Career Coaching, Life Coaching. . . Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that now everyone is a coach. It used to be that no one knew what career coaching was. If I told someone I was a coach, they looked at me funny or asked what sport I played.
Even though most people know what coaching is now, this is still what people sometimes think coaching looks like:
HA! This was sent to me by my friend Bruce. (Thanks Bruce!)
The truth is, coaching is obviously a lot different from that, and if you’re feeling stuck in your career you should think seriously about coaching.
Because career coaching is worth the investment and it is going to get you out of that job you’ve been putting up with for so long and instead you can get paid to do something you actually like to do.
I know that you dread every day that you have to go to work.
I know that you wish you didn’t have to deal with your boss anymore.
I know that you’d like to do be doing something that’s actually interesting and fulfilling, instead of the kind of work you have to do day in and day out.
But you have your doubts that any amount of talking to someone, even a professional, is going to see you through to the other side – to an amazing career, because you have no idea what that is or how to get there. So how in the world could someone else help you figure it out?
Especially given how complex career change is. I mean, career change isn’t just about what you want to do next. It’s also about what is practical. What you’re able to do financially, what you have the skills and background for, not to mention whether you can actually find a job or have a successful business doing it (whatever it turns out to be.)
It’s enough to make your head explode.
So I understand the urge to pretend it’s not happening. Except that you still have to go to work on Monday.
Instead of hiding under your bed, let’s see if we can find a way out of your situation together, yes?? (I promise we can.)
I want to tell you about some work I did recently with a client. The purpose of telling you this story is to show you one teensy example of how career coaching can help you move forward from your stuck place.
When you work with me you will get many moments like this over time. And these many moments (small and larger “aha moments”) will culminate in you having a breakthrough.
Ok, on with the story.
I was working with a client, I’ll call her Anne. We were discussing ideas about what her “dream job” might be. We had inched closer to possibilities through several sessions and I had followed her lead until we got to a few “likely suspects.”
But I sensed that Anne wasn’t getting as excited about these career ideas as I thought she would be, given how close I thought we were to what she said she wanted in a dream job. She hadn’t said anything to tell me that. In fact, her words all were encouraging and told me that we were on the right track. Still, I could see that something was off.
(Here is one place where you might fool yourself into thinking things are ok.)
So I asked her. After thinking about it for a minute she agreed that mentally she was excited about the ideas, but on a feeling level she really wasn’t that excited. But she wasn’t sure why.
(Again, ask yourself, how much would you really push yourself to figure out why there was this split between thoughts and feelings, without someone pushing you to explore it??)
After working through the feelings and ideas, here’s what we discovered:
Anne is super-smart and professional, and she doesn’t want to show anything to other people before things are “all set.” She didn’t want to “tip her hand” only to not have it come to be.
She also doesn’t want to get “too excited” about anything that might not become a reality.
She has financial and work/life balance concerns about how to go back to school for her new venture while staying at work full time.
These things make sense. Here’s what I said to her about how these fears and blocks were holding her back.
I told her that because she is afraid she is shutting her emotions down. But this then shuts down her ability to find the work that she loves because it’s only when she follows her emotions (figures out what she loves) that she can find her dream job. So the fear is causing her to be unable to find what she is looking for in the first place.
Her goal is to not shut down with fear and allow herself to be excited about possibilities so she is then able to emotionally explore which possibility might feel the best for her.
Of course, we went on to talk about how to actually not shut down with fear and allow the feelings to show through.
So you see, coaching isn’t just talking about things. It’s an active process in which you uncover elements that are keeping you stuck, discover things about yourself that you didn’t know, and actively move forward towards your goal.
But if it also involves cookies, I’m up for that too. 🙂
If you’re feeling afraid, grab my cheat sheet for a fear free career change here!