When Hanna first came to coaching, she was working as a freelancer after leaving a job that had her questioning her worth. While kicking that job to the curb felt liberating, things didn’t feel easier now that she was in control of her schedule. She felt confused... wasn’t that what she wanted?
Coaching helped uncover her core values, and it became clear why her last job had been so draining. While she felt most valuable when she was solving problems and collaborating with people she had a deep connection with... her responsibilities had shifted to urgent hard-to-solve problems for folks all over the company who were only focused on speed of resolution. Hanna constantly felt hurt that she couldn’t provide the quality that she believed was necessary and it weighed heavily on her creative confidence.
When we looked at her freelance clients we saw why that wasn’t much better… her clients valued efficiency and thought minimal contact suited the work... leaving her to piece together context alone. While she was solving problems, she didn’t get to see the effects of those solutions on the people she was helping. She didn't get to experience the creative partnerships or collaborative energy that inspired her best work. She’d find herself sitting at her desk, wondering if this lonely work was worth not spending that time with her son... a relationship she deeply valued.
We talked about looking for the kind of long-term clients she might want for business, but what kept coming up was her craving for connection and stability. Being cut off from a regular group of collaborators was making her feel manic. A permanent job was the best option, but as Hanna explored job postings, she started looking at Junior Positions!
Hanna has worked for companies you’ve heard of… a lot of them. There’s no way she should be looking at small gigs where she’ll have to earn her stripes. We realized she had some lingering beliefs from her old jobs that were really holding her back. Her sense of value was still wounded, and our sessions used this discovery as the perfect entry point to putting the hurt behind her.
Together we created some ground rules for the perfect job:
- I will not take a junior position.
- My job will bring energy into my life (not suck it out!)
- My job must allow me to build and maintain deep, meaningful relationships
- My co-workers must be creative, positive and energetic
- My job must create situations where I can be useful (to others and to myself)
With the holidays looming, Hanna was feeling pretty low. She felt like that job didn’t exist. She couldn’t be happy and feel successful. The garbage parts of her past jobs would show up in her future jobs no matter what - all common kinds of beliefs that we fall into naturally - we evolved to only get burned once! That said, just because something happened in the past, doesn’t mean that you’re the same person or the circumstances are the same... patterns do in fact break.
So for the holidays, we set her the task of exploration without strings. She was to go try things, talk to people, have fun, and not stress about what comes next.
After the holidays, we got together and she had a sly little grin on her face.
“I just accepted an offer as a Creative Director for 30% more than I’ve ever made and with people I’ve worked with before and admire deeply.”
I was so excited for her! She found that by following her new rules, she was able to see the goal of finding a job differently. Instead of interviews with new companies she called up her favorite colleagues from jobs past and discovered lots of people who were able to recognize her gift to a team. It was powerful proof she needed to completely flip the script.
We went through the checklist…
- It’s not junior, in fact it's a highly valued as a strategic role
- The projects are internal-facing and designed to value good, long-lasting problem solving, not speed
- She already has friends on staff, and has made a great connection with a few more -
- They are all creative, positive and energetic people
- The position was tailored to her needs and the companies needs - she's exactly what they need and they're exactly what she needs.
She’s spending her days in her dream job, being challenged and valued by collaborative colleagues - and going home each night with a fat pay check to snuggle her baby boy. Hanna is still struggling to believe that she deserves all this success, that's what we'll work on next!
Coaching can and will have an impact on your life in more than material ways, it creates a new baseline of self-awareness that helps you navigate the challenges in examining your options, particularly when you feel like you’re going in circles. If you’re done with feeling “same shit different day”, pop me an email to talk about where coaching can take you.