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About me

Judith Gentry- Career Coach

16 years of working one to one with a wide range of individuals have given me an extensive understanding of how to work effectively with those seeking a career that can inspire and motivate them. I’ve seen that magical moment when a client gets excited about the possibilities when they realise that they are at the start of something that is going to make a difference to them, big or small.

While aspiring to the goal set by Confucius, the Chinese philosopher to choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’ may be beyond many of us (and perhaps there were fewer choices and distractions when he was growing up in 540 BC)  nevertheless many of us stagnate simply because we think we’ve set out our path and we must follow it.

But this simply isn’t true.

I’m a friendly, easy-going career coach with an informal yet professional approach who will help you identify your goals and keep you focused on them. I work best with clients who are serious about making changes and who are ready to get “stuck in” but need a direction of travel.

Thriving Ivy came about in 2004 when I chose to create a new working life for myself made up of a portfolio of interests. A career in retail had formed the greater part of my life up to that point, from the early days of a Saturday sales assistant at Woolworths in Liverpool to a senior executive role at Debenhams PLC in London.


I was successful, I was award winning but increasingly that success was taking me away from the thing I loved most – helping people to innovate, enabling transition and transformation for them to thrive within their chosen field.  We often think that change will be difficult, drawn out, painful but it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure big decisions have to be thought through, but often changes can be made quite quickly. As Alice remarks in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland,  “I knew who I was this morning but I’ve changed a few times since then”.


 “I knew who I was this morning but I’ve changed a few times since then”

Part of the joy of my life has been implementing career change and transition for my own career. Having qualified as a psychotherapist in 2008 I formed Thriving Ivy Career Coaching bringing together a unique mix of business skills and people knowledge. This ‘therapeutic twist’ to career coaching means that I can help you change behaviours and overcome problems in your desired way.

And the name?

I wanted to call my company something memorable, as well as something that reflected what I do and what my work is about. It’s easy to find ourselves merely surviving, or constantly striving. In my work, I encourage you to stop and reflect and consider – is this what you want, or would you rather thrive?

And as for the ivy, well it’s tenacious, it springs back up even when chopped to the core and can weather storms and extremes of many kinds. For me, the combination of the two conjures up strength, growth and beauty – and I like the sound of it!