Updated: Jun 13, 2019
This is a guest post from one of Lauren Malach Coaching's clients who chose to write anonymously. The client has successfully transitioned to a role more closely aligned with her skills and values after clarifying what matters most to her.
3 Things I Learned From My Career Coach
I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have all sorts of incredible opportunities. I’ve traveled around the world, met fascinating people, covered some of the most important issues of our time, and created work that moved audiences. But many of my career choices have been responsive—I had opportunities and I took them. Now that I’m taking leadership positions and have been around the block a time or two, I can capitalize on the success I’ve had so far and be more proactive rather than reactive about my future, but where to begin? Well, thanks to a grant I received to pursue coaching, I’ve been able to talk about just that with Toronto-based career coach Lauren Malach. Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far that are sure to help me perform my best in my current job, as well as in thinking about future steps. 1. The answers are inside you… I mistakenly assumed that a coach would have the answers to all my questions and then help me “get there” once we figured out where “there” is, but it turns out that that’s not really their job. Their job is to help coax possible paths and solutions out from inside us, and to give us fresh perspectives on things we may have already known about ourselves but may not even notice anymore, or to reframe our career histories and personal qualities in a more useful way. 2. So you have to know yourself… Of course, in order to find those answers inside you, you need to get to know yourself. You may think, “I’ve been around for 30 years, I think I know myself pretty well.” But a good coach will ask you lots and lots of questions that may unlock new doors in your hallways of self-awareness, or at the very least give you different ways of thinking about what your goals are and what you may have to offer. Before Lauren and I even had our first session, she sent me extensive questionnaires to fill out with provocative inquiries like "What do you want to happen in your lifetime so that you consider your life satisfying and well lived?” I found that even starting to answer these questions was a useful exercise in helping to recognize some patterns in my own thinking and behavior that could help determine what the next phase of my career would ideally look like. 3. ...And there are tools for that. Aside from our coaching sessions themselves, Lauren has introduced me to several tools for self-analysis that give pointed results for helping to both assess your strengths and weaknesses and direct you to the types of roles or fields for which you’re best suited.