A Coaching Case Study created by Dominika Farley
(Career coaching, Expat and Diversity Coaching, POLAND)
In this article I present a case study of one of the external clients I worked with in order to fulfill the ICA graduation requirements. I found the case of this Client different from what I initially expected, and as a result I feel that I learned a lot about the role of the coach and the possibilities that the coaching process can offer to the client. Those insights are especially valid for me, as I am planning on becoming a career coach.
My Client was a thirty-something woman named Emily (name changed to protect my Client’s identity). At the time she was working full-time in an HR department of a company, dealing exclusively with recruitment processes. She had a rather low level of job satisfaction and was looking into doing something more meaningful in her professional life. She started doing a course in psychology and was planning on becoming a coach. At the time of our first session, she had three pro bono clients whom she coached during the weekends. She found coaching to be very satisfying, but also tiring, mainly because she had had to give up some free time in order to do it. She would teach herself coaching techniques from books and try them on the clients. She wanted to become a coach for three main reasons:
1) she wanted to do something beneficial for other people;
2) she wanted to work in a field she considered more meaningful than working for an organization;
3) she wanted to improve the world (as she herself put it).
However, she was not sure how it would work out, especially in the financial sense. She was worried that leaving her job in order to pursue a coaching career would significantly lower her income and possibly affect her relationship with her partner.
Initially, Emily’s goal was to move towards coaching, concentrating specifically on wellness/fitness coaching. She wanted to work on an action plan that would gradually enable her to get involved more and more in coaching, to the point when she would be ready to leave her day job altogether. The action plan was supposed to include the financial side of the transition as well.
Summary of the coaching process
Usually, we held weekly sessions of one hour using Skype conferencing software. With time, the sessions were more spread out until after the eight session we decided to take a break and complete the last four sessions as a follow-up after two months or so.
During the first session I informed the Client about the rules of our engagement (confidentiality, purpose, my level of experience, etc.) and told her about my educational background and my coaching approach so that she could make a choice whether to work with me or not. At the end, she decided she would be willing to work with me for the next 11 sessions. After the first session, I sent Emily the Personal Values Card Sort Test (described in greater detail below) so that she could reflect on what the most important values in her life are and whether they are reflected in her current job.