Updated: Dec 16, 2021
It can be a vulnerable thing to invest directly in yourself. I can remember vividly how my heart raced, my palms started to sweat and my tummy tightened before I hit submit on the first professional coaching package I ever bought for myself (and with my own money, not my employer's). Here are three signs you would benefit from hiring a leadership or career coach and a little courage boost to hit “submit” on booking a free consult or buying your first coaching package.
#1: You don't find work meaningful.
You spend 90,000 hours at work. Do you want to those hours to be meaningful, miserable or meh? A recent study found that 9 out of 10 workers wanted greater meaning at work and would be willing to give up 23% of their future earnings to have it. Sometimes, we gaslight ourselves into thinking that wanting more than a paycheck out of a job is “silly” and we should just "be tough and stick it out." But, meaning is not only highly correlated with job satisfaction, it also boosts overall well-being. A coach can provide the tools and support to align your passions, values and talents with a meaningful career.
#2: You're a leader who wants excellent connection and conflict skills.
I once asked a leader with 40 years of experience under his belt what his greatest challenges were as an executive. His top answer? Personnel issues. Working through conflicts between employees, delivering difficult feedback, handling awkward situations, firing someone, receiving the emotions of a high stakes decision people may not like and so forth. Building the psychological safety in your culture to be successful in these moments is not just nice to have, it is a strategic imperative. Developing success skills for empathy, emotional intelligence and productive conflict are non-negotiables for the modern leader. Leaders often dream of spending their time advancing the missions and causes they care about, yet end up with employees in their office complaining that no one cleans the fridge or wipes out the microwave. You won't lead in a vacuum…you will need people (in all their occasional complex and complicated glory), and people skills, to achieve your initiatives. A coach can provide the tools and support to develop success skills for conflict resilience and culture-building.
#3: You're exhausted, crispy with burnout, and starving for pleasure.
True story: the last six weeks before my resignation from 10 years in higher education, I couldn't motivate myself to the office without a super-charged coffee and Albertsons donut holes (I wish I was kidding). One sneaky sign something needs to change due to burnout is an insatiable appetite for pleasure. Whether it's that nightly wine habit or daily fast food run, we all have our own flavor of burnout-induced pleasure-seeking. Resolving burnout often takes two forms: you need help developing the success skills required to set boundaries and pursue adequate self-care, or you need a change in your primary environments (workplace, social networks, etc.). Personally, I needed a career change because I wanted to pursue a more meaningful role for passions, values and talents (reason #1). But, some folks might need to set stronger boundaries with their time, energy and resources. For example, you do have permission to block off your work calendar for project time, workouts and personal appointments. A coach will ask clients powerful questions like “How do you know what to say no to?” and provide accountability to make positive changes.
See yourself in one (or all three) of these?
I want to be your coach.