When working with job seekers and business owners I often suggest they develop case studies. For job seekers it’s a good exercise to help them prepare their resume as well as for the interview. I recommend preparing 3 to 5 case studies using the following structure.
Step 1 – Describe the problem or situation in 5 sentences or less.
Give examples of how you saved money or time, made a process more efficient, or increased revenues.
Step 2 - Describe your process and/or how you solved the problem or issue. No more than 2 paragraphs.
Step 3 – State the result or outcome.
For business owners, use the same formula above. It’s a way to showcase the types of clients you’ve helped, can be used as a sell sheet, can enhance your website, or be used as an article. Click to see a sample here. Facts tell and stories sell!
In this week’s article I am taking my own advice and sharing with you one of my case studies. There are many misconceptions and preconceived notions of what it is really like working with a coach. Clients hire me for many different reasons; to make more money, career/job change, start their own business, and of course career life balance – however, their goals are always the same. They want results and I take pride in teaming up with them to get the results they’re after. My practice is about 50% male and 50% female, and I like it that way. I choose the clients I want to work with which is why I offer a complimentary consult. Here is one case in point.
Susan came to coaching because she was frustrated with her job and felt unfulfilled in her life. She had been working in the same company for five years, and saw no opportunities for future growth. The company politics drained her, and by the end of the day she had little energy left to share with her two young children.
Susan knew she wanted to make a change in her career. Feeling stuck, but driven to find a solution, she contacted Coach DQ—Dawn Quesnel, PCC (Professional Certified Coach)—who specializes in coaching sales, marketing and advertising professionals, and creative entrepreneurs whose techniques blend holistic life coaching and career coaching in a practice she calls Career Life Balance. In her first session with Coach DQ, Susan said, “I struggle with self-fulfillment, and worry that I’m not being a good mother and wife. I feel that I didn’t realize my earliest dreams, or didn’t try hard enough to realize them.”
Coach DQ replied: “Your career affects your life, and your life affects your career. Finding a balance isn’t always easy, and you can make the choice to make balance a priority. All you have to do is believe balance is possible. You absolutely can go after your dreams while being more present for your family. You only have one life, so why not make it a great one?”
When she started working with Coach DQ, Susan filled out a coaching questionnaire. Here are a few of the questions, and Susan’s answers.
1. What accomplishments or measurable events must occur in your lifetime in order for you to consider your life satisfying and well-lived? Have enough money to live comfortably with my family, have money for retirement, perhaps kids education.
2. Do you have a secret passion in your life, something which is almost too exciting to actually do, or do more of? Work in the movie/tv industry
3. What tips would you give your coach about how to manage you most effectively? Check up on me regularly, give me assignments
4. What’s missing in your life, the presence of which would make your life more fulfilling? Calmness, no stress, a sense of satisfaction in a job well done, knowing I am doing the best that I can, and being told that on a consistent basis.
5. Please describe your life purpose. How does it impact your day-to-day living? How do you know it’s the right path for you? I would say my life purpose right now is to make sure I am being a good mother first, wife second, and good to myself last. It impacts my day to day by having enough time and energy to give myself to my family in the way I feel it would benefit us as a whole and individually. It is the right one for me because having children is a big responsibility and it’s the most important part of my being at this time.
6. What do you want to make sure you get from the coaching relationship? Direction, options, new ideas and thoughts that I wouldn’t think of myself from lack of experience, support and dedication, loyalty.
7. What two steps could you take immediately that would make the greatest difference in your current work and life situation? Get a new job that pays better. Spend more time with my family.
Coach DQ suggested exercises to help Susan get clear on what her she wanted from her “dream job,” and how she wanted her life to be. Together, they developed specific goals and timelines, including a job search strategy plan to help Susan land her dream job. Then they looked at the obstacles—including her limiting beliefs—and developed structures to help her manage that inner saboteur who repeatedly told her, “You didn’t try hard enough.”
Working with her coach, Susan cultivated new habits and thought patterns, and learned how to use her time more effectively. Soon, she built up the courage to approach her current boss about working from home a few days a week, so she’d have more time to spend with her family.
After just six months of working with Coach DQ, Susan landed her ideal job in the film industry. She sold her house, and moved north to be closer to her family. She now has a shorter commute, makes more money, and has more time to spend with her children. By getting clear on what she wanted from her job and her life, and by using the focused techniques provided by Coach DQ, Susan was able to manifest her ideal situation and fulfill her personal and professional goals.
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – Carl Jung