About Us

This Better Work is a life and career resource for students in high-school and beyond. We help young people make better subject, study and career decisions with our online content and a team of life and career coaches. Founded in Cape Town in 2016 This Better Work is 100% founder-owned and operated on a non-profit basis.

About the founder

This Better Work was founded in 2016 by Andrew Vaughan.

Andrew's qualifications include a BSc and MSc in Mechanical and Materials Engineering from the University of Cape Town, a Master of Divinity degree from Regent College, Vancouver and qualification in coaching from the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (USB-ED). 

Andrew began his career as an engineer, working for six years in the aviation industry including a two-year stint at the Roll-Royce Civil Aerospace engine design center at Derby in the UK.

In 2003 Andrew changed tack and began a four-year theology degree at Regent College in Vancouver and then worked as a full-time youth worker at Christ Church Kenilworth, Cape Town for four years.

In 2016 Andrew entered the entrepreneurial world, founding the Youth Hub, a youth work resource non-profit company, a motorcycle touring company called Ride Down South and the This Better Work project.

What People are Saying

Alison Newby

Visiting faculty USB-ED, Coach and Parent

'Andrew is an empathetic person and a good listener. He applies his sharp mind in creative problem solving and a style of communication that puts one at ease. He relates to all age groups, but especially young adults as he conveys a non-judgemental approach.

 

I have known Andrew in the roles of a youth worker, a coachee, a coach and a colleague. In all these roles he has demonstrated his ability to reflect on his own personal and leadership development with authenticity and integrity.


His competence in coaching skills came to the fore when he was rated as  the highest achiever on his USB-ED coaching course. His wisdom in facilitating change was evident when he coached groups of young people.


As a parent of two young adults , I have been grateful for Andrew’s  guiding influence in their lives.'

Jonathan

Engineering graduate, Cape Town

'Having just graduated with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering when the Covid 19 Lockdown occurred I was very uncertain in what career path I wanted to take. Andrew gave me excellent advice and asked me questions about myself which gave me a deeper understanding on what I wanted to in the future. I would definitely recommend Andrew if you were uncertain about what career path you want to take.'

Peter

IT Intern, Cape Town

'My name is Peter and I am interning as a software developer this year. Having Andrew as a career coach helped me to go after what I want to do. I found a new direction that helped me in choosing to be where I am. If you don’t know what to do, I'd recommend a coaching session with Andrew.'

Our Coaches

Andrew vaughan
Founder and Coach

Andrew completed his coaching training through the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (USB-ED). Andrew has over 20 years experience in coaching and mentoring youth as a youth worker in a variety of contexts including  the UK, Canada and South Africa. 

Alison Newby
Coaching partner

Alison Newby has an MSc in Management of Technology and Innovation in the Domain of Coaching. Alison is also accredited to administer the Insights Discovery Personality assessment and is a member of USB-ED visiting faculty.

Our Vision & Story

Let's Change the Way We Make Career Decisions

This Better Work was founded in 2016 by Andrew Vaughan on the back of twenty years of part and full-time youth work in Cape Town, Johannesburg, the UK and Canada.

In each of those contexts Andrew listened to the stories of young people (and their parents) who were finding it hard to make a decision about school subject choices, what they were going to do after school or what they wanted to do with their life.

Many of these young people felt anxious about having to make what seemed like a life-defining choice with little knowledge or experience to work with.

Students felt they needed to figure out exactly what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives while still in high school. They often felt under pressure from peers, parents or teachers and sometimes their own expectations.

In many cases students weren't getting much help at school or elsewhere. Aptitude tests were expensive and didn't always provide helpful answers. School career-guidance programs were often under-resourced and seldom consisted of much more than an occasional career talk by a parent and possibly a job-shadow week. 

Drawing on his experience as an engineer, youth worker and theology graduate, Andrew began work developing a set of resources that would help students gain the knowledge and experience they needed to make better decisions and take the stress and anxiety out of the decision process.

The goal was to design a process that would help students develop their knowledge and experience through online and in-person encounters. This process would enable a student to come up with some ideas of what they could do, and then have the opportunities to test and refine their ideas before deciding what they should do.

A key focus area from the beginning was to introduce students to key global challenges. Our aim was to inspire young people to consider how they could make a positive change in the world as they thought about the kind of work they wanted to do.  

We adapted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to produce a collection of 16 Global Challenges students can explore and research further.

Over the past five years we've conducted school workshops in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Sydney, Australia and run private consultations for small groups and individuals. The result is a set of proven, high-quality tools and resources that we're proud of and excited to share.

Our Sources and Inspiration

In designing our process and resources we've been fortunate to have had input from Dr Pete Hawkins, founder of Windmills Online in the UK.

We also consulted periodically with Ingrid van der Merwe and Athi Matinise at the University of Cape Town Careers Service.

We have also drawn from the work of the Gatsby Foundation's Good Career Guidance benchmarks and Daniel Porot's book The PIE Method for Career Success

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Contact Andrew for more information.