Career Transition Coaching Can Help You Break Out of Your Comfort Zone And Achieve Stellar Results
Sometimes, the more we think about something, the less we actually do about it. The energy and time we put into thinking about it may feel like we are taking action, but nothing changes.
It’s a common complaint I hear from driven, self-reliant individuals like you.
And it’s a frustration I’ve experienced myself.
How do we get from here to there when we don’t know yet what there is?
Using this career transition coaching case study, I hope to help you see how you can navigate the gap too.
Sam was highly capable and confident in his position as senior consultant for a top notch organization. After 24 years, he still enjoyed his role as strategist. He empowered clients with solutions, was respected for his work ethic and mentoring of others. But job satisfaction and proficiency were no longer enough to keep him at his company. Management changed and not for the better.
The truth was, every morning when he got up for work, it washed over him. The realization that his natural optimism, engagement and energy was eroding.
Long term employees were leaving, with grievances. Morale among employees and communication with management had become demotivating and demoralizing.
He came to coaching because an inner voice was growing more insistent. Urgent. He needed to figure things out.
In the beginning, Sam had more questions than answers:
How can I get clear and in motion from a place of circular thoughts that lead nowhere?
This job is what I’ve always done, who I am. What else would I do? How would I do it?
As a generalist, is my skill set valuable outside this company?
Taking Small Intentional Steps Sets You Up for The Leap
Sam quickly set a goal to leave. He began with sizable doubts like the ones most of us feel when we embark on something new and don’t yet know what that is or how to go about it.
In his words: Change is daunting in light of how long I have been at one job.
Along the way there were experiments, goal posts and celebrations. The result was nothing he imagined. It was better than what he imagined.
Want to know how he did it?
Here is a peek into the mindset and moves that led Sam from not knowing to receiving a lucrative offer in a senior position from a highly regarded company that was unrelated to his field of experience.
The Reveal: Mindset and Moves
His initial mindset was that his capacity was limited to what he knew and did in the past.
Most of us tend to make plans and set sights based on what we already know so we end up doing what we knew and did before. Initially his sights were set on doing more of the same for a competitor company. When I challenged him to reach for the next rung, consider leveraging his strengths working with CEO’s, he was surprised. That was unknown territory. Yet he was willing to ask, What if? Willing to get uncomfortable.
He had forgotten how wonderful he is.
What made him unique. What his strengths were. It was one thing to hear positive things from others, quite another to recognize and own them himself. He completed an assessment that targeted and validated his strengths. We identified his core values, attributes that he would look for in his next workplace and colleagues. Adding concrete data strengthened his value proposition as he ventured out to explore what might interest him next. He acknowledged and celebrated milestones along the way.
He was willing to be a beginner.
Ask lots of questions. Explore what he did not know. Allow that he did not need to go this alone. Sam pulled together a dream team of individuals around him. Some he would turn to for encouragement and honest advice, others for their role as connectors who could introduce him to people he wanted to meet. For accountability and integrating what he learned, he had me as his coach. He honored the promise he made to keep moving the process forward.
He initially focused on what his leaving would mean – to others.
That he would be letting his co-workers and team down. This is a commonly held perception for people who value loyalty and do not want to disappoint. What allowed him to leave? He got clear on why he was doing it – for him, his priorities, his energy and his choice. He also created what I call, “an elegant exit,” crafting a plan of communication, continuity and providing ample notice of his departure.
Done Deal: An Outstanding Outcome
Sam was identified as a finalist candidate for a senior position in a field in which he was unfamiliar. He had no obvious direct experience. The interview process went on for three months. He fortified himself. He persisted. Ultimately he was offered a position on a staff of seasoned professionals that aligned with his values, featured his strengths, offered him new challenges and partnership potential.
Case Study Takeaways:
If you’ve been circling Dallas with thoughts instead of meaningful action, it’s likely because you’ve been trying the things you already know, sticking to plans and goals that keep you playing smaller than you need to.
Allow yourself to venture into the land of uncertainty and put on your beginner’s cap. Ask questions. Surround yourself with people who can fill in the gaps of what you don’t know.
If you want new results, you need to be willing reflect inward, stretch outward, prioritize the work, and modify your relationship with uncertainty.
Easier said than done, to be sure.
And worth it.
Just ask Sam.
What do you take away from this Case Study on Career Transition Coaching?
What’s a challenge that you are facing in your career transition that would benefit from a mindset shift to make it real?
p.s. You might also find additional inspiration from another case study on how to reinvent your career by getting focused on what you want.