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Releasing creative spark

Coaching helps client become who he really is

I coached an unemployed client to overcome anxiety, escape the shackles of previous choices and embark on a new career.

Unemployed and anxious

The client had spent some time unemployed and was struggling with anxiety. Having spent time on various medications, he was keen to explore ways to better manage his anxiety so he could focus on returning to work.

The coaching process

At the start of our work, I worked with the client to generate his Lumina profile. The results were a surprise. Despite having worked in finance for many years, the client showed few of the typical expected preferences for detail and structure. Instead, he displayed high levels of creativity and people-orientation. It emerged he hated working in finance. His most fruitful time in finance had been when working for a creative business, where he was surrounded by creative colleagues.

Through another exercise, we discovered that his hobbies, specifically social media and film and photography, were his passion. He badly wanted to move into this area, but didn’t know where to start. There was a stark contrast between the negative language he used to describe his finance career and the positive way he talked about his creative endeavours.

Over time, it emerged that his anxieties would be triggered every time he started a new finance role. The silence of open-plan offices and the introversion of new colleagues seemed to turn ordinary ‘new role’ nerves into full-blown anxiety.

Coaching focusing on the Lumina profile helped the client identify personal qualities he could call on to quell his anxiety. For instance, his imagination became over-active when he was under pressure and so, by choosing to be very ‘evidence-based’ in these situations, he was able to calm his anxiety. Together, we did lots of work to identify other triggers and help him generate a choice of responses.

Finally, we worked up a plan for him to switch from finance to something more creative – while acknowledging that this would take time.

Coaching results

After 12 weeks of coaching, the client was on track to move out of finance into a more creative role.

As an intermediate step, he had taken a contract role in a company finance department for a few months. Crucially, this was a creative media business with a number of roles that he would like to transition into. He was able to use the time to network with his new colleagues and identify what he would need to do and learn in order to move into a more creative role.

In addition, he had created a Linkedin profile that identified his creative pursuits and promoted his showreel and was using his Twitter account to build a network of people working in social media and video editing.

All of this activity had started to generate new openings, and he had begun securing interviews for social media jobs.

Importantly, with the support of his doctor he had halved his medication and was working on alternative strategies to manage his anxiety.