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Experienced Professional

Carolyn M. with Lee Weisser, Senior Career Coach

Carolyn was a research associate for a professor in the health sciences field at a major university. Although outwardly successful at the job for three years, she thought it was not a good fit. She was feeling stuck, but also scared to make a decision about finding other work. She committed to stretching herself outside her comfort zone through an eight-month coaching program with a Careers by Design professional coach. They worked together via Skype and their efforts resulted in her achieving her goal ahead of schedule. By being ready to embrace an opportunity, she found a new and exciting job that was more fulfilling.

Before seeking out a coach, Carolyn was feeling stressed and overworked. She wanted to move ahead in her career, but lacked confidence in her skills and abilities. She was also feeling completely overwhelmed because she had little time or psychological space to take the actions necessary to find a new job.

At first, Carolyn was unsure about the decision to hire a coach. She was feeling trapped--ashamed of where she was with her career and life, lacking in self-confidence, and not feeling very optimistic about her ability to get a meaningful and satisfying job. She admitted she was apprehensive about confronting her feelings and revealing them to someone else.

But she also knew she couldn’t stay where she was, that ultimately she was responsible for taking action consistent with her desire to get a new job. She started by committing to a Turning Point Session, where she felt her fears and concerns were heard and understood. That gave her the confidence to purchase a coaching program.  And although it was a significant investment of time and money, she recognized that if she was serious about finding a new job she would need help to stay focused and move toward her goal. Otherwise, she knew her best intentions would get hijacked by fear, self-doubt, overwhelm, and the inability to make finding a new job a priority in the face of the everyday demands of work and life.

Carolyn found the coaching to be personalized, yet structured. Her coach evaluated her circumstances and needs, and then selected the right tools and activities/exercises and resources from the Careers By Design “toolbox”.  And, her coach helped her reframe how she thought about herself, her skills and her future, moving to a more positive orientation. In addition, the coaching kept her focused and committed to moving through her natural resistance to change.

Carolyn said the accountability built into the coaching experience was a major factor in the achievement of her goal. Being answerable to the coach helped her effectively plan her Careers By Design activities and job search tasks, as well as break down the activities into manageable components in a realistic time frame.

She credits the expertise and knowledge of the coach around career issues in giving her reassurance that she was following the right steps. Without this support, she admits she would have gotten stuck in over-thinking, doubt and uncertainty. Books and other resources for information about job search and career design are important, but the amount of resources and information available can be overwhelming and may also contribute to procrastination.

In addition to the career support and guidance, Carolyn felt strongly that the HeartMath® tools helped her manage her emotions in a number of ways. She learned how to “reset” and take restorative mini-breaks during the workday. She learned how to create a quiet space to pose important questions to her heart/higher self and trust that she would somehow get the needed guidance. By incorporating the tools into her daily practice, she was better able to face the challenging aspects of preparing for and jumping into the job search, of making the leap to apply for a job, and of managing the stress of the job application and interview process.

Carolyn achieved her goal of getting a new job…and she reached it sooner than expected! The coaching and the activities she did prepared her to take advantage of an opportunity when it arose. Beyond getting a new job which she is truly excited about, she has a much greater understanding of and confidence in her strengths, skills, and competencies and her ability to bring value to not only this job, but to future employment as well.

Carolyn continued to work with her coach as she transitioned into her new position. They worked on adapting to the organization’s culture, fitting in and building relationships with colleagues, managing insecurity, lack of self-confidence, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome, and her ability to deal as effectively as possible with office politics.

Carolyn sees her new job as a stepping stone. She plans to continue to develop professionally and get the most she can out of the new position. She intends to continue with the “deeper work” of really clarifying what she wants to be doing in the years ahead.  Going forward, she has made a serious commitment to being the architect of her own life.

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