David (name changed to respect his privacy) was enjoying his role as the Director of Research at a company that created materials to promote sustainable living. His team was responsible for creating new products and solving customer and plant problems. He loved the challenge of hiring great people and then establishing and leading R&D teams.
When his company was acquired, David thought he was in a good position. His team was functioning well and producing quality results. However, when the merger was complete, the new company quickly reorganized, replacing David and his team with their people. Without much warning, David was out of work. With two kids in college, David felt the pressure to find a new role quickly. He wanted a role that would challenge him with opportunities for growth. He also wanted to use his extensive background to help build a more sustainable future.
David had worked with career coaches in the past but as he started this job search, he decided he needed the support of someone who could help him strategize. He wanted to use his extensive experiences to move up.
As David and Alida began working together, he immediately noticed the emphasis Alida placed on developing a positive mindset.
I’ve worked with two other coaches in my career and what I’ve found is that those other coaches focused on tactics – do this or do that – but they didn’t go underneath to the mindset. The mental part for me was most important.
You don’t realize how much changes when you’re unemployed. You’re used to operating in a certain way, and then the job goes away, and you get disconnected, ungrounded. That affects how you present yourself, whether in interviews or other conversations. If you have fear going into the interviews, it’s not going to work. They can see right through it. You have to be able to be ‘on’ – and that starts with doing the work on your mindset.
He also found that working with Alida kept him accountable for the ambitious goals he had for himself.
When you’re employed, there’s a built-in structure. When you’re unemployed, it’s easy to mope around, and at 10:30 you’re sipping coffee in your PJs. That won’t get you very far. Alida held me accountable, which I enjoyed. The mindset work helped me realize I had all these stories in my mind that often led to procrastination. Working with Alida helped me undo those stories. Our work together also put structure in place so that I could make good use of my time.
Working on his underlying personal beliefs impacted how David presented himself in all aspects of his job search. His resume and LinkedIn profile were tailored and on-point. Most importantly, he was confident in conversations with recruiters and potential employers.
I appreciated that we went from general to specific. Alida shared the broad theory of how to present myself and then brought it down to the specific tactics in terms of what to say on my resume or in my LinkedIn profile. It was helpful to get both, so I knew why Alida was suggesting certain edits.
Through the process, David developed a clear vision of what he was looking for. He also solidified his belief that he was ready to step into that next role. This allowed him to interview with clarity and confidence. He found himself relaxing into the interviewing process. He approached each one as a conversation, rather than a trial or a test. Each interview was a mutual discussion, where he and the potential employer could determine fit – was David right for the role, and was the role right for him?
As a result of his diligent work, David landed a role as the Vice President of Innovation at a company that develops sustainable packaging.
I’m celebrating landing a new job that I’m really excited about. It fits the vision Alida and I created and gives me the opportunity to have the impact I want to have in the world. But I’m also celebrating my personal growth. I believe that cleaning up my mind led to getting this new job – and will have an impact on how I step into my new role.