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There is something about Ima...

She is a force to be reckoned with! She featured in my blog series last year titled ' Collection of BAME women's stories' and she unabashedly shares her career aspirations and the adversities she overcame to get to where she is today. As BAME women, we recognise the unique barriers and celebrate shared successes, because we believe that we rise, when we lift others up. And often times, being bold to speak up, tell your story and explore development opportunities together creates a force to be not only reckoned with, but to be proud of. I share a little about our journey together...

Coaching Ima at the start of her promotion indicated to me that she was serious about her professional development right from the start. My client-centred coaching meets the client where they're at. In practical terms, this often entails arranging meetings around her availability and our sessions develop at a suitable pace, taking into consideration she is starting a new role and has a family too. Ima, hats off to her, is a woman with extraordinary vision unrivalled by her boundless energy and hard work for all things that lift her family, community and faith to new heights. I felt blessed to be part of her career journey at this crucial point.

What I love about Ima is her enthusiasm, honesty, integrity and RESILIENCE. She is passionate about her role and takes every opportunity to learn as much and move forward. As a military spouse and immigrant from Fiji, her resilience is remarkable, noteworthy and truly inspirational. I discover this in her career journey, and in her steadfast faith.

Upon reflection, it was a good decision to join forces with me early on, to help guide her steps initially but also put in place a plan to move towards. To equip her with some useful coaching resources, to complement her current skill set and experiences but also build on the firm foundation of her faith. She was keen to get started and always showed up 100%!

Too often we get side tracked and start to get comfortable in our role, not knowing what the next career move will be and how to get there. Coaching helps the client to gain clarity and direction, and to receive coaching early on, only helps to set the course in that you will steer yourself towards it gradually.I would've done exactly what she did, if only I had half her courage and faith at that start of my career. But back then, career coaching was unheard of especially to BAME women.

To stay ahead or to make a strong first impression in her early career in the civil service, these are some steps we discussed and are relevant to anyone in a similar situation:

- fix problems even when its not your job, over deliver

- help your manager achieve their goals

- learn as much as you can, about the role, your team, organisation, etc

- ask questions, often, be curious

- build trusted relationships, with internal and external stakeholders

- find a mentor

I encouraged Ima at the beginning of her new promotion, to start making a strong impression in her team, to remain highly visible, competent and committed as a team contributor. And to establish a plan, and start identifying the steps to fulfil that plan. We looked at her competencies, strengthened them through 1-1 discussions, adding real value to them through careful reflection and guidance, to prepare her for her next promotion. She realised that she hadn’t captured a lot of key experiences in her competencies and it is often a common oversight. Coaching helps to dig deep and explore areas you wouldn’t otherwise consider useful. Coaching, when utilised effectively, can propel your career as you unlock your potential.

So as we part ways, I know she is equipped with wonderful resources and feedback to keep her on the right track, and has all my reassurances that she will be a huge success in her career and a great deal of it is because she is capable and knows her worth. As a God-fearing career woman, I know she has every intention of living out her full potential. The interesting thing I learned from coaching women is that the increased awareness or clarity has given them more room to pursue other interests. Its like a breath of fresh air! Often times, this entails letting go of what isn’t working for them or utilising their strengths/resources more effectively but this is a process through coaching. You would be surprised to discover what some of these are and that saying no is as empowering as saying yes! It is a disservice to ourselves to exhaust ourselves pursuing things that were not meant to be or letting go prematurely. Coaching helps to distinguish the difference and having a sense of peace in the decision making process.

It is an opportune time to share a testimonial at the start of 2022 and reflection always brings a renewed perspective and zeal for what this year holds. I am available to take on new clients and welcome a friendly (non committal and uncompromising) coaching discovering call with you! Let us be bolder this year. Expect the unexpected. Do something your future self will thank you for!

Hope the 1st quarter of 2022 has been kind to you..

God bless.

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