Hi… I’m Andy Parker
- Career and life coach
- Digital Transformation Consultant
- Working with people in the technology and digital sector
I’m an experienced professional coach and mental health advocate with a background in digital design and user research. You can talk to me about anything relating to career progression, mental health, autism in the workplace and leadership.
The quick bio…
For over 20 years I have built a career in technology and Digital design. I’ve worked in some of the world’s best design agencies such Clearleft, CX Partners, Lightmaker. I was a senior member of the British Government’s Government Digital Service and have worked across much of the UK public sector.
Want to talk about how I use design games to coach people to success, or radically change the way that public services are run?
Navigating a career in the fast-pace of the web did not come easy. Self taught, I flunked out of school, lied my way into college and got fired from quite a few jobs. It wasn’t until I was in my late 30s that I was diagnosed with Autism. This is where my journey into becoming a coach began.
My passion for music, and art not only guided me to a career in digital design, it influences everything I do. I’m a grassroots champion, I love supporting people that take the DIY ethos of the punk movement, and build the things they want to see and invite everyone along for the ride.
Becoming a coach
Building a career hasn’t been easy. I have experienced informal and formal disciplinary processes. I’ve been fired from places that I loved. With those experiences come unintended consequences. You lose mutual respect and trust with others, and worse yet - you can lose the friends you make in those businesses.
I wanted to understand why I found it so hard to toe the line, and what it was about how I looked at the world that was so different to what my colleagues would see that we would find ourselves in these difficult, complex and unhappy situations.
I hired a professional coach!
This first experience with a trained and experienced coach radically changed my understanding of who I am and how I function. What I wasn’t expecting was to dig deep into my past behaviours, relationships and experiences and finding something was missing.
Through the work with my coach at the time; the wonderful Rachel Gilmore and a psychotherapist, together we identified a possibility that I was on the Autistic spectrum.
My own journey of discovery, has given me so much confidence and appreciation for who I am, and how I function. Understanding myself in this way has given me tools I didn’t have as a child, or young adult to be able to communicate with the people around me with what is happening in my head, what it might look like to others when I am at a low energy point, and how to best work with me.
Since then I have been a lecturer at a University teach User Experience Design to young adults, many of whom were on the Autistic spectrum, and engaged with communities of practice and People Teams in organisations to champion and advocate meaningful change in the workplace that support and invite neurodivergent staff to have the confidence to lower their mask if they want to.
I am honoured to be part of the volunteer community for several charities that work within the mental health space, working to raise awareness of the challenges and experiences we all find ourselves in at times in our lives.
My coaching experience combined with basic training in Counselling, Mental Health First Aider certification has given me great opportunities to give myself to others through the following organisations.
Mental Health Motorbike
Mental Health Motorbike exists to create meaningful opportunities so that together we grow the greater wellbeing of the motorbike community. The charities main aim is to build a free, dedicated national network of trained mental health first aiders who can support bikers and their families across the UK.
I am a Mental Health First Aider volunteer with the charity, and act as a guardian during our Mental Health First Aid training courses which are delivered online.
Men Walk Talk
The premise is simple, the walks aim to provide a safe environment for men to share their experiences and with the support and guidance of walk leaders explore their thoughts and feelings. Visit the official site for details on walks near you.
Men Walk Talk operate walking groups through England, UK. I lead a walk in Shepton Mallet, North Somerset every 2nd Sunday of the month.