The Value of Clarity

Last year, I finished up a career coaching engagement with a client when we reached the point where he needed to move from thinking about what it would look like to find a career with meaning, to actually landing in a new place – with my support there if he needed it.

Frequently, the work we do together is comprehensive enough to give my clients the clarity they need, and the confidence and support to make that leap. And sometimes, time needs to do its work for a little while longer, for the client to really believe that they can find what they’ve identified – and for the right network or connection to help the opportunity show up.

I sent this client a note to check in, and shortly thereafter got this response:

I landed a management position for an expanding pet supply company… I work 8 min from my house… Most people bring in their dogs so half my time is spent engaging with the animals.

My stress level has been reduced by about 85%, I feel valued and appreciated in my new position, and because they are rapidly expanding there are lots of opportunities for further growth!

Last but not least, I laugh to myself every shift as our location has “giant windows” for the front of the retail suite, and if you recall I said if I were to work inside, big windows were a very big deal to me. Crazy how things work out right?

(A few edits made for brevity and confidentiality.)

Needless to say, I am elated to hear news like this – and I know there’s always some element of faith, believing that my clients will find just the right fit – after we spend the time to construct their personal roadmap.

Why did our coaching work?

  1. He knew he wanted to do something really different than his previous job (owning a stressful business), but didn’t even know what the options could be. Through our work together, we unpacked what he was really great at – customer service, engaging with people, helping to build something.
  2. We also spent time exploring how he wanted to work, not just what he was doing. This anchored for him some key factors like 1) walking his dog during the workday; 2) working outside – or at least in a space with lots of natural light; 3) minimizing stress and taking work home; 4) money and growth opportunities.
  3. We took those strengths and quality of life elements, and identified multiple potential jobs for him to explore – via informational interviewing. Being able to test out potential paths was essential to finding the combination of “what” and “how” – a pet store manager job in a big box store wouldn’t have fit the bill.
  4. We practiced interviewing to build self-confidence. He got tripped up trying to answer standard interview questions because of his unusual background, so we strategized about how to get across what they were really looking for, and how to feel more confident in what he had to offer.

When you have clarity on what you’re great at, what you love to do, and how you want to work, it’s much easier to find the just-right opportunity falling into your lap.

What do you think?

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