Dexter Kunaka

What can I tell you about me, that you may not already know…

I am the son of Zimbabwean immigrants (A proper Millennial – I do remember video tapes)

I grew up in East London and Essex (an enlightening and multi-cultural experience)

I studied a Psychology degree (Disliked it, but guess who studied a Psychology Masters 10 years later…)

I’ve worked in project management; research; pastoral school support; youth work; intensive family key-working; and as a career development professional & coach (Somewhat intentional, mostly happenstance) 

​That’s the short version at least, I wouldn’t be offended if you stopped reading there.

If a Careers Adviser had asked me (I’m guessing someone did and I don’t remember) what I wanted to be when I was 15, it was a footballer, naturally. The truth was that I was semi-decent at football, but my mental toughness was low, so beyond that I had no idea and unremarkably followed the culturally engrained and well-trodden path – study a STEM subject, go to university (Goldsmiths) and then get a ‘decent’ job.

My first ‘decent’ job was actually an internship in a research consultancy in London, SHM. Here I learned the value of doing thorough preparation and research and getting honest feedback about my performance. Next, I moved onto charity-based work at Body & Soul, having the pleasure of working with wonderful people whose values of altruism, kindness and steely determination just rubbed off on you whether you realised it or not. This was followed by a short stint in an Essex school, where I soon realised that teaching was not for me in the traditional sense, facilitation maybe.

I’ve never been afraid to be adventurous, and so I switched borders in 2015 to the sunny south coast and my journey in Local Government work began in West Sussex County Council.

Consultation. Performance management. Investigation Officer. Mentor. Advocate. Adviser. Trainer. Facilitator. Project Manager. Leader. BAME. Coach.

These are just some of the words I can associate myself with now, having experienced a few diversions along the well-trodden path.

I became a Coach and chose the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology (UEL) after being denied a particular training pathway through work… How grateful I am for that rejection! Coaching felt like a calling for me, the accumulation of all the skills I had been acquiring in service of others’ personal and professional development. I don’t believe it’s luck, rather acceptance of what’s happened and commitment to new action. It’s with intention that I have had the opportunity to work with leaders in the NHS, Local Government, Tech and SME’s; and it’s with intention that I look forward to the journey as part of the Staff College community!