Faye Miller, PhD BA, MAppSc, GradCertEd(CareerDev) is a qualified and experienced career development coach, counselor and educator collaborating with clients in transdisciplinary research and practice spaces, across science and technology, social sciences and creative arts.
My background is in psychology, film and communications, information science and knowledge management. I have enjoyed working in a wide variety of professional and academic roles across universities, industry, media and policy. I am also an experienced musician (vocalist and guitarist), speaker, published author (non-fiction and fiction), film producer and abstract artist. I am based between USA (San Francisco, CA) and Australia (ACT, NSW).
I am passionate about catalyzing social innovations, integrating diverse knowledge sources, empowering people particularly those who are marginalized, nurturing personal growth and mental health.
I aim to make information and knowledge more connectable, relatable and meaningful for people who need that knowledge to support evidence-informed decision making and to address complex societal and environmental problems. I actively practice constellation thinking, lateral mindsets and cross-boundary approaches to discover truth, meaning and enchantment. I also love helping people figure out their own unique creative processes, in exciting scientific research and arts-based endeavors!
Why career coaching?
Over many years of practice, Dr Miller observed that regular personalized career coaching and counseling can greatly support people from every life stage to develop and maintain their confidence and motivation, as they face multiple life challenges.
While researching and teaching over nearly two decades, Faye identified an increased need for career coaching and counseling people with empathy and compassion to learn transferable skills, resilience and adaptability.
Career coaching and counseling can help people become self-sufficient, over time, to contribute meaningfully to the growing need for multidisciplinary teamwork within and across different industries. At the same time, it can help with expanding their career opportunities, meaningful trajectories and overall life fulfillment.
What are Dr Faye’s approaches to career coaching and counseling?
Faye specializes in facilitating the GROW coaching model (Goals, Reality, Opportunities, Wrap-Up/Commitment) to assist teams and individuals navigate and overcome a variety of problems and challenges.
Narrative Coaching and Constructivist Approaches
To guide people towards better self-reliance, Faye applies an innovative and effective combination of GROW, narrative coaching and constructivist career counseling techniques. This can help people gain clarity in self-knowledge, core personal values and identity, purpose and action steps.
Faye helps people understand, embrace and make meaningful connections with their unique personal values through the narrative technique.
A snapshot of Dr Faye’s personal values development story
My core values of collaborative learning, shared understanding and authenticity became important for me in my formative years learning about socio-cultural resilience.
While visiting the Philippines in the early 1990s, my family and I survived a devastating major earthquake followed by the sudden eruption of a dormant volcano. While that was terrifying to say the least, I learned about the importance of human relations in getting through natural disasters, sharing and documenting experiences through writing journals and stories using photography and video. We didn’t have social media back then, we were just sharing knowledge through informal intercultural learning within communities and families emotionally and physically affected by the disasters.
While I didn’t choose the path of a geophysicist, these early personal experiences had a lasting impact on me and shaped my purpose in understanding the role of knowledge in socio-ecological systems, social sustainability and the mental health dimension of natural disasters and climate change.
These values were further developed and were at the forefront for me after my Masters when I worked as a social policy researcher at the Parliamentary Research Branch in Canberra, Australia which is a very uniquely transdisciplinary workplace linking research into policy at the Federal level.
In my role as a research grants manager in a Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research Office, I was challenged to be a translator across disciplines and external funding bodies to help win grants.
Also during my PhD, particularly in relating to early career researchers in sciences and social sciences talking about how they experienced informed learning in knowledge ecosystems.
These experiences deepened my values that shared understanding in practice goes beyond finding common ground to trying to help people understand and navigate what are often conflicting differences in viewpoints and generating creative intelligence from those unusual interactions.
Following my PhD, I went on to publish a book which aims to guide social change agents in exploring the concept and applying the practice of shared understanding.
My additional core values of problem solving, embracing challenges, personal growth, empowering people and mental health were developed in my undergraduate years studying psychology and communications, and my Masters in information science and knowledge management.
Problem solving and embracing challenges in the face of uncertainty were activated during my time working as a research assistant in educational and health psychology and human resource development projects.
Personal growth, empowering people and mental health were also developed here, but became very important in the work I do now in my career consulting practice and my research and knowledge brokering consultancy in social technology for mental health and social sustainability. This is an area that is becoming more important in Covid-19 and climate change, as the links are not yet well understood or applied in industry and policy.
New values have evolved from my core values which are more important to me in what I do now, where through my experiences and client feedback I saw myself as a catalyst for social innovation and change while integrating diverse knowledge.
As a professional career development consultant with recent and broad experience working across different sectors, clients have remarked that I facilitate sessions with a unique understanding, patience and empathy for the increasingly complex psychological issues currently being faced by students and professionals in the creative, science and technology industries, especially during Covid-19 and associated transitional experiences.
What is Dr Faye’s coaching impact?
With over 15 years experience, Faye has provided successful coaching and mentoring experiences to early career researchers, practitioners, creatives and leaders, now thriving in universities and industries globally (i.e. business, tech, government, film and media).
List of international clients and collaborators between 2004-present
Coaching program development since 2016 in Human Constellation company milestones
In my discussions with many early to mid career researchers over the years, we noted the need for more career development support, particularly for researchers whose paths diverge outside traditional pathways in academia.
After completing a PhD on how early career researchers experienced knowledge networks, I decided to help meet this need by training to be a career counselor specifically for people working in a range of intermediary roles for innovation, such as knowledge brokering.
