Coaches need Coaching too!

Now that I’ve been without a job for nearly 6 months, I’m beginning to get edgy. And I’m beginning to feel like I’m standing still. Maybe even stuck.

I’m a certified coach and I know how to coach others out of this place called Stuck. And I’ve done a lot of work on myself these past few months. But I don’t seem to be getting to where I want to be.

So I did what I would advise anyone else to do. I found myself a coach. I met with her yesterday. She used to be an executive recruiter, and I needed a coach who I could bounce off what I have tried so far, and I thought that she would be ideal.

Like many good coaches, she offers the first session for free. But we landed up chatting for an hour and a half. Free sessions are usually only for a half an hour, and I derived so much value. So I insisted that she charge me. I’m still waiting for the invoice, but I hope that she does charge.

So what value did I get from the session?

I am doing mostly the right things, but I need to do more. For example, I have been worrying that I won’t be able to stay relevant. How do you stay relevant when you aren’t in the thick of things? So I have been reviewing all the training that I did for my SAFe SPC certification, because that is what I would like to continue to use. But perhaps I also need to do some training to supplement my Agile expertise and not just my SAFe expertise. I have also planned to do an NLP training course in July to enhance my coaching expertise which is always useful in a project delivery environment.

I need to have a plan for the day. For a number of decades now I have always had a reason to get out of bed; some days more happily than others. But now I wake up in the mornings and have nothing to do, nowhere to go. And I have been thinking that a lot lately. I now see that I have to reframe that thought; I have to change my mindset. I do have things to do, they are just not what I have been doing for decades. So I do need to see that writing articles like this is ‘something to do’ not ‘nothing to do’. And I need to understand the value of the things that I am doing. I also need to plan more to do. Perhaps develop a schedule, say with online training for an hour every morning, followed by some research, followed by a run, followed by writing articles, followed by dog training and occasionally followed by lunch with family or friends or people who can help to take me places. Sounds like a plan already!

I need to give myself the time and space to get what I want. I want to continue to work. And I want a role that will be rewarding and bring lots of job satisfaction. This may well be the last role that I take up before I retire from my current career. So I want it to be great! What I need to focus on is what do I need to do to move myself closer to getting to what I want? Definitely the self development will help. But I realize that I cannot do this by myself. This is unfamiliar territory for me. My network has been nothing short of amazing in sending opportunities my way, but I think that the time has come for me to partner with one or two experts in this field so that I can be sure that I will be getting the best deal possible.

I need to ‘talk towards’ more. This was an interesting observation. It seems that I talk a lot about what I used to do, to be. But where do I want to be? What value can I bring to an organization given my experience? Think more about what I can do for you than what I did for others. Organizations employ mature, experienced people like me for more than the job requirements. So what else can I bring to the table? I need to revisit all the building blocks that got me to where I am now. There are skills and experience that I have forgotten that I have. I need to refresh my memory and to rethink the value that they can add.

It was great to talk to someone who understands the IT industry and who also understands what it’s like to be job hunting in the latter part of your career. She talked about the 4 M’s of motivation; Mastery, Meaning, Money and I can’t remember the 4th 😱. This reminded me about Daniel Pink’s intrinsic motivation findings – autonomy, mastery, purpose, and Tony Robbins 4 M’s – Mastery, Mating, Momentum and Material things. The key take away being that the importance of the M’s change as you move through different life stages. And the obvious question that follows is what is most important to me right now?

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