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Co-Creating Your Dream Job

I had a client a few years back inside of a company whose culture had deteriorated to a toxic, negative, cutthroat competitive workplace. Turnover was high and it was now affecting customer service and company reputation. The boss was “chandaliering” (a term I learned from Brene Brown’s Rising Strong) far too often and his leadership team was walking around on eggshells trying to keep away from the fallout.

My client did not want to leave his job, rather hired me as his coach to make it work, find a way to navigate through the dysfunction. His excuse early on was, “after all, my boss doesn’t lose it that often”. During our coaching sessions, he shared the negative impact of the boss’s over-reactions on his concentration, confidence and follow through. Work wasn’t getting done at the level or speed he had delivered to the organization prior. As we began to unpack the spiral he was experiencing, he shifted from blaming himself to seeing how the environment clashed with his core values. He wasn’t performing or having a thriving, fulfilling work life because the culture of the company was out of alignment with its own mission and purpose. While over the months, the client had occasionally protected his boss, his commitment to himself had been to journal about his own reactivity and response to the volatility. Originally he thought the flare-ups were once a quarter. Upon review of his journal entries, it was once and sometimes twice a week. It was in that moment of clarity he decided his new purpose for having a coach was taking a new direction – designing an exit strategy and a new, dream job. We explored the projects he most enjoyed, what level of responsibility with direct reports held his highest fulfillment and I asked him to describe who would be his teammates and what did they care about as leaders. There were details like the size of the company, money, vacation, travel but these were much further down from his top priorities.

Over three months he interviewed, networked, revised and refined what his dream job felt like and even assigned himself leadership competency attainment - all within the challenging work culture. Several times he got close to saying “Yes” to an offer from another company that had some but not all of the desired features and was able to hold off. In session, we revisited his core values and the key elements in his design. It was hard to say “No” to the offers and coaching supported him as he trusted what he wanted and that the dream job would materialize.

And it did. Everything from ownership philosophy to the reputable, iconic team to the size and reputation of the company and its empowering and expansive culture and even the commute were exactly the design my client had created in his sessions and coaching plan. The pay, title, office and perks were even higher than the design. Within two weeks he was in his new role, happy, relieved and enlivened to be in a positive, supportive, collaborative team environment. Six months later another promotion and a year later as he was running the most profitable division of the company, he was tapped to take on the highest executive position. His health improved. His marriage and family were his priority and he reflected this in the time and attention he gave them. He lived from his intention, gave it his attention and manifested the job, life and internal alignment he desired.

This is my life as a coach. I am privileged and skilled to partner with my clients as an ICF credentialed coach to challenge, co-create and champion them as they live their best life. They deepen their learning and forward the action into the change they desire in their work, family, faith, travel, housing and more.

Does this excite you and give you ideas of how and what your life as a coach could be? Is it time to step forward and claim your space in the next Certified Professional Coach program? If you’ve read this far, seems like it’s time to take the next step. Click HERE for more information or to speak with one of our Relationship Advisors.

Sarah Graves, PCC

Sarah passionately and practically pursues the development of leaders through intentional, organic growth. She emboldens leaders to create an environment where management is expansive, willing to move with agility beyond comfort zones, and to champion the individual and collective genius within the organization. With teams in transition she inspires connection, realignment and forward progress within the awkward movements of the changing landscape. Her belief is that coaching is as essential an element for an organization as the product or service the company produces. “An employee who grows personally, grows professionally” and coaching seeds growth.
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