I have recently collaborated with the Australian Academy of Science and Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop and facilitate successful knowledge brokering career development programs for early to mid career researchers, in transdisciplinary career pathway narratives and mapping. Lessons from the programs were published by the Australian National University’s Integration and Implementation Insights.
What career development programs are available?
Dr Miller currently offers two strands of career development sessions and programs tailored for:
- Research/Transdisciplinary – Scientists, technologists, social scientists, transdisciplinary knowledge brokers and other third spacers – in any discipline, from early career to mid/late career
- Creative Professionals – Writers, researchers, filmmakers, screenwriters, musicians, artists and other creatives.
Clients usually commit to engaging in six online hour long sessions over a six month period, to track and evaluate progress on goals and challenges. This arrangement is of course flexible and can be tailored to your specific needs.
Some clients choose to have ongoing sessions twice a month over development of a long term project, while some choose to have only one session and a follow up session to address specific issues.
Sessions and programs:
Exploring general issues of your choice as goals, realities, opportunities, wrap-up, commitment + notes.
Rates starting from $50USD / $65AUD per hour
Identifying and activating values, identity, purpose, action + notes
Rates starting from $80USD / $110AUD per hour
Identifying and activating general issues + notes including, but not limited to:
- writer/artist/producer identity development
- concept incubation – fiction/non-fiction writing, screenwriting (developing characters, themes, storyboarding etc.)
- life-work balance
- research approaches
- impact evaluation
- proposal development
- film development
- imaginative brainstorming
- interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary mental models
Rates starting from $80USD / $110AUD per hour
How can I book a session or program?
To book a personalized confidential one-on-one or team based online coaching session with Dr Faye Miller, please fill out the form below with a brief description of your background (Strand 1: Research/Trandisciplinary, or Strand 2: Creatives either or both), your issue, challenge and needs, and we will be in touch to arrange a call.
Initial consultation is pro bono (free of charge) to ensure that the potential coaching relationship would be mutually suitable. 30% of all earnings are donated to urgent appeals with the Red Cross, UNICEF, UNHCR and Foodbank.
Further details from Faye on her approaches and client feedback:
I have been teaching undergraduates and postgraduates in blended modes (face-to-face and online) at universities for more than ten years, since 2008. Between 2015 to 2019, I fully convened two core units – Managing Contemporary Digital Information Practices and Knowledge and Information Studies Projects as part of the Master of Information Management program at University of Canberra. During this period, I supervised the professional placements and applied research projects for over fifty Masters by coursework students in various locations and sectors across Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States.
I have had the honor of guiding adult learners from every discipline, many making transitions into new industries outside of their comfort zones into exciting, sometimes unconventional roles they never knew existed, as one recent Masters graduate, newly employed at Deakin University in client services and digital knowledge management, expressed in her feedback:
Throughout my final capstone unit and work placement, Dr Miller’s presence was warm, supportive and personalised in the challenging space of online teaching and learning. Her guidance and support allowed me to define my interests and goals for the unit and find a suitable placement. I was able to apply and develop my knowledge from my coursework and identify and hone relevant transferable skills for career opportunities within an academic context and beyond. By providing me with clear direction and valuable feedback on my progress, Dr Miller enabled me to tackle the various challenges of an immersive placement and I was able to confidently complete the unit and smoothly transition into a new career.
In 2017, I received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence – Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by facilitating workplace communications with industry mentors, raising students’ self-confidence and employability skills and attributes. In 2018, I was invited as a Teaching Fellow – Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education (University of Canberra) at the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching.
As part of a leadership development program, I collaborated with a senior researcher and engineering scientist from the Australian National University, who wrote:
In our coaching sessions using the GROW model, Faye listened to my leadership challenge progress with great enthusiasm and as always, great listening skills. She gave me ample time and opportunity to talk about various issues and realities related to my adaptive challenge.
After exploring and listening, she asked open-ended questions, which enabled me to begin exploring pragmatic options towards implementing my ideas. I appreciated having someone listen to and acknowledge my thoughts and actions around my challenge, in a neutral way with some information exchange where we found common links.
As I am an engineering scientist with less experience in human-centered communication, Faye inspired my confidence in gradually becoming more comfortable with these new styles of listening and speaking, particularly leaving more spaces for silent reflection.
I also learned from experiencing Faye’s approaches that one of the main goals for being a coach in teaching and research, is to act as a catalyst for helping the coachee come to realise things they had not thought of before or had planned to say, based on what they are offering during coaching sessions; focusing on ‘why ‘ they have chosen to talk about these things and talking more about that before leaping into the ‘how’.
After ten years working as a university lecturer, I was asked why being a teacher and mentor is important to me. I think that having the opportunity to facilitate learning experiences for students is about making a substantive positive difference to people’s lives through challenging and nurturing them to grow in unforeseen ways and across boundaries which they had not previously thought possible. My desire to catalyse potentially life-changing learning experiences for students stems from my own experiences from my formative years where, due to extensive travelling in my family life, my learning has always been a blend of formal, self-directed and informal learning within and beyond classrooms.
My approach to teaching and mentoring draws upon my own experiences and emotions as both a student and a self-directed learner from an early age, throughout my education until now in my postdoctoral years. As a student who didn’t always fit in with curriculum based learning approaches but who embraced this productively, I understand how vital it is to experience the journey alongside teachers and mentors who value, encourage and empathise with learning experiences that manifest from the unconventional interplay between formal and informal learning. My teaching is also informed by my understanding of how this kind of blended learning can broaden one’s perspectives which shape their originality and creative innovation.