III – Where do I WANT to go and what do I DECIDE TO DO to get there?
This stage anchored on questions to move forward, many of them made by the client, and it was able to realize that she was more committed and open to explore and review beliefs, research new possibilities of action, what enabled knowledge and changes.
Though it was a challenging stage, adopting practical actions that meant changes in MS`s life allowed her to feel stronger, author of her own path and motivated with the news perspectives.
Among the most important questions related to new decisions of actions, derived from a better understanding, I`d like to mention:
- What kind of Professional activity would provide me more pleasure and satisfaction?
- What am I truly interested in?
- How can I quit my current job if I depend on my wage and don`t have enough money to keep myself or invest on another business?
- How can I do something different if I don`t have free time working from 8 to 12 hours a day?
- How is your turnover and costs structure? How much do you earn from private clients and health care system?
Some of the answers were:
- I want a profession that makes me happy, fulfilled and earn enough money to be financially independent.
- I wish I could quit being a dentist, but I need to earn a living.
- I want to be able to pay for everything I need to survive and achieve my goals, such as being able to travel, meet people, be more dynamic, creative, art, dance, etc….
Facing these questions shows how powerful the coaching is in a changing process.
The most revealing reflections responsible for new actions and practices that enabled relevant changes in MS`s transition process were:
- MS decided to pay for the coaching. When the 12 sessions finished, the ones she got as a gift, MS decided to continue the investment with her own financial resources. The process lasted for about one year with sessions every 15 or 20 days.
- The assurance of profession change and necessity to invest on the construction of a new career. Inspired on Hermínia Ibarra`s book, MS decided to look for new connections, courses, contacts that enabled her explore professional interests related to her abilities and strengths. An intense period of discoveries, matches, mismatches, satisfaction with new activities.
- Implementing basic practices of financial and market management applied to her routine. The client realized she did not have any management over her costs and clients. She didn`t have the slightest Idea of the income and costs. She also realized she could have a better use of her secretary. She found out that 20% of her income came from 80% of working hours. She then decided to cancel some health care plans and try to have more private clients. Then she faced another question: “If you stay sit and quiet, what are your chances to get new clients?”
MS realized she needed to implement new market actions adopting a more active approach. For example, her secretary helped her contacting old clients and studied new ways to attract new clients, decided to move to a smaller office and then have less costs. As a result MS achieved a reduction on her working hours, without income loss, more client satisfaction, higher self-esteem and self-confidence. With 2 free days a week, MS tried new actions aiming new career possibilities.
Reading related to career change and self management were important tools during this process, emphasizing the text “Managing Oneself” , by Peter Drucker and the book Identidade de Carreira, by Hermínia Ibarra.
Drucker highlights the importance of acknowledging the strengths and weakness, values, what kind of contribution the person wants to provide the world through her/his job and the value of a long lasting reflection. He also stimulates the search for feedbacks and the need to adjust along the process of professional development as mandatory to achieve the goals set.
Hermínia Ibarra demonstrates research data that reveals that building a new professional identity takes from two to five years and recommends new strategies to a career change. She also points out that the key of this process is action and testing of new choices followed by reflections about the experience, about adhesion points with personal projects, frustrations and flaws as well as learning and conclusions.
These readings, besides a concept basis, enabled a range of important actions in MS`s development process.
Next, the client`s testimony that sums up the explorations actions of new possibilities of career that were adopted:
I took a postgraduate course in Senac – Minas on gastronomical and hotel management. I worked as a waitress, receptionist and coordinator of children`s parties twice a week. I started a small business selling underwear and sex shop products, including meetings with girlfriends (“Bubbles with Peeper”) and I also developed a blog aimed at female sexuality.
Which were the main obstacles and challenges in the process?
Among the main challenges of the process I can point out resistance to change, low self esteem, feeling of incompetence to a new job, financial restraint and less awareness of her deepest interests.
However, considering all the obstacles, the results achieved were quiet significant with strong changes on MS`s behavior. Coaching proved to be a valuable tool to the client as well as to the coach that could realize how rich the relationship was, the learning strength, the effort and commitment demonstrated by the client.
Even though the coach believed the client would benefit from continuing the process, due to intense changes, MS decided to interrupt the coaching, expressing satisfaction with her autonomy and energy devoted to the implementation of new plans.
MS believed she had achieved the goals set in the beginning of the coaching and from that point on she needed to dedicate to her small business – Bubbles with Pepper. MS created the logo, site, upgraded the blog, took courses on sexuality, identified suppliers and proved to be quite motivated due to the satisfaction obtained from work, that included people interaction, writing on the blog, female sexuality contents, in a perspective that she could gather the beauty with the emotional engagement with her clients, etc.
The intermediate contacts with the coaching.
In the following two years, the client had intermediate contacts with the coach that worked pro-bono. MS showed improvements and new challenges, some of them considered too high and less worthwhile. However, the client did not want to restart the coaching process due to financial difficulties and also because she believed that she need to invest on other actions such as courses, market researches and others.
Restarting a new stage
In January, 2014, MS got in touch with the coach asking for help in a new stage, since her ventures hadn`t been successful. After agreeing to authorize me to write a case study about her coaching process, MS gave the following testimony:
The small business – Bubbles with Pepper – didn`t work and then I tried many activities. I became member of a gourmet group with friends that cooked very well, and we cooked dinner at parties. I worked in a travel agency for five months, as a travel agent, and this was very boring. Now I share my time working as a dentist and with parties decoration in a friend`s company. I am talkative and like to write so she invited me to work with marketing and client relationship. I write in the blog, post photos on Facebook and Instagram, update the database, am responsible for the communication with the magazines in which the company is advertised, take part in some events, contact clients. These are much more pleasant activities that have to do with me. But it`s still a small company with nice perspective of growth. It is not easy to live the way I am living. I am sure I don`t want to work as a dentist. I wish I could change radically. The problem is I don`t know what I want and working as a dentist pays my living, though I can`t stay I need this salary. In other words, I don`t like my job and have a bad salary. The costs are very high…I know I have to make an effort to change this situation. I`ve already been able to change something, but I am scared and feel insecure. I`ve got a clientele obtained and not earning enough money. However nowadays I have financial difficulties. I feel I must be more determined because time passes by and I owe this to myself, so that I can wake up and work happier every day.
The coach offered a coaching session pro-bono that lasted 2 hours when MS was encouraged to become aware of her stage –
Where am I today?
and her decisions to keep on building her new identity not found yet.
The objective of this session was to set goals for 2014 and start planning how to achieve them. As a result, MS informed that would like to quit working as a dentist in January 2015. On a scale from 0 to 10, MS said her commitment and motivation were 9. One of the first steps of this stage was the decision to have a new professional coach, what was suggested by the coach herself. This suggestion is anchored on this professional`s feeling of the importance to build a new relationship and new approaches and tools. Besides, financial difficulties contributed to the search for a Professional that might be able to offer a more attractive financial deal. MS has already found the professional and should start a new stage.
At this moment, after defining clearly that she will stop working as a dentist in December 2014, she was challenged to write the continuity of this case study: writing a new chapter where she commits herself to close a fundamental development cycle, characterized by quitting working as a dentist and the beginning of a new professional occupation.