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For More Than Eleven Years, We've Helped Canadians Get More Happy Mondays Both At Work & At Home.

On this page, learn more about how coaching helped these clients get unstuck, move forward and reach their goals, faster!

Find Your Career Fit - "Carolyn M."

Meet Carolyn, a recent coaching client (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) who has kindly shared her recent experience to help you understand how career coaching can help you!


Carolyn was a research associate for a professor in the health sciences field at a major university.  Although outwardly successful at the job for three years, she thought it was not a good fit. She was feeling stuck, but also scared to make a decision about finding other work. She committed to stretching herself outside her comfort zone through our 7 session From Stress to Success coaching program with a Careers by Design professional coach. They worked together via Skype and their efforts resulted in her achieving her main goal ahead of schedule. By being ready to embrace an opportunity, she found a new and exciting job that was more fulfilling.

Q & A with Carolyn in her own words

Reflections on the Coaching Process

1. Think back to before we started working together. Describe your situation and feelings before the coaching.

I was in a job that was not the right fit, feeling stressed and overworked with little time and psychological space to take the actions necessary to find a new job. I wanted very much to move on to a new job, but I lacked confidence in my skills and abilities, and I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the process of finding a new job.

2. What has coaching helped you achieve? How do you feel about these accomplishments?

I achieved my goal of getting a new job…and I achieved it sooner than expected! The coaching and the activities I did prepared me to take advantage of an opportunity when it arose. Beyond getting a new job which I am truly excited about, I have a much greater understanding of and confidence in my strengths, skills, and competencies, and my ability to bring value not only to this job, but to future employment as well.

3. What still remains to be done?

Transitioning into my new position, including adapting to the organization’s culture; fitting in and building relationships with colleagues; managing insecurity, lack of self-confidence, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome; and being able to deal as effectively as possible with office politics.

4. What is your plan for moving forward with your goals?

I see my new job as a stepping stone. I plan to continue to develop professionally and to get the most I can out of this position. I want to continue with the “deeper work” of really clarifying where I want to be/what I want to be doing in 5 years, 10 years, etc., because although I have a great opportunity, it is a temporary step and I don’t want to get too comfortable or complacent. Going forward, I want to make a serious commitment to being the architect of my life.

Feedback on the Coaching

1. It can be hard for people to hire a coach. Did you feel any hesitation about hiring a coach from Careers by Design? If so, what was stopping you? What helped you to overcome it?

Certainly, at first I was unsure about the decision to hire a coach. I was feeling trapped, pretty ashamed of where I was at with my career and life, lacking in self-confidence, and not feeling very optimistic about my ability to get a meaningful and satisfying job position. I was apprehensive about confronting my feelings and situation and to reveal them to someone else. But, I also knew that I couldn’t stay where I was, that ultimately I was responsible for taking action that was consistent with my desire to geta new job. I started small by committing to making an appointment for a Turning Point Session. I was really happy with Turning Point session. Purchasing a coaching package was a big decision, because it was a significant investment of time and money. Ultimately, I knew that if I was serious about getting a new job, I would need help to keep me focused and moving toward my goal. Otherwise, my best intentions to find a new job would get hijacked by fear, self-doubt, overwhelm, and the inability to make finding a new job a priority in the face of the demands of work and life. Cliché as it is, I remember having the feeling that I had nothing to lose by hiring a coach.

2. How could the coaching be more effective?

I can’t think of anything.

3. What do you find most helpful and what do you like best about the coaching?

It’s personalized, yet structured. My coach evaluated me and my circumstances and needs, and then selected the right tools and activities/exercises and resources from the Careers by Design “toolbox”. And my coach helped me reframe how I thought about myself, my skills and my future -- moving to a more positive orientation. Also, the coaching kept me focused and moving through my resistance. The accountability that is built into the coaching experience was a major factor in achieving my goal.

4. How is coaching different from other things you can do? That is, what did you get from the coaching that you can’t get anywhere else?

I believe that being “accountable” to someone is a major factor in achieving goals, and this aspect of the coaching was a crucial factor in my doing the work that resulted in getting a new job. Because the coaching is specific to career, I was reassured that I was taking the right steps, doing the right things,following the proper conventions and “etiquette”. Without this reassurance and the benefit of domain-specific expertise, I would have gotten stuck in over-thinking, doubt and uncertainty. Books and other resources for information and guidance about job search and career design are important, but the amount of resources and information available can be overwhelming and may also contribute to procrastination in some people (myself included). The coaching also helped me to effectively plan my Careers by Design activities and my job search tasks and to break down activities into manageable components in a realistic time frame.

5. How did the HeartMath® tools help you? Please provide your comments and rate the usefulness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being very helpful.

The HeartMath® tools helped me to manage my emotions -- to “reset” during the day and take restorative mini-breaks during the workday, and to have a quiet space to pose important questions to my heart/Higher Self and trust that I would somehow get the needed guidance. By incorporating the tools into my daily practice, I was better able to face challenging parts of the process of preparing for and jumping into the job search, to make the leap to apply for a job, and to manage the stress of the job application and interview process. I rate the HeartMath® tools an 8.5 out of 10.

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