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A sense of direction

From career doldrums to energetic electronics entrepreneur

A client had become stuck in his career but, through executive coaching over several months, I helped him find a new sense of direction.

Dazed and confused

My client had worked as a highly skilled sound engineer in the arts, but the field had gone into decline and career opportunities had dried up. He returned to university as a mature student and had just achieved a first-class degree he hoped would open many new doors. There were plenty of graduate positions to apply for across sectors, but something was holding him back. He feared making another mistake and was confused over which path to follow. He felt his previous experience and inherent creativity singled him out from the typical graduate in his discipline, and not necessarily for the better. He was also preoccupied by concerns over what other people thought he should be doing, and suffered considerable frustration as a result.

The coaching process

The early part of the coaching involved helping the client to know himself better.

  • We catalogued all the client’s achievements as far back as he could remember. He discovered just how much he had to offer potential employers. Clear themes emerged that later formed the basis of his new CV.
  • I conducted a Lumina Spark profile to raise his awareness of his strengths and weaknesses, communication style and behavioural patterns.
  • He completed a Wheel of Life exercise from which he saw that many aspects of his life were highly satisfactory. This improved his mood and positivity. Key areas to work on were his career, social life and creativity. It became clear that these were interrelated and that he wanted a new role where he could be creative alongside others in a small team who shared his passion for innovative consumer electronics.

We then worked on setting goals and identifying values. The client’s vision was to have his own business in which he would use his creativity to build handcrafted electronic products. Independence and freedom emerged as values, along with a passion for craftsmanship and quality and a highly entrepreneurial spirit.

We then revisited the Spark profile. We noticed he had an ability to turn concepts into practical reality. He also pinpointed some habitual behaviours that would need to change so he could take charge of his future.

The client decided that, while his goal was to be self-employed, he would need a job in the meantime to pay the bills and make the best of his qualifications and experience. He also decided there was no need to shelve his creativity. In increasing his social activity, he was able to test out his product ideas with a circle of like-minded friends, who encouraged him to continue pursuing this new line of endeavour.

Coaching results

After a dozen coaching sessions, my client had:

  • created an inspiring, aspirational end goal and a clear plan he could work to over the months and years
  • identified roles he would like in the meantime and which would further the cause of his end goal
  • created a new CV and Linkedin profile promoting his skills, experience and achievements
  • improved his sociability by connecting with like-minded individuals to share ideas
  • begun changing unhelpful beliefs and behaviours
  • secured work that played to his strengths while creating prototypes of new products that could become the basis for a new business.