The following pair of case studies identifies some of the action steps involved in helping these clients move forward. More subtle, and preceding the action steps, is the establishment of a partnership of trust and support. Establishing such a partnership is the first priority of a coaching relationship. It underlies the entire coaching process and depends upon the emotional and cognitive 'fit' between coach and client.
A trusting and firmly established coaching relationship creates a safe and supportive environment in which clients can overcome their fear of change, try new approaches with confidence, and transform their career anxiety into positive action. To paraphrase the words of Shakti Gawain, when you listen to your inner voice and let that drive your actions, good things will happen.
Case Study 1
Liz came to me for help on negotiating with a potential new employer for a Special Events Manager position and more money. She was currently doing the work of a manager, but held the title of associate manager at a much lower salary.
First, we reworked her resume to highlight her considerable managerial skills while de-emphasizing unnecessary details of her past jobs' administrative minutia. Next, we developed a strong 60-second presentation that Liz rehearsed which outlined her strengths and the contributions she could make with her new employer. Finally, we talked about what salary range she wanted and how to negotiate after the offer was given.
Outcome: Liz got the Special Event Manager job at a 40% salary increase over her prior position. After securing her new job Liz wrote, "I am certain that you gave me the confidence to move forward with my career, and in doing so, significantly increased my salary and self-esteem."
Case Study 2
Eileen was a senior Human Resources executive who recently had been fired from a job she hated. She was distraught, lacked direction and was pushing herself to go on an interview two days after her termination. After our first meeting, Eileen cancelled her job interview. We talked further about her need to take time to heal and to explore what she wanted.
Within a month, Eileen was considering several options (full-time consulting, permanent full-time HR work, and temporary contracting). She took a 3-day a week contract job which gave her the structure she needed, yet provided her with time to continue to explore her options. We examined her desires, motivations and expectations in detail with a view towards finding the work scenario that would be the best fit. Four months after her termination, armed with a polished resume and a clear direction, she began to interview for full-time HR positions. Within two months she landed a lucrative spot.
Outcome: Today Eileen is a senior HR executive at a Fortune 500 company. When we had dinner recently, Eileen said "I never thought I'd enjoy a position this much! I know that my job satisfaction is a direct result of taking the time I needed to figure out what I truly wanted and your coaching."
"Career Coaching Explained"
Article by Dale Kurow
Provides insight into the way career coaching works. Offers a sampling of the type of job and work issues career coaches can resolve. Suggests questions to ask before hiring a career coach.
"The Portable Coach"
by Thomas J. Leonard
Learn how to coach yourself. Leonard offers "28 surefire strategies" to help you achieve success in your career and life. Even if you only use a few of the strategies, this book is sure to open your eyes to new ways of attracting abundance into your life. Leonard is a guru of coaching and writes in a casual, easy to read style.