I was invited to write a blog regarding when to employ a coach. I knew I needed a coach the second time my position was eliminated. I had exhausted all my avenues for finding employment and nothing was working.
The first time my position was eliminated was in 2005. Working 8 hours daily by speaking with and meeting people, I found employment after nine months. LinkedIn was not as robust then as it is today, and I was unaware of the benefits of coaching.
The second time my position was eliminated was in 2015. A new president was employed, and he brought in his own staff. It happens often when a new president arrives; she changes staff. You cannot take it personally. You must leave graciously and move on with your career.
I searched for employment using university and higher education websites, search firms, LinkedIn and personal contacts. I participated in several interviews and knew I “aced” the last one. I answered every question, made great eye contact, asked relevant questions and had the qualifications they were seeking…at least I thought I had. When I received word that I was not asked to move forward in the search process, I wondered why.
I discovered through a member of the search committee that I was missing one aspect of the position the committee was seeking; “otherwise, I performed well.” I was fortunate that this person was candid; most candidates never know why they are not hired. The knowledge helped me move forward with my search.
I subsequently engaged a coach. We worked together for more than seven months. She helped me understand that I am more than a title and salary. That recognition was a turning point; it helped me decide on my next career move. During a group coaching session, my coach noticed how I engaged with the other people being coached and she asked me if I would consider coaching. I immediately said yes because I had always – from my first leadership position to my last – coached, championed, mentored, and advocated for employees, coworkers, and peers. My passion has been and is helping other people realize their potential.
In 2017, I launched Career Coaching by Linda. The coaching practice specializes in empowering women to advance in academia. My clients have told me that they employed my services for reasons similar to which I engaged a coach: not knowing who they are or what they should do next to find a job. In addition, they were seeking advice on how to network and have their ideas be recognized on the job. They also wanted to employ a person to whom they could be accountable other than themselves.
Other reasons why you may decide to engage a career coach include those listed below.
- Feeling stuck, lacking enthusiasm, or sensing you are no longer engaged in your work. You may need a new challenge, either within the company or with a new employer.
Solution: Identify a position you want and develop a plan to obtain it.
- Dreading going to the office daily because a co-worker is annoying, or worse, a bully; or your supervisor doesn’t realize your talent, or worse, takes credit for your work.
Solution: speak to your co-worker and supervisor and tactfully speak up for yourself. Your voice needs to be heard.
- Feeling drained every day you leave the office.
Solution: ask yourself why and develop mechanisms for reducing the draining factors.
Fear stops people from moving on, but as I tell my clients: coaching is a collaborative approach that can help them make a change in their career. A coach can help you develop a personal strategic plan or road map to move you forward to your next and ultimate career goal. She can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities that abound for you as well as the threats that are jeopardizing your personal and career growth. A coach can also help you with networking, which is building relationships over time. A coach can help you identify the appropriate search firm for your next role. She can help you with the process of figuring out what is eluding you.
If my story sounds familiar and resonates with you, consider engaging a coach. It has made all the difference in my life and career. I hope it will do the same for you.