Making a career change, finding a job after college or becoming a self-employed after being an employee your entire career can be some of the most difficult situations we all have to face in our professional lives.
Job searching can come across as a completely draining, demotivating, and frustrating experience, which can often escalate and become overwhelming, due to the time, effort, and emotional resources it requires.
My personal experience helped me get a better understanding of this process, along with the challenges that come with it. After graduating, I had a difficult time finding a job in the midst of the 2011 economic crisis, which led to a quarter life crisis. Then, for over 10 years, I changed several work environments, from small companies to corporations, advertising agencies, and other mid-sized companies, got fired, took the freelancer route, but also worked abroad for a few years, before eventually quitting my job and becoming a professional Solopreneur .
Quite a ride, huh? They were all part of my professional path and I am very grateful for each experience, because they’ve all led to the point where I am today, upon discovering my true calling. My entire professional path helped me to discover all the ups and downs and very different job environments and what is required to thrive in all of them. Should we work together, these experiences and the insights I gathered so far are helping me help you to make a change in the struggle surrounding your professional life and to get more clarity on your goals, your resources, and finding your inner strength to fulfill your dreams.
Although anything can also be achieved on your own as well, being open to professional guidance can simplify and clarify the overall process, while discovering significant new details about yourself. Not to mention, it will speed up your development process , but also give up the emotional support while going through all of those job interviews and uncertainty.
“It’s ok to ask for help and get some support.”
If someone would have said that to me a few years back, I would have laughed in their face, saying something like “Who, me? No, no, I don’t need it, thank you. I got this.” So, I get it. It’s not like we are incapable, or not good enough to make a career change, get promoted or become an entrepreneur all on our own, because yes, we can. We definitely can. But it’s more about not being alone in the process, having someone to brainstorm your ideas with, keep you accountable and on track and most importantly pinpoint what behaviours, beliefs or thinking patterns are sabotaging your growth.
Because believe me, we all have them. We are not even aware of them, but they are there. And a coach can help very much in this area, by bringing them in your awareness and helping you overcome or change them.
It’s not easy to accept we all need some support and I know it very well. I was always a know-it-all kind of person, so I get it. But accepting this, does not make us less capable, but au contraire, makes us emotionally stronger by creating the necessary space for us to grow.
Working with a coach to help you find a job that’s in line with your values, skills, and vision, to keep you motivated, accountable, to make you feel supported, and to create a safe space for you to grow as a person might be the type of experience you need to get a 3X boost on your career goals.
So, when to hire a Career Coach?
While would seem natural to think we might need some help from a career coach or consultant when we’ve already sent out multiple dozens of CV’s and nothing happened, a coach can really have an impact in more areas than this particular one. Let’s have a look:
1. Entering the workforce after college. You are confused and don’t know what career or direction to pursue.
· this might happen in the beginning of your career, when you’re still a student and realize the university you’re studying does not satisfy your needs at all and you need a new life perspective. Should you get hired in the field you’ve studied, but don’t actually enjoy, or should you try something else? But what, since you ‘only’ possess skills in one particular field?
· you may have already been working in a specific field for a few years and you end up realizing that this is not your calling. Even though you are quite good at your job, you don’t see yourself doing this for the rest of your life and that is quite heavy on your soul.
Finding your vocation/calling or purpose might seem like a daunting thing, but we all have the answer within us – we just need to be open to look deep enough inside and bring it forward.
A coach can offer you the tools and the space (emotional set up) necessary for you to do just that. By bringing awareness to your needs, values, beliefs and interests, you will get to know yourself better, identify what makes you happy and what brings fulfillment into your life.
2. When you are not happy at your job and you want to change it.
More often than not, the perspective of leaving our job appears when we’ve already gotten to a point where we hate it: when the daily routine of going to work has turned into a nightmare and we feel irritated from the very first second we wake up in the morning. But it doesn’t always have to be like this.
A coach can help you:
· discover the motivations and reasons behind your hesitation, despite your determination to leave, when you can’t bring yourself to make the first step
· look at the best exit options for you, create a plan, support you, and/or keep you accountable for it
· learn new skills/perspectives/tools on how to cope with stress and improve your emotional wellbeing at work
· find the necessary internal and external resources to have a smooth transition.
