At a local professional meeting, we ran into a man we’ve known for some time who reported that he’d recently had his first appointment with Jill Banks, our Director of Career Services. He said that he had been thinking about calling for a while, but just wasn’t sure he was a good candidate for career coaching. (With career coaching being a relatively new field, many people don’t really understand what it’s about.)

Our friend started to share his experience and as he talked he lit up about all that he’d gotten out of just one meeting—with someone he’d never met before. He was surprised by how powerful it was to tell his story and share what had been happening at his office; and to have the opportunity to explore both his hopes and his fears about his career.

He said that Jill asked three simple questions:

  1. What made you call now versus 6 months ago or 6 months from now?
  2. What are your hopes for working with someone like me?
  3. What in your history (not just your work history) demonstrates and illustrates what you believe you want to offer in a job going forward?


He said that as he and Jill explored the answers to these questions he had a different understanding of what had brought him to this place in his career. He realized that he was ready to step into a different kind of leadership in his life and his work, and he saw that he’d been caught in looking back at what he’d done vs. looking forward to what he wanted to do.

He had long given up on the idea of having an ally in his work life, because at 52 he believed he should have it figured out. He said he had longed for an ally in his life to help him know himself better, move forward more powerfully and effectively, and think strategically about his future. His wife cared, but she had her own job to worry about, so meeting with a career coach became the solution to his feeling stuck and hopeless about his career.

If you are thinking about what is next in your life, ask yourself these three simple questions:

  1. What has you seriously considering “what’s next?” now, versus 6 months ago or 6 months from now? (Don’t simply answer, “You guys asked me to consider it!” Remember that some people will start to read this post but not make it to the end. If you are reading it, it may be because something has spoken to you.)
  2. What would you want from your ally and coach that would support you in your efforts?
  3. What in your history (not just your work history) demonstrates and illustrates what you say (or are beginning to think) you want to offer in the future?


It makes a tremendous difference to have someone as coach, ally, and mirror as you ponder these questions, so take some time to consider who that might be in your life. There are many people who can serve in that role, but if you don’t have someone, consider career coaching with us.