This individual is ambitious, hardworking and had a clear progression path in front of him in his existing team. Seen as a high-potential leader, his employer was willing to invest in his development or support any move internally.
The only problem was, he had no idea WHAT he wanted to do next… At the suggestion of his leader, he reached out to me for help to find clarity on his career direction.
It became clear this client was prioritising their work (and employer) over the rest of their life. Because he was so focused on getting the job done, he was thinking very short-term. This meant he was letting his career unfold without considering his own goals and development.
When we began working together, this client had lost touch with who he really was and lacked purpose in his career and life. Within a few months, this client found clarity on their career direction and goals. They’ve made the shift into their desired career — going from sales to a marketing role — via an internal move in their current organisation.
Best of all, they’re now driving their own development and taking responsibility for their long-term career goals. They’re prioritising their career aspirations, important relationships and life outside work. As a result, this person is feeling much more motivated, positive and fulfilled in both their work — and life!
One of the main areas we worked on and where this individual had the biggest transformation, was finding clarity. He developed a deeper level of self-awareness around who he was — rather than the person he thought he ‘should’ be.
This client started to understand his unique strengths, personality, values and impact he wanted to make through his work. He also considered the relationships which mattered most and life he wanted to create. Through this process, he was able to see what was and wasn’t working in his current career.
And THIS is the power of awareness. Once you know what needs to change, you can take steps to address it!
An example of this was clarifying his values and understanding variety and impact were important to him at work. This helped him realise the reason he felt frustrated in his current role. Because his organisation had become focused on short-term solutions due to COVID and global supply chain issues.
Knowing this allowed my client to stay motivated in the short-term. He also developed and led a new project focused on long-term initiatives. Finally, he found fresh mentors and opportunities to upskill to meet his desire for greater variety.
This insight also revealed what was important for him to consider when choosing a new career path or making future career decisions.
This individual is an action-taker with plenty of confidence. But for someone who was so ambitious and full of potential, he admitted he was ‘coasting’ in his career. This looked like letting his career unfold and following the path in front of him — without considering his long-term goals or what he really wanted.
Now there’s nothing wrong with this. But in this person’s case, he wasn’t satisfied in his career or life and wanted to change it.
Here’s what we uncovered… The real reason he avoided making big commitments in his career and life was because deep down, he feared failing.
Because if he started dreaming bigger, declared his desired direction and went after it — what would happen if he didn’t achieve it? How would others perceive him? Especially when he was already seen as a ‘success’.
THIS is why it felt safer to coast in his current career. As a result, this client avoided making commitments or taking action towards them.
Once this client became aware the fear of failure was holding him back, he had a choice… Stay on the same track — or step into the discomfort in pursuit of what he wanted. He chose the second option and overcome this mindset block by taking small, consistent actions.
Once this client had clarity on why he was unhappy and what he truly wanted, we were able to identify a few potential career paths of interest. This happened early on in the coaching process which gave him plenty of time to test and validate his ideas. He did this via many career conversations, job shadowing, upskilling and leading a new project in his career areas of interest.
My client was also very proactive about recording his insights from each of these experiences. He’d then bring them to our 1:1 sessions, so we could unpack them further and devise next steps. This helped him maintain momentum and find clarity on his direction.
Ultimately, this person decided to make a slight pivot from a sales role into digital marketing. Within 4 months, he’d transitioned into this space via an internal job move. He secured this opportunity by utilising his network and the relationships he’d built through this process.
This client’s strategy is the perfect example of what it takes to get results — commitment, connecting with your network and taking action. And I believe THIS is what separates those who get the results they want through coaching and those who don’t.
Here are my top three takeaways from this client’s transformation — and how YOU can apply them to your career!
#1 — Go all in
If you’re serious about finding direction in your career and creating a strategy to get there, eliminate excuses. Commit to taking action, even when fear or doubt hold you back. Dedicate 15 minutes a day or an hour a week to the process and focus on small steps, one at a time.
#2 — Utilise your network
Talking to people doing work (or elements of work) which interests you is one of the best ways to find clarity on your direction. Conversations with people outside your immediate network will show you new career possibilities. It’s also a great way to test out different pathways to reduce risk with your next career move.
Plus, you’ll build your network and your connections will keep you in mind for any suitable opportunities.
#3 — Don’t discount internal opportunities
Never assume the career path you want isn’t available in your current organisation — or your employer won’t support it! Before moving on, always speak to your leader and/or HR to explore what opportunities exist.
In a market where it’s difficult to hire and necessary to upskill existing employees, companies recognise the importance of developing their best people. They will support internal job moves or non-traditional career pathways.
Interested in coaching? Talk to your employer about the benefits of investing in your professional development — and see if they’ll cover the cost of your coaching program too!
So there you have it. How my client went from unfulfilled and ‘coasting’ in their existing role to changing careers in their current company. I hope this helps you to develop the clarity, confidence and strategy to create a career by design too.