· offering support during the job search and application process (CV, letter of intention, interviews, the emotional state during this time, motivation).
3. When you want to take your career to the next level
Whether you’ve just been promoted to a management position for the first time or you may have been a manager for some time already, you feel like you have much more potential. Taking your career to the next level is never an easy thing. Why? Because as you climb up the ladder of leadership, you may realize that what got you here won’t take you there.
You might need to develop new skills or you feel like it’s getting lonely up there. Leading a team of 10 people is different than being a part of that team. Sometimes you need to be ‘the bad guy’ and make some decisions that people don’t agree with – are you ready to be that person?
· learning new skills, such as leadership, active listening, giving feedback, coaching/mentoring your team, stress management, decision making, accountability, empathy
· getting to know yourself better: identifying your beliefs that stop you from being a great leader and replace them with constructive beliefs
· stop micromanaging, start empowering, and build other leaders
· stop being ‘the best boss in the world’ and start being a great leader: learn how to say no, set boundaries, make the right decisions (as opposed to the ones that make you more popular), listen to your team, empower them, keep them motivated, show appreciation and most importantly, learn to communicate openly and give feedback assertively
· develop emotional resilience and grit, own up to your decisions and acknowledge other people’s input
· be the leader you always looked up to and inspire other people.
4. When you want to leave or already left your job to go on your own, be it a start-up, a company or freelancing.
You have been thinking about this idea for some time, you may even have a list of business ideas you would embark on, but you don’t know what to do next. Or you may have already tested out your idea, got some feedback, and are currently stuck trying to find the best way to transition.
Even more extreme than this, you’ve quit your job, you have the idea and some finances, but you’re scared to the core to make a move because you’re afraid it would fail. Career coaching is a good idea if:
· you want to start, but don’t know from where and how
· you have all you need, but you still cannot make the decision and take the leap of faith
· you’ve quit your job in an emotional impulse, hoping for the best, and you are currently struggling or overworking yourself to compensate ‘the lost time’ and start making profit
· you are facing different obstacles and challenges that you didn’t know existed before: you don’t have an agenda nor a daily routine, you cannot stick to a schedule and procrastinate, you take your clients’ feedback very personally, you feel lonely working from home, cannot sleep at night (because you worry too much), or you have no objectives or plans
· you realize the new found freedom is actually quite overwhelming and you could use some discipline; you need to set up your own tasks, plan your day, set priorities and complete the tasks
· you suddenly need to acquire multiple skills from different areas and wear many hats: accounting, marketing, administration, sales, client service, strategy etc.
5. When you want to re-enter the workforce after a big break, be it from maternity leave or from a sabbatical, or even some freelancing period.
Returning to work within a company after a significant amount of time (even 6 months are enough to have an impact on us) might be a scary and difficult thing to do. Here’s how you can make your transition smoother. This is for you if:
· you are scared of going back to socializing at work and fear you won’t find your place. The team you were once part of is not there anymore, so what are you going to do?
· you question some of your (technical) skills, since you’ve been gone and out of touch with that type of work for some time
· you realized that while away, you’ve outgrown the company/job that you had and don’t know what to do
· you started your new job, but you feel like an outsider.
Other areas where Career Coaching is applicable
1. You love your job, but you feel underappreciated
2. You need to have some crucial conversations (highly important, highly emotional) with your manager or your team
3. You need to learn how to manage receiving negative feedback, and also how to give feedback
4. You need a Personal Development Plan to help you advance your career
5. You have been searching for a job for a very long time with no prospects
6. You need help navigating a new job (environment) or your first job: what (not) to do, what’s expected of you, how to be part of a group or community
7. You need someone to keep you accountable while you search for a new job, and get some emotional support while doing it.
Thank you for reading so far. If you can relate to any of these situations and feel that you might benefit from career coaching, send me an email and we’ll take it from there. The first session is always free and you can decide after if you still want to work together.
This situations are not relevant to you? No problem at all, they don’t need to be. Coaching is not only for the above examples, but these are also just the most common use cases. Tell me your story and we’ll pick it up from there.