Client case: Manuela - Picking happiness
Have you ever wondered if the career path you’re on is the right one for you? Ever had the desire to rethink your options? Then you are not alone! Christelle’s client Manuela came to her with exactly that predicament. Find out how it all went.
When Manuela reached out to me in February, she was recovering from burnout. Her last role had been a difficult experience. She had to resign from her position as a Senior Communication Specialist in an international organization. Now, after a few months at home, she was gradually regaining strength and confidence. But she was doubting her career path and wanted to rethink her options. What should her next role be?
I talked to Manuela over the phone. She lives in Gothenburg while I am based in Stockholm and although it can be strange for clients not to meet face-to-face, I am used to coaching remotely. There is a lot of information that can be read from the tone of voice or the energy with which the other person speaks. Building a rapport with Manuela was therefore easy. She was open and chatty but also determined. She had already done a lot of introspection. What she wanted was to find out what she was good at and what made her happy.
‘I want to pick a path that maximizes my chances of feeling happy, valued, and accomplished’.
5 sessions to design a new career plan
After an initial discussion, we agreed to a 5-session program which included reviewing her past roles, identifying her core skills and values, exploring her life’s interests, passions, and personality. Manuela was hard-working and committed to the coaching process - which is a major factor of success. I, also, always send pre-assignments (exercises or questions to answer) before each session. They enable better preparation, deeper reflection, and faster progress as well.
With Manuela, all the exercises were very thoroughly completed and handed in before the deadline. I have rarely met such a dedicated coachee! During our coaching sessions, I questioned her conclusions, gave her new perspectives – and sometimes challenged her. Manuela was enthusiastic about the discoveries she made. It was energizing and rewarding to see her gain greater self-awareness and clarity.
In the 4th session, we worked on the “career summary”. This document synthesizes the conclusions of all the exercises. Together we articulate a professional mission: what will be the purpose of your work? What impact do you want to make? Drawing from our conversations, Manuela was then able to list the criteria (environment, responsibilities, company culture, type of tasks) for her next position, and identify specific roles that fit the description.
This was the ‘Aha’ moment when everything came together. When all the thoughts and ideas started to make sense and when Manuela got a clear direction.
Ending on a high!
The final step of the coaching program is to write an action plan. Manuela set up two goals: the immediate need to find a role fulfilling her criteria, and a long-term ambition to expand her skills and experiences to live her passion. She drew a plan with milestones and actions to reach both.
The end of a coaching program is always bitter-sweet for me. Over the many weeks of working together, I and Manuela began to really trust and be open with each other. I always care about my coachees very dearly. Therefore, I was sad to part with her but also happy to know that Manuela now had the clarity and confidence to continue on her journey alone. This was my goal!
"I am so pleased with Christelle’s help. I went from muddle to clarity in a mere 5-session tailored process, through which she steadily guided and challenged me with perception, empathy, and respect. Her structured and down-to-earth approach has allowed me to recalibrate my spinning inner compass and define an energizing new direction that, while tremendously motivating, also feels concrete and realistic. She has provided me with a toolkit that I know I will have great use for in the short and long term, which I am truly grateful for."