1. What exactly is a career coach (employee advocate)? A career coach listens to their client’s professional goals and empowers them to actively pursue them. Coaches bring clarity and a strategy to the coach-client relationship. As an employee advocate, we also push clients beyond the inertia that prevents them from knocking out their biggest goals.
2. Who is your typical client? Middle-managers who feel stuck. Most have advanced degrees. Some have been in the game for 10+ years. Meet Oswald. He works at a Fortune 500 firm. He has to put together his application for a global assignment. He has a 1 in 500 chance of being selected. Oswald is who I coach.
3. What is your coaching process? I work with clients over the course of 3 to 10 sessions. We outline goals for each session. For example, we could aim to make their elevator pitch water-tight or critique their LinkedIn profile. I have also worked with clients by curating their resumes, or playing devil’s advocate when they are considering new roles.
One session, I helped a senior leader think about his job candidacy through the lens of the company’s founders. He hadn’t considered that the founders cared more about the overall value of the company than simply the value of the piece of business that he would lead; this was a turning point for him.
On another session, I stopped a client wrought with emotions from asking for an internal transfer. If he had raised his hand, he may have been laid off like his peers a few weeks later. His firm was suffering through bankruptcy. Sometimes, I have saved my clients.
4. What can I expect from working with you? A lot happens before I start a coaching session. I consider your sector, company, and specific role. I’ll scour the web to get a clear picture of your online avatar to external recruiters reviewing your candidacy. You can expect to have a strong grasp on how a decision-maker thinks after working with me.
5. How do you help your clients be successful? What it takes to be successful today is increasingly more complex. For example, you are now competing with candidates in Argentina for a job in NY. Asking for a raise or promotion is less black and white, seeking transfers and global assignments is harder because of their cost implications, managing LinkedIn & social media adds another layer of complexity because it has its own channel-specific nuances, and making career changes is a behemoth task. I bring a disciplined approach towards navigating these complexities.
6. How do you measure improvement? Success metrics take various shapes. A higher salary. Promotions. More interviews. A light bulb moment in understanding what to say when asked about a weakness. A global assignment or avoiding being laid-off. Success is when my client’s goals have been met.
7. How did you get into coaching? I stepped into Corporate America before starting college. Working at Chase as a 17 year old, I benefited from access to world class professional development trainings. Since then, I’ve shared my learnings with peers. I’ve helped many peers become successful or land their very first jobs. It was time that I started charging for my rare sense of professional maturity.
8. What kind of training do you have? I attained an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and apply business frameworks to solve career development challenges. I firmly believe that hiring managers and bosses evaluate your value based on their ROI in you. My BA in Psychology is from New York University which helps me figure out all the possible ways to change human behavior to ignite my clients towards action.
9. Do you have a mentor or coach yourself? Marshall Goldsmith is my unofficial mentor. He is a top business thinker and an executive coach to CEO’s. Bev Kaye is also an inspiration. She was named a “Legend” by the American Society for Training & Development. I interviewed both for my upcoming book.
10. How do I know if I should work with a career coach? You should work with a career coach if you have not had luck with recruiters, been overlooked for a raise or promotions, or when you are ready to approach your professional goals more aggressively. The optimal moment to seek objective guidance from an expert is when you make a decision that you want to become a top leader on your own terms.
11. What is your coaching style? I apply a respectful + tough love formula. I ask a lot of questions to unearth your professional and personal goals. I adjust my style based on your personality and core strengths. I’ve helped shy professionals and more gutsy ones.