Taking A Late Career Leap (Or Not)

The Client

A leader considering a significant transition out of her chosen field.

The Problem

This client has multiple advanced degrees and decades in her field of expertise. Despite success, she’s been feeling burned out and less enthusiastic about things in her industry. An organizational restructuring has offered a chance to make a change and give her time to explore, in many ways for the first time, what she wants professionally and personally. Without a trusted confidante with the expertise to process all her concerns, hopes, dreams, and fears in her circle of friends and family, she reached out to me.

The Challenge

The leader chose me specifically because of my expertise in talent management; specifically, my work with women leaders and their professional development. She was also interested in my own story of making a significant career transition and personal reinvention. In this case, the decision about which direction to take with her career hadn’t been fully decided. There are strong emotional elements in anyone’s decision to make a career change. If the change is significant and impacts your very identity, it’s that much more important to look at the impact and all that goes along with it carefully and thoughtfully.

My Role

During my time with the client, I functioned as a strategic, confidential thought partner and coach. I gave her the support and safe space to process all her thoughts about her career while continuing to help her identify what she wanted to see unfold for her professional and personal development.

What We Did

Once I’d spent an appropriate amount of time assessing the client’s situation as identified in our initial discussion and her completion of an extensive intake form, I designed an intensive that was unique to supporting her situation. Living outside of Austin, she flew in for some concentrated time together. I will also meet clients in their city of choice as my schedule allows. I have plans to meet her next month in San Francisco for a follow-on session. What she got:

    • A one-on-one working session for an entire day (8 hours).
      • We worked through a series of activities and conversations to get her clearer on what she wanted in the short term and longer term to be nearer to all she desired. We did a lot of work that day and built a plan together to set her up for success moving ahead.
    • Answers to tough questions.
      • What does she want to transform? What does she want to create? What does she want to clarify? What does she want to finish? What in her life does she want to experience on a new level?

Concrete steps.

      What game changing things needed to be set into motion for her? What are her values? Non-negotiables?
  • Attention from an expert.
    • She had more than two decades of executive experience focused completely on her from someone who has worked with some of the most challenging and successful leaders in the world, and some of the most challenging and successful transitions.
  • Encouragement.
    • I understand that this is a life changing discussion and I treat it as such. Along with help in key decision making, I provided energy and enthusiasm to go for it and a coach in her corner.
  • Strategies and an action plan.
    • As we worked through the dozens of different wants, needs and emotional desires, we put together a series of steps to take that would help her with a smooth career transition.
  • Meals
    • You can’t work hard without good fuel! Our engagement included lunch and healthy snacks along with a two hour dinner and two hour breakfast wrap up session.
  • Transportation and accommodations
    • Car pick-up from/to airport
    • Hotel accommodations for two nights
  • Recommendations for coaching options to support activation and accountability moving forward.
  • Any agreed upon follow-up with books, articles, and other resource materials sent virtually.

The Result

Since my time with the client, she has worked on many strategies identified during the intensive. She has made significant changes to her life path, seen growth in her personal development, and had great success in redefining who she is in her community and network. As our work developed, she realized that rushing to make a change wasn’t the best course of action for her. For now, she’s being mindful of paying attention to what she is drawn to and focusing on dreaming and scheming.