She asked me “Who am I now?”
When her job ended because of the pandemic, she struggled greatly. Her entire identity was wrapped up in her career and she never realized it.
Constance and her husband Carter were both impacted by COVID-19. They both hired me to be their executive career coach so we could determine what was next for them. We worked with them separately but kept their joint and individual goals in mind.
I know that Career Coaching extends beyond developing an outstanding resume and having a great interview. True Career Coaching also includes continued support so you can confidently succeed at every stage of your career, even when you are building a new one.
Constance struggled with losing her job primarily because she worked so hard to be seen and valued for her contributions. She had often been overlooked. When working with her in the past, we helped her accomplish her goals.
Now she was finally making an excellent salary in the position she had been eyeing for quite some time. She worked in this position for more than 4 years and she was successful. She finally made it. Then the pandemic came, and her job went away.
In one of our sessions, her voice cracked as she asked, “Who am I now Paula?”
My heart sank for her. I know an abrupt job change can be taxing. But as any great coach would do, I answered her question with a tenacious attitude in my voice because I knew exactly who she was, and I was obliged to tell her.
Constance, you are the same woman who:
- Endured and pushed through your career when others gave up
- Set an example and mentored others as they moved forward in their careers
- Had the courage to ask for coaching help so you could succeed and rise higher
- Did the necessary work
- Is an amazing mother, wife, and volleyball coach
- Did not fail
- Is talented far beyond your last position
Her voice and her countenance changed and all she said was, “Oh”… and then we went to work. She sounded like she had forgotten the soul of what made her remarkable, and I was happy to remind her.
Later in our session, I taught her how to use her frustration as fuel. I reminded her that it is impossible to look forward and backward at the same time.
When you are in “identity crisis mode”, it makes you settle for far less than you deserve. It limits your options and your thinking. A career identity crisis makes you look good on paper and feel small in person.
No matter what happens in your career, remember there is so much more to you than what you do. If you need time to reintroduce yourself to YOU, go right ahead. This re-introduction will prepare you to say “Yes” when the right opportunity comes along.
By the way, Constance recently opened her own consultancy and after a few weeks of coaching, I convinced her to reach out to her former employer. They knew her capabilities and eagerly became her first client!
Here’s To Your Success,