Finding That Balance of Support to Offer

When asked, one of the ways I look to differentiate myself from others who do career coaching, is by stressing that I am a “job search strategy” coach.   Ever since my certification in career coaching in 2011, it has been ingrained in me that in the process of finding a new job or vocation you are going to do some combination of steps involving Assessment, Research, Targeting, Interviewing and Follow-Up. And, while you may ask, don’t all career coaches use that approach, I have found that different “coaches” will emphasize different aspects of the process. Some will stress the resume’, others the interview, some the Linked In profile, others the fact that they were once a job recruiter or a hiring manager. All of that is fine, and certainly those in search need guidance and support in any or all of those aspects at one point or another during the search process.

However, even before my career coach certification, I received my life coaching certification in 2009. My learnings as part of that certification were focused more so on not letting road blocks stand in your way of what you want, being positive in how you energetically pursued what it is you were seeking, and provided many tools to help one gain their focus on where one was headed.   Before my concentration became predominantly career and job search related, my early clients and those I looked to attract were those looking to change their approach to one aspect or another of their life.

As 2017 was winding down, it started to become more obvious to me that the people with whom I was connecting were just as much stalled in their job searches based on “life issues,” as much as it may have been on “job search strategy technique issues.” For the last 4 years I have worked as a “Career Coach and Acclimation Consultant,” for clients moved to my area of the county due to a family transfer because of a job change for a spouse or partner. In that role, I often am providing career guidance tips, and also “life acclimation” resources. It is a role I enjoy very much. Additionally, speaking with clients that come from the spouse/partner world and those coming to me through other channels in my life, it continues to become more and more apparent, that the how people work, the where they work, and how work factors into their overall work and life dynamics is often the “help” that potential clients are really seeking.

So what does this all add up to for me as I enter 2018? I’m not sure I have it fully defined, but I sense both a need and frankly an opportunity to expand how I am able to help those clients with whom I work. Yes there will be those who may want to work with me solely for the help I can provide them with a resume’, or interview prep, or job search suggestions and methods. But, I would be remiss when initially meeting and discussing with those who reach out to learn about my services not to also inquire as to the role of how they work and what they would like to do fits into their overall life. One of the things I have been stressing to clients in the last couple of years is the ways people are working and will work in the upcoming years are not often the same as ways of the past. Items such as freelancing, consulting, checking into desks to do your work but not on your company’s property, and other such arrangements are becoming more common.

And while there are life coaches who do assist people in figuring out what it is they want to do next in their life, many often are not trained in the skills and tools that help one move forward once they determine what that may be. So, as I morph out of 2017 to 2018 I will continue my exploration in determining how to best put together the talents I offer into ways that will best help my clients. However, in the end, my coaching and practice is never about me, it is about the people that work with me. If you are at a crossroads as to what it is on how you want to spend your life, (and also help support yourself), what combination of things do you believe it would be of value with which to have help? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Being Open to the World Which Comes to Me

Circumstances in the last 4 years of my life have kept me pretty much homebound and in my home state of New Jersey. There was one trip to Montreal and Quebec, a couple of trips to Florida and Alabama and one to Pittsburgh, but that has been about it. For a number of years I was a frequent traveler, experiencing the cultures of 4 to 5 European countries. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to be to about 30 states in the United States. And, perhaps in the future, I will get to travel again, as the circumstances that have impacted the last few years have moved on from my life.

At the same time, my life as a career coach afforded me an opportunity in 2013 which I still relish to this day. I do coaching and acclimation work for a company which offers services to the spouses of families who relocate to the area of the United States in which I live. Basically, the model is a family gets transferred from where they live to my area of the United States due to a corporation looking to move a high performer to another exposure in their company. I always say to those who know me, the person being moved has a new job, the children (if the family has any) ultimately will be enrolled in a new school, take on their activities and make friends. And, then there is the accompanying spouse. That person has uprooted their life (sometimes more than once as I have learned), left behind whatever work they did, has to make sure the family is all settled into the new surroundings, and often has lost a sense of identity to whom they are.

What makes the role even more fascinating is the families not only come from other parts of the United States, but other parts of the world. I have had clients who have moved to my area from South America, Europe and Asia. Recently through a referral from one of my clients whom I met through this relocation assignment, I have had the experience of working with my first client who has originated from Africa. I have had clients where the spouse I have worked with is a female, or where the spouse has been a male, or situations where the spouse is part of a same-sex couple. I get to meet a true cross section of the world.

And, what have I learned from all of this? First of all, in spite of cultural and spiritual differences, often people want the same things. That usually equates to what is best for their children, an opportunity to contribute their skills either to a job where they are adequately compensated, or if that is not possible to a cause which they volunteer their talents. They’re anxious about “fitting in” to their new country, new state or part of the country. Many are very dedicated to improving their conversational English, not offending others, and enjoying the experience of their new surroundings.

Another learning point is that I learn more by watching and asking questions of others, than assuming that I know exactly what they need. In the formal coaching arrangement, that comes through a needs assessment conversation. In non-formal scenes, it is quietly sitting and observing, whether it be from a seat in a restaurant, or the center of a shopping mall or from a park bench. I also look to empathize with the other person, putting myself back into the situation when I was a stranger in another country or area of my own country which is different from the area where I live.

Finally I try to assess what I learn and experience, versus what I may see reported as news be it online, or in a newspaper or through electronic media. Yes, bad things happen in our world. And, there are people in the world that do mean harm to others. However, the large majority of individuals just want to meet, share experiences and enjoy and learn from the people they meet. That will never be reported in any news items, it is not sensational, and it may not sell papers or magazines. But, it is something that I want to keep in mind as we close out 2017 and move into 2018. There are a world of individuals out there to meet, and I for one want to continue enjoy doing so.

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The Power of Collaboration

December 13, 2017

The Power of Collaboration A fellow coaching colleague of mine reached out to me recently. She had been working with a client who was having a difficult time in their job search. My colleague first needed to face the challenge of assisting in boosting the self-esteem of her client. As she was moving forward on […]

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Thankful For the Life I Lead

November 22, 2017

Thankful For the Life I Lead It is normal that when individuals release their Thanksgiving blog, they list all the things for which they are thankful in their life. While that is very understandable, as often we tend to dwell on the troubling things of life and overlook our blessings, I wanted to avoid that […]

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Dealing with “The Lull”

November 8, 2017

Dealing with “The Lull” October, 2017 was a very stressful month for me. While every month has its different high points or low points, for quite some time the pattern has been my career coaching business drives my weeks and then everything falls into place after that. However, October challenged my training and make-up as […]

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