A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879–1955)
There have been times in my life when I wondered … “am I really making a difference and if so, what more can I do”. I don’t question this often as I can see how people make changes when they do the work of our coaching journey. It is always nice when you hear that validation of our coaching work together. Here is Gerald’s story which I am honored to share with you.
I arrived at our first session with one thought in my head;
“OK ‘Lady’, (whispering under my breath the entire way), give it your best shot”. “I don’t need a coach, counselor, or a psychologist”. I need a job and am not quite sure how you or anybody else, for that matter, can help me.
Clearly, I was in Phase X of a Quadruple X process which is mostly made up of emotional ups and downs (more downs, it seems) when it comes to losing a job and resetting for effective networking, job search, soul searching, confidence restoration….and so on.
Basically, I was very reluctant to open up to a stranger (at the time) as I am relatively private with my successes, failures and how I feel. I was ‘ticked off’ at the world and myself for needing help with my professional direction, personal productivity, and communication.
If this behavior had a picture, it’s a guy with his arms folded, frowning (more like a scowl) and covering his ears so as not to hear (sound) advice.
Now, stop, imagine the visual again and you’ll realize that you can’t fold your arms and cover your ears at the same time. So, in fact, I was actually listening to you, Denise.
I took the assignments with me, carried the colorful notebooks and began to write. I kept notes, tasks, etc.
I took a hard look at my ‘circle of 5’ and examined who I was spending time with most and why. I tore apart my on-line profiles, CV, networking brief and began to write in the human voice without sacrificing too much of my SEO (search engine optimization). I began to tell people about my goals and was only interested in how to get there.
What I discovered about myself during the process of being coached (yes, that’s an actual process) is far too much to list here.
However, I decided that my approach needed more conviction, more passion and less of this professional, corporate persona I had become over the years. I found a voice within me that was convincing, believable, and more of who I am and less about the jobs, responsibilities, places, and problems I solved over the years. Yes, P.A.R.S. and C.A.R.S. are important strategic elements for successful interviewing. However, until you can articulate a message that captures what you can and will do is an actual part of the real you. You will convince no one, including yourself.
The experience through your coaching empowered me to maintain the level of caution I need to be comfortable. Yet, you help me to persevere with vigor, reach decisions faster and where sometimes the answer is ‘no’. And I felt I could rebound from setbacks or accept the idea of starting over (which is never really fun). At some point, it all clicked. I was certain the spike in interviews, opportunities were a result of sticking to the ideas we discussed.
I’ve been on the job for less than a week and feel as if I left the last 589 days of frustration behind. I’m teaching graduate level courses now, landed a role in supply chain technology which is my passion and I have not abandoned my latest entrepreneurial idea. I am simply taking the steps to get there.
The most important takeaway and hopefully I don’t give away trade secrets by revealing this…
Write down your goal, your biggest dreams. Then write the first step it takes to get there. Don’t squash the dream by thinking of all the reasons you can’t. Instead, focus on the very next smallest most logical step that puts you on the path. Like shampoo; rinse and repeat.
Not sure who would believe my story and what I had to endure to get over the hump. So, I can only hope by sharing, someone who could use your help will listen and achieve.
All the best,
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