Case Study: 5

A Day In The Life of a Client

Software Consultant turned Operations, turning…

Software Consultant turned Operations, turning…

Part 1: Why choose coaching? And why Jules?

Going in to my first meeting with Julie, I had some preconceived notions of what coaching would be for me. After leaving a 15 year career in software consulting and moving to retail operations, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wasn’t feeling appreciated, challenged, or in an organization that I valued. I decided I needed a guide to help me reach the next stage of my work life. My big questions were “Will the coach think I’m worthy of their time? Have I accomplished enough in my work life to deserve the attention and time of great coach?” Those questions alone were to be some of my most significant hurdles.

In my previous life as a consultant, I thought my job neither translated well on paper nor did it sound very impressive. The various coaches I’d read about online, seemed to be in one of two categories: someone to help with a resume, linked-in, and how to network; the other being someone to help leaders in their field make strides. As a consultant, I was an individual contributor. In retail operations, I am a low level manager, and I don’t even represent that job as a “real” job to my friends who are doctors, lawyers, architects, diplomats, engineers, and scientists. Though I may need help with a resume, linked-in, etc, I do not see myself as an employable leader. A volunteer leader maybe, but someone who could come to the table and be respected as a leader with my work experience. I wanted a coach to help me figure out how to get to where I am - under-self-appreciated and under-challenged - to a fulfilling position where I could be or at least become the leader that I am, but am afraid to admit to someone with more authority than I. Before meeting Julie, I was fearful that she was going to be the someone to help leaders, whose services did not apply to me. She made me see my faulty logic very quickly.

I know I’m the number one thing in my way of career progression, establishment, achievement, which is why I was looking for/wanted a coach. From day one with Julie, I walked away having identified basic obstacles hindering me from reaching my potential. She did not tell me these things but guided me to my own visualization and discovery. Julie helped me to define concrete activities to begin my journey of overcoming long-standing negative narratives about myself and my abilities, and I left the first session having a much greater sense of my worth as a thinker and contributor.

I learned so much in the first session, but the centering exercise was the most surprising to me. From the five minute breath & body focused exercise, I was able to define some rudimentary causes for my chronic inertia. That very day I started addressing and overcoming those forces holding me back.

I am a planner and a list maker. After talking with Julie and in doing my homework activity (20 minutes at the start of my day not sitting down), I found that lists can sometimes discourage my progress. Since my first session, I have been more productive at work and in my personal life with limited utility of lists. I am re-orienting what I put on a list: what will get done versus everything that needs to be done. Not forgetting or ignoring the everything, but re-prioritizing/re-organizing my mental approach so as not to get overwhelmed and discouraged before I even start.

Jules is a great fit for me because her approach is very wholistic, and I am being challenged to dig deep to figure out what has me stalled. I initially imagined something more clinical, more subjective. This isn’t that at all. Since starting this process, I feel more aware of they why. Why do I have the habits I do? Do these habits bring me satisfaction, stimulation, relaxation? Why or why not? At this point, the constant analysis is a little tiring, but I’m learning and challenging these things daily. And I’ve avoided change for a very long time it seems.

At this point, I’m most curious about the journey with Julie. I’m certain that with her guidance I can find the best place for me and how to to get there, but the planner in me wants to see the road map of the next three months. However, I know that part of the process is putting one foot in front of the other, overcoming as of yet unknown obstacles, and finding where I will take myself. I will plot my own map as I go along. I’m so excited to have her help.