What Are Some of the Benefits of Career Coaching?

Two men talking at a table.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Career Coaching?

Perhaps you are considering seeking the services of a professional career coach, but are not sure what to expect for the return of your investment. “How can a career coach help me?” you may be asking. “What is the value added, and what are the skills and tools I can acquire from working with one?” As a trained and certificated professional coach, I can tell you the benefits are numerous. The following are just a handful of them. Keep in mind that a quality coach will tailor their approach for each client, according to their specific needs. However, the services of a career coach do tend to fall into these general categories:

1) Job Hunting Assistance
All things related to improving and refining one’s resume, applications, interviewing skills, networking tactics, and negotiating. I call these the Nuts and Bolts of finding a job. It always helps to have an extra pair of eyes and ears to notice ways in which you can improve yourself so you are able to put your best foot forward. Usually, many applicants are vying for the same position, and any advantage you can attain over your competition can be well worth the effort. I will note that career coaches should not be confused with recruiters, or “head-hunters”. The basic difference between the two is that coaches help and empower their clients to act on behalf of themselves, while recruiters aim to match job-seekers with employers.

2) Strengths-Based Assessments
A high-quality coach will help a client to discover, recognize, and apply personal and professional attributes to a given situation. Examples of exercises a professional coach may use include increasing a client’s awareness of values, motivations, systems, and assumptions. I usually introduce a personality assessment to my clients during the course of our sessions, as this opens the door to empowering them to use the tool as a means for self-growth. For example, a client may identify strongly with tendencies toward helping others. I will then leverage that information to help him or her to explore related attributes, such as communication styles, leadership styles, and suggest exercises to counterbalance potential pitfalls. This is also the category of coaching that best lends itself to helping a client to consider more long-term career pathways, as opposed to shorter-term jobs.

3) A Mentor and Advocate to Walk with You on Your Journey
Whether you are near the beginning, middle, or last leg of your career, a trusted confidant to accompany you can be invaluable. Let’s face it, job and career transitions are tough. Why go it alone when you can enjoy the advantages of a guide who can help you navigate these challenging waters? A mentor speaks to someone with the ability to assist another, based on experience. In my practice, I incorporate a healthy mix of challenging my clients to persevere and achieve more beyond their comfort zones with championing, or reminding my clients of their potential and the possibilities that exist just beyond the current doubt they may be experiencing.

As someone who has both gained from the services of a career coach and provided career coaching I can tell you the benefits can be extraordinary. If you would like to explore a relationship with a trained, certificated, and professional coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.

Chuck Sheron, AELC
Reimagine Success Coaching, LLC
www.reimaginesuccesscoaching.com
success.reimagine@gmail.com

5 Important Strategies for Achieving Your Goals

Dartboard up close

5 Important Strategies for Achieving Your Goals

What are some of the most important components that are necessary to improve the likelihood of you meeting your goals? Most of us engage in goal setting at one point or another (including near January 1, when we refer to it as “New Year’s Resolutions”). Some set goals regularly. Unfortunately, too often people fall short of the targets they set for themselves. Why? Not necessarily because of a lack of determination, skill, or grit, but rather due to a failure to properly set themselves up for success. In my practice as a professional coach and consultant I work with all kinds of people, including organizational leaders, executives, and small business owners who tend to be highly effective individuals. However, many of them find it beneficial to rewind the goal setting process to square one in order to construct a sound template for hitting the bullseye they are aiming for. I use the following strategies with my clients and offer to share them with you, as well.

1) Clarifying Values
What are the principles that resonate most with you? For what concepts will you base significant decisions around? When coaching, I guide my clients in a deep-dive into first identifying, then defining, and finally rank-ordering their core values. This creates an anchor to which they can tether future actions. I also ask my clients to ascribe a name, or nickname, to their values. Doing so can create a memory link and increase the meaning of the values. For example, words such as “Rock”, “Compass”, or “Solid” can help people refer back to their values a bit more easily. Spending quality time and energy working with the values themselves is always worth the effort, because it provides the foundation by which a client can create meaningful outcomes and action steps forward.

2) Establishing Outcomes
This is the stage where I help my clients to articulate and specify their goals. Motivation comes into play here, as well. Specifically, I like to introduce an exercise which allows the client to explore the relationship between self and empathetic motivations. This has the effect of creating additional links to increase meaning both internally and externally by coaching the client to think in terms of how reaching the goal will have an impact on themselves, as well as on others. Conversely, I ask my clients to consider the implications of not achieving their goal. How would that result impact themselves and those around them? The power of visualization can be utilized here to help the client see themselves being successful, as imagining a favorable outcome is a positive precursor to achieving it.

3) Creating Action Steps
In this phase we get very specific about how the client will achieve the desired outcome, accessing their core values and keeping the end goal in view as they do. For example, if someone is interested in improving their health through a more consistent exercise regimen I will ask the client to tell me about the routine they already have (if there is one). We will then work backward in two different scenarios: one in which the result was successful and one in which the result was unsuccessful. I then ask the client what the turning point was which allowed them to follow through with the routine. Perhaps it was setting the exercise shoes near the front door the night before. Maybe it involved packing the gym bag immediately after eating breakfast. Whatever is was, it’s important to identify, highlight, and imbed it into the revised plan. Conversely, I also ask the client at what point the plan broke down. When was the decision made – in this case – to not exercise? Again, identifying that point is critical so we can then address ways to overcome it.

