A Coaching Model Created by Susanne Buetikofer
(Transformational Coach and Career Coach, SWITZERLAND)
Having gone through a midlife transformation myself in the last two years, it was early on clear for me that I wanted to focus on people like me with similar issues. To suddenly realize that half of my life might be over and that in the next forty years I’d better take decisions that help me live a fulfilling, fun, and worthwhile life, made a big impact on me! My transformation helped me find my true passion which is coaching and helping others to kick-start the 2nd half of their life!
Easier said than done – many people in the middle of their life won’t allow themself to pause, breathe in, take a rest, think and dive deep into their inner-self to ask themself “am I on the right track?” By applying the following simple model, the clients are invited to explore their current situation, to consciously pause and observe their life. After their deep dive into their life, corrections, adjustments, etc. can be invented and built-up. Then, their next chapter of life can be kick-started.
Midlife crisis or change
A midlife crisis is very often used in combination with a transition that can be difficult and depressing. It’s a natural process that roughly a third of people go through. Some use this pivotal moment of life to listen to the inner person they always wanted to be in life and transform their life accordingly. Yet, not everyone goes through midlife gracefully and therefore the term midlife crisis. Coaching can help to address the problems that arise in this sometimes burdensome midlife change.
The medical definition of a midlife crisis is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as such: a period of emotional turmoil in middle age caused by the realization that one is no longer young and characterized especially by a strong desire for change.
Kochmer (2005-2019) states, that a midlife change is a time to reconnect to the freedom of childhood. A midlife transition can resemble the time of being a child when everyday something had to be learned newly. People starting a midlife transition will sometimes act like a child again as they’re picking up where they left off from their childhood. Part of the process moving from a midlife crisis into a life transformation is learning to play and enjoy life like children again and resolve childhood issues.
A beautiful way of looking into a midlife transformation is looking at a caterpillar transforming slowly into a butterfly – what an inspiring analogy! The caterpillar spins a cocoon and lets go of its former self and turns after some time into a butterfly, which will adapt to its new way of being. Once a butterfly, the world looks different, limitless compared to before. There are different obstacles and chances to be looked at certainly – but as the transformation takes time they are well thought through and can be addressed to when needed.
Midlife – Career & Transformation Model
This simple model is helping clients go through the process of their transformation:
The Model explained
This step is about pausing and reflecting on what happens in the client’s life:
- What is the current situation?
- What is going on?
- What is important for you? Which are the positive and negative areas of your life?
- What needs to change? What are your dreams?
The coach helps the clients with these questions to draw up a clear picture of their lives and to develop a vision of a better life or career.
Take a deep dive and ask what is out there and what is important to the client:
- What are your values, beliefs, motivation, passions, and strengths?
- What obstacles are standing in the way of changing?
- Which resources need to be developed / expanded / deepened – which perspectives to change – which potential to grow?
The coach explores with the clients their inner-selfs. This exploration can take up several sessions and can be supported by the use of instruments, such as the strength finder, value exercises, etc.
With the newly found ideas, visions, and dreams, start planning the way forward:
- Create plans/ideas to go forward – transform visions into action – create energy boosts to help with the successful transformation
- Discuss the commitment and accountability
- Which support is needed?
The coach is helping the clients with their kick-start into a new career or transformation.
Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still. Chinese Proverb
I have been able to go through my last career change without too much trouble – thanks to my wonderful coach who supported me on every step I took. With 2 of my clients, I applied the described model and it was powerful to go through these 3 steps with them. The model helps the clients to pause, let them ponder and reflect, and finally initiates to kick-start their life in a new or adapted direction.
Bradley Hagerty B., 2016, Quit your job, The Atlantic, April 2016, Available at [Accessed 04th Febr 2020]
Kochmer C. 2005-2019, Available at https://personaltao.com/midlife-crisis/[Accessed 12th March 2020]