Bula & noaia! Welcome back readers…
I am absolutely delighted to be sharing Mita's coaching journey here. It is worthy of a special mention; because Mita's experiences and challenges are familiar to many of us and it was her hope that it would encourage someone. To reach this point and reflect on Mita's coaching story has reminded me of why I coach - to guide my clients to their dream jobs, to get them unstuck in their careers or help them gain a new perspective. Mita was a pleasure to work with, I loved that her tenacity rivalled her performance. I'd like to think that I was the vessel, water container or carrier that poured into her life - sound advice, useful insights, shared resources, words of encouragement and honest feedback. Mita did all the sowing, the hard work of committing to our sessions, and following through with her actions. But to understand her story, we go to the beginning.
Mita had a vibrant and fulfilling career in tourism in Fiji, which she left behind to join her hubby serving in the British Army, in Germany. When they moved to the UK after a year, she secured a job immediately after with a health insurance company. She was in her 4th year in her role, when she reached out to me for careers coaching.
My initial thoughts were she was ready for a move! She’s definitely ambitious, very bright and insanely creative. Our sessions were lively updates, she had so much to share and I felt that she was confident in this coaching space to open up and be her self. In the workplace, she downplayed her talent and intelligence and she was losing confidence too. She was content and comfortable in her role. And there is nothing wrong with that. But if she was prepared to invest in coaching for her personal development, then (even if she didn’t know it) she was more than ready to level up her career. I knew that but I wasn’t sure if she knew it or wanted it too.
One thing she mentioned that struck me was her gratitude for having a job, and that she should be happy and stay put. To want something more was being ungrateful. I am not sure if its what most women do? Talk themselves out of taking the next step. The danger is you fail to realise that you have outgrown that role and you should know when it’s time to move on. I think this shouldn't be confused with taking the next step prematurely and coaching can help with your decision making process.
Mita worked in a demanding sales driven commission based environment; the competition and bonuses powered her adrenalin rush. She was always at the top of the leader board, no sales target was impossible for her to beat. She was an effective contributor, had great innovative ideas that were taken on but often didn’t get the credit for it. She worked hard, she was extremely dedicated and she knew her job inside out. She admitted that often times she was either shy or too modest to speak up for herself. Most of the time, she didn’t want the fuss or felt it was a team effort, not one to blow her own trumpet!
Sounds familiar? It is something we can put our hands up to, in agreement. I am certain that we can express ourselves without appearing boastful or arrogant. At some point in your career, I would suggest that you do yourselves a favour and get some coaching to help you navigate this area and more! If you ‘undersell’ yourself now it affects your earning potential and your future career prospects for years. And on top of that your confidence is impacted!
And yes, coaching can help turn this around as we soon find out in Mita's story. A couple of months down the line, she mentions a job opportunity that she is interested in, it’s in the area of learning and development and sits within their corporate function, and is a promotion. In her current role, she was delivering training to new starters because she loved to help even if it wasn’t in her job description. She found it rewarding and felt this new job would do her career a whole lot of good. Obviously I encouraged her to apply. She discovers that the deadline is too tight and feels it’s too late to apply. With some coaching and gentle persuasion (push!), we work together to polish up her CV and prepare her application, which she submitted on time. And voila, she gets the interview and it’s a close tie with another colleague who also applied for the role. The good news is - she is offered the role, even though it was for 4 months and subsequently, it is extended to 6 months.
As we draw our coaching relationship to an end, we reflect on her journey and how she has grown so much in her trainer role, a promotion and step in the right direction. She doesn’t miss the buzz from sales, that season has served its purpose. In her new role, she finds herself taking initiative in her newfound confidence. Her training delivery is showing impact and the data / feedback proves it. She is developing processes for the team, which is making a difference. And learning about corporate branding and marketing, which fuels her creativity and 'side hustle' business! The team values her contributions and are full of encouragement from day one, her confidence grows.
The most profound outcome or change would be her perceptions of success and what that entailed. In her honesty, she admitted she wanted to make more money and hoped coaching would help her. Instead, she got more than she bargained. Her faith was restored and revived in a fresh way. She has made strides in her business ventures; her creativity is taking on a whole new level. I notice there is a renewed commitment and energised passion to give back to her family and community. She has learned to say no to projects for the right reasons, she has become more self aware about her wellbeing and health, and taking care of herself. This is still a work in progress and is the same for most of us. She is driven by a genuine desire to help others, to use her time and talents to support those important relationships. The beauty of it all is that coaching has enabled a seamless process and she has transitioned effortlessly.
There are some key messages here that might hit a nerve, or shed some light on your situation but the overall consensus is that we can relate to lack of confidence or career stagnation, or the sacrifices made as a military spouse, or the cultural background, finding our purpose and establishing our identity.
However, I believe that stepping out of your comfort zones should be the key takeaway message here. It creates momentum that empowers you to deal with all the other issues. . But it takes mustard seed faith. From Mita’s own journey, we know this to be true. As she took risks, faced some hard truths, and was genuinely willing to give it her best shot - her faith has grown in proportion to her confidence! She might have embarked on coaching with the wrong motive, but coaching informed her thinking and changed her perceptions of success and brought about changed behaviour. In essence, it wasn’t about what you could get but what you could give. This holds true for me too. It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
And the beauty (and real blessing) of this journey is that she stepped into her purpose and unlocked her real potential. She is fired up for what God has in store next for her!
As we conclude our coaching journey as all good things come to an end, we part ways so full – full of joy, gratitude and an overwhelming sense of peace. Our cups are overflowing. I am so thrilled that she achieved her coaching goal and has been equipped with knowledge and tools to thrive in her work environment. She might have lost a coach but she has gained a confidante and friend in me.
So send me a message if you have been intrigued and want to know more.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, share your comments, questions and thoughts.
Ps. Her most recent exciting news is that they have extended her contract to 12 months!