This blog owes a debt to my inspiring client and courageous career changer, Matthew MacMillan. ‘Bloody awesome’ is how he described his coaching experience with me. ‘Bloody awesome’ is how I’d describe Matthew’s gutsy, curious, open-hearted approach to finding a new career.

Check out Matthew’s testimonial. Apart from saying super things about me *blushes furiously*, his experience highlights three ways a career change coach can help you get unstuck and get cracking on finding a fab career that ticks all your boxes.

When Matthew came to me for coaching, here’s what he got.

‘A bit of a shove and help to think laterally.’

As Matthew says, I delivered the shove ‘politely but firmly’ but deliver it I did. It’s somewhere between tough and impossible to change careers from your comfort zone. You’ve got to get out there and try scarily different stuff that may or may not lead you directly to your next great job. In short, my job is to help you broaden your horizons. We’ll do this by

  • Revisiting your values – what matters most to you? What are your career ‘must-haves,’ ‘maybes,’ and ‘absolutely nots?’
  • Defining and sorting your skills – what do you love to do? What are you sick of doing? What can you take to a new career?
  • Connecting you to new opportunities – often ones you’d never considered or knew existed until we uncover them.

You can’t’ do what you can’t see. So, my job is to show you how to get intriguing new careers on your radar and find low risk but super effective ways to test them out.

If you need ‘a bit of a shove’ to quit your comfort zone, I’ll kindly provide it (emphasis on ‘kindly’!

Cheerleading and accountability

As Mathew tells it, he was ‘pretty down’ and wondering what to do with the rest of his life.  Besides needing a nudge to quit his comfort zone, he also needed to step outside his circle of family and friends.

Family and friends are invaluable support, especially if they’re cheering you on and keeping you on track. Often though, this is a tough call for your nearest and dearest. Sometimes they’re as or more freaked out than you are. They’re scared you might be making a monster mistake. Other times, they’re as uncertain as you about where or how to look for new opportunities. They want the best for you, but they’ve little or no idea what that looks like.

By nature, and by training, a skilful coach is empathic and clear when it comes to seeing you through the ups and downs of changing careers. Work with me, and we’ll have a plan for navigating the rough patches. You’ll never lose sight of the big picture, and I’ll keep you honest about attending to the fine detail, like looking in left-field places and following up on every promising lead.

A new career that fits – right skills, right place, right team, right lifestyle

After 30 self-employed years in the construction industry, Matthew was highly skilled and hugely experienced. But he needed a change for himself and his family. His deep expertise is invaluable in his new career, and he also gets to learn new skills.  Best of all, he now has ‘truckloads of family time.’

Matthew and I used a tried and tested career coaching process to find his new career. First up, we figured out where he wanted to go. This meant digging down to discover what meaningful work looked like for him. Next, we pinned down the difference he wanted to make day-to-day at work. Then, we quantified his preferred working conditions, locations, and types of colleagues and clients. Finally, we teased out the skills he most wanted to use, the ones he’d prefer to ditch, and new ones he might need to learn.

Reader, my career change coaching process is built on empathy, curiosity exploration, and accountability.  It worked for Matthew; chances are it may work for you.

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