Over the weekend, I attended the CCASTD Career Development Day
, volunteering to work in the information area and to provide free 15-minute 'laser' coaching sessions to interested attendees. Good fun that was. And during my free time, I also had the chance to attend a few of the presentations being given, which was a nice surprise, as well.
What really struck me about the day, though, was this - almost all of the attendees I spoke with that day confided that they already knew what
they needed to do to find work; they just weren't all that motivated to go do
it! Sure they showed up to the conference, which was good. (And there were a LOT of programs, presentations, models, speakers, books, and such, to learn from.) But in their heart-of-hearts, these attendees were anything but fully engaged in the process of finding themselves their next job. And what was worse was that things like fear, frustration, confusion, regret, among other things, were keeping them from getting UNstuck. It was kind of sad, actually.
I guess that's why I love to coach so much. In coaching, we don't try to overlay some boiler-plate model of someone else's success on people. We don't think we have better answers. Instead, we listen to people - as in REALLY listen - to find out what it is that's keeping them from being their Absolute Best. And we ask questions about what to do about THAT.
It's interesting what coaching creates. And my Career Day conversations were no different. Here's a sampling:
+ I asked one person what he'd rather do than job hunt. He said that he loved woodworking, but he felt guilty about it because he knew he should be looking for a job. The double-entendre struck me as particularly poignant - he would love working! (How ironic is that?!) So we talked about his woodshop and I asked him what he might build to represent his job search. He replied by saying he'd build a workbench! (There was that word work again! We decided that there were some interesting parallel processes to building a workbench and finding a job. He seemed very intrigued by that and found himself eager to work on both projects, in tandem, to better understand the connection.
+ A woman I spoke with was already working but wanted to find a better job. Her background, her skills, her work ethic, they were all amazingly aligned with what she wanted to do. But although she knew that on an intellectual level, she couldn't feel it in her heart or stomach. This lack of confidence and lack of courage was derailing her from doing what she knew she needed to do. In talking with her, she decided she would to talk with several of her best friends and ask them to remind her what they liked about her, what she was good at, and what they saw for her in the future as a way of better owning who she already was but just wasn't realizing it. Who isn't motivated when they're connected with their Best Self like that?
+ Then there was this fella who wanted to take his career to the next level. He knew what he wanted - and knew what to do. The problem, though, was that he had so many ideas that he didn't know where to start. So part of our talk was spent using the metaphor of an archery target to help clarify his thinking and focus it more clearly on what was at the center of the bulls-eye. Since he happened to be a newspaper man, as well, I gave him the assignment of coming up with a dynamite headline to capture the essence of what he wanted to do. I think that really sparked his enthusiasm and captured his imagination.
They say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But when it comes to the job hunt - and any of a number of other personal/professional stretch goals - it's not so much a matter of distance as it is a matter of movement. These three people got unstuck. And they did it in a way that was totally unique to themselves and totally in keeping with who they really are and what they wanted to be. It was so evident that their motivation, focus, courage, stick-to-itiveness, happiness, and resolve had kicked into high gear. They were ready to rock 'n roll!
Helping people get to that place is what the power of coaching is all about. It's a bee-YOU-tee-full thing!
Labels: Job Search Stuff