4) Setting Accountability
Building in accountability significantly increases the overall success rate of goal achievement. I prompt my clients to consider carefully those who could help them along the way by holding them accountable. Often, those closest to them are chosen (e.g. a spouse, close friend, etc.). As their coach, I am a part of this accountability cycle too because reporting out to me (i.e. “homework”) is typically how we begin every session. Occasionally a client will actually choose a future version of themselves as an accountability partner. This may seem, on the surface, ineffective. However, an individual may be sufficiently motivated to become a better version of themselves at some point in the future. That future self may even be expecting it. Regardless of who the accountability partners are, what is important is that the client must know others are aware of their goals so they may both report to and celebrate with those people.

5) Allowing for Revisions
Sometimes the action steps, or even the goals themselves, need to be revised. This is okay. Better to address something that isn’t working than continue with a plan that is doomed to fail. Usually I’ll take the client back to the action steps and review what parts are serving them well, and what parts are not. Think of it as the cycle of improvement: create, implement, review, improve, (repeat).

One of the key principles I share with my clients is that slow and steady wins the race. Just as in the classic story of the tortoise and the hare, the one who rushes the goal-setting process to get quick results is likely to end up tired, burned-out, and defeated (just like the rabbit!). Instead, I encourage my clients to methodically work through the process and stay committed for the long haul to win whatever race they have chosen to enter.

If you would like some help in achieving your goals with a trained, certificated, and professional coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.

Chuck Sheron, AELC
Reimagine Success Coaching, LLC
www.reimaginesuccesscoaching.com
success.reimagine@gmail.com

3 Ways to Make Transitions Your Ally

Transitions are your ally - Success Coach Chuck Sheron in Vancouver WA

3 Ways to Make Transitions Your Ally

Transition, the process of change which occurs when shifting from one situation to another, can be challenging. Most of us are able to navigate minor, expected transitions without too much effort. For example, shifting gears from the weekend to Monday morning and the routine of work, or from winter to spring and the change in weather. However, other, more significant transitions can require more skill to address: A new job (or lack thereof), the loss or addition of a new family member, a diagnosis, retirement, or moving to a new city are all examples of important changes in one’s life. In my work as a professional coach and consultant I provide my clients with tools to assist them in the perceptions, interpretations, and decisions they make while in transition. Although certainly not an exhaustive list, I offer these three general strategies to help you in your own journey:

1) Let Go of Whatever Needs to be Released
At its core, transition is the bridge that connects the gap between what is old and what is new. We naturally remember, identify with, and have a connection with the familiar. For instance, you are moving away from life as a single person toward a new life as a married spouse (or vise-versa). You can relate to being single, because you lived that lifestyle for many years. The wedding ceremony provides a dramatic event by which you leave the realm of a single and instantly transports you into the realm of a husband or wife. Along with that new role comes new opportunities, responsibilities, challenges, and experiences. Everything is different! It is not uncommon for a person to think about how much has changed, and to compare life now to what it used to be. However, the transition is generally a bit smoother if the individual is able to leave that previous life in the past in order to walk forward into the new life he or she has chosen to begin. As a professional coach and consultant, I have many tools I teach my clients to use that help them to accomplish this.

2) Embrace Disorientation
Let’s face it, that sense of feeling lost, confused, or both is not particularly enjoyable. In fact, it can be quite paralyzing. Why? I believe it is because we inherently want to experience a semblance of control in our lives. An internal locus of control allows us to mold the narrative into, “This is what I am doing” rather than, “This is what is being done to me”. Of course, there is a tremendous difference between the two. When we feel as though we are somehow being prevented from charting our own course or don’t know what course to chart, an uncomfortable disequilibrium is created. Fighting against that disorientation usually makes it worse. Instead, I advise my clients to remind themselves this current state is only temporary and there is actually a great deal to be learned during this time. Additionally, I encourage them to ride it out because it is precisely because of and during this confusing phase that one can later experience meaningful growth, which leads us to the third strategy…

3) Utilize Change as a Catalyst for Growth
Often, navigating change becomes more difficult as we age. We become more naturally set in our ways and, over time, tend to trade novelty for predictability. Change is inevitable. It is sometimes easy to forget that the process of change is not an obstacle to growth, it is the pathway to growth. I think one of my college professors put it best when she said, “Change only takes place when you are out of your comfort zone”. How true that is! Personal growth doesn’t occur when times are easy. The hard work of becoming, adapting, and changing happens when we are struggling. It happens when we are off-balance and asking ourselves, “Can I do this? Will I be able to hang on long enough to get to the point where I have ‘arrived’?”. Of course, reaching the destination is not the end, but a new beginning in the next change that unfolds. That is precisely why learning new skills to promote growth through the cycle of change is so valuable, because those skills can be applied toward other situations too.

Are you currently in transition? If so, you are not alone and do not need to experience it in isolation. Why not avail yourself of a trained professional to help guide you through it? If you are looking for help in navigating your personal and/or professional transitions with an experienced, certificated coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.

Chuck Sheron, AELC
Reimagine Success Coaching, LLC
www.reimaginesuccesscoaching.com
success.reimagine@gmail.com