Today marks a year since I began my business as a career coach to women in IT, Science and Engineering.
Its been an awesome experience so far and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings. The learnings have been huge. The sense of satisfaction with my life have been even huger.
If you’re wondering about whether you should go for it – I say GO FOR IT!!!
Just start now.
There have been big learnings and even bigger growth. Developing the communications skills necessary to just be with, sit with and be 100% present with a client is a constant work in progress. To do this means also being able to 100% present with myself. Its led to some big personal revelations that led me back to counselling and to create a close-out letter for my divorce. This was a frustrating time because the divorce is 4 years ago and I thought I was ‘over it’. Found out I wasn’t. The old me would have denied the pain and got busy suppressing it (busy working, shopping, going out, going to yoga, travelling) but the new me welcomed the gift of truth. It was scary to confront that I wasn’t ‘over it’, its an ego thing. Instead I went back to counselling, creating a close-out letter to myself and read it out loud to my counsellor. It was a very long letter – it was epic. It was liberating.
The sense of release and energy was invigorating. Pursuing your truth, your purpose and going for it doesn’t just open the doors you think you want it also helps you move forward with your life in ways you never knew you needed. Living a whole year in my truth has given me this gift and it is what I hope to help my clients discover too.
The remainder of this blog post is dedicated to some of the bigger learnings I’ve had with clients. Learnings about working in IT, the pressure we place on ourselves and how ambition can drive and control us. I’m sharing them today to help you with your own self-reflection. If you like these learnings, please join the Facebook page where I share prompts 2-3 days per week (mostly) on career, ambition, purpose and faith.
Smart, intelligent, driven people still need a cheer leader!
It is easy to overlook the quiet achiever, the loud ambitious performer thinking they need little in the way of support and encouragement. They may even push back on receiving it. Lessons from coaching is that working with strong, independent women is that we all still need that motivational support, an encouraging word and a review of achievements. I know for myself I keep moving the goal posts and when I achieve something I already have a schedule of next achievements to focus on. For some clients just repeating their achievements, booking in a celebration or breaking down how much has shifted through the coaching series can be their biggest take-away. No one is an island and we all need a hi-5 to know that we are on track and most importantly valued.
Being heard is powerful
Some people need to speak at length through their ideas and goals, thinking through needs/wants and desires isn’t a quick 5-minute bullet list creation exercise. Sometimes there are a lot of mindset and energy blocks that get in the way. There are reasons why a determined ambitious person hasn’t shifted/changed or broken into something new. These often appear in themes of commitment, loyalty, old stories, beliefs and judgement. Financial commitments, not wanting to disappoint someone, getting comfortable with their ambition, focusing on being a provider for their family, not wanting to let themselves down. These themes can constrain thinking and switching into ‘what do you most want?’ mode isn’t always so easy. There are a lot of BUTs that get in the way. Sometimes I will ask: I give you permission to have everything you want – what does that look like? Another approach is to shift into a a focus on the ‘WHY’ for change. Both of these approaches allows a client to watch and observe their wants with less or no judgement, so they can safely begin an exploration that isn’t about blowing up their life and family and more of a shift into achieving their needs while maintaining their need to meet existing commitments.
Emotions are hard work.
Actions are easy but sitting in an emotion and seeing/feeling can be really confronting. When these emotions overwhelm you remember:
You are blessed, you are important, your needs are valuable, be open to receive, be present and be kind to yourself.
Understanding what we truly want is a skill.
Goals and actions can be set but the client may not truly get to understand what they most want until session 3-4 – their need/want sometimes needs extra exploration and sometimes their first goal is masking a much deeper goal. Letting goals evolve and refine through the series has enabled clients to achieve big wins and big shifts in mindset and career.
Perfectionism can make us afraid.
Perfectionism can be a big challenge amongst those of us who are senior, technical and scientific – fear of failure, letting ourselves down, not exploring our worth, not making a difference, not being valued. Together with my clients we explore what value is, what a true expression of their talent really means to them… this often leads to openness in finding satisfaction in different job roles and looking for opportunities not dependent on a single employer or role. Often we explore their need for connection to their industry and hunger for knowledge and expertise (this can transmute into a variety of expressions from community work, finding the right meet up and experts to share stories with, to starting an MBA, to reading more broadly.)
I love to work with women who are wanting to get their next career move right. Maybe you’ve got a boss that’s wearing your down, maybe you’ve reached the seniority you wanted to and want to work out what’s next?
Would you love to work with me? Find out more here