only real shift has been the level of pretence, which has only increased. The ‘funkier’ the office, the bigger the lie. We know this.

Offices are designed to make you feel cool, with their ping-pong tables and fruit bowls (Seriously? Free oranges? Where do I sign?). Companies now market themselves as ‘family’, even though families generally don’t fire their children for poor performance. Mental health workshops and other box-ticking exercises just paper over the real cracks.

The stiff formality has been replaced by a complex web of politics, passive aggression and the supposed perk of ‘bringing your whole self to work’. A power imbalance is always there, no matter what we do to pretend it isn’t. And it makes itself clear when your employers let you go.

Things used to be bad for the employee. Things are still bad for the employee. The only difference is the added indignity of having to pretend this is what you would choose, and that playing ping-pong with your boss is fun, rather than the degrading and dehumanising manipulation that any sensible person knows it to be.

Most of the time, it’s easier to lie to ourselves, because we don’t see a way out, and that’s an unbearable thought. Well, at Shewbridge Coaching, we know there’s a way out, and we’ve opened that door for countless clients in our time.

The secret is in building up your power. On the surface, we sell CVs, LinkedIn profiles, interview skills, career planning and such, but the keen eye will notice that what we really sell are autonomy, self-sufficiency and dignity.

We show our clients how to make themselves more marketable, and to redress the balance of power so they are in demand. Our clients don’t just have a CV and a better interview technique; they hold the keys to more opportunities for the rest of their lives. The hold better cards in every round. This means they no longer live in fear of losing their jobs.

Our clients learn the strategy for playing – and winning – the recruitment game, and they become the authors of their own futures.

And when you’re ready, you can join them. All you have to do is contact us for a chat.

When you’re ready for the Shewbridge Coaching solution, we’ll join you and fight for you.

Matt Shewbridge and Dean Gollings

Matt Shewbridge

Matt has been obsessed with communication and language since he learnt to read. Every role he has held has involved sharp, effective communication – particularly the perfection of the message.

Since founding Shewbridge Coaching in 2017, Matt has helped hundreds of clients hone their message and the means of delivery to land great jobs.

Dean Gollings

Having previously gained a First Class Business degree and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Dean entered the recruitment industry in 1982. He operated as a consultant, manager, Director and business owner before setting up his own highly regarded recruitment training business in 2003. Throughout this period Dean recognised the value of exceptional candidate service and created many tools and techniques specifically to benefit job-seekers up to Board level. Thousands of candidates have reaped the rewards of Dean's unique methods. He also has a huge network of recruitment friends across the globe.

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