COACHING CASE STUDY: Should I stay and try to make it work or is it time to leave?

Just 18 months into her new job, Jessica (name changed to respect her privacy) was clear that her new work situation was untenable. Excited for this new opportunity, she had moved to a new area to take on a leadership position. She believed the move was a great step in her career path.

However, from the moment she started, she realized the job was not what she expected. The culture was chaotic. Her new boss had a pattern of overpromising deliverables and holding unrealistic expectations of the team. Jessica felt torn between meeting the expectations of her boss and supporting her team. Everyone was constantly scrambling, attempting to reach unrealistic goals. They were working as hard as they could, at an unsustainable pace. Stress and conflict among team members were very high.

It was a really tough 18 months. I was used to working long hours and did not mind the work at all. But the drama and dysfunction on my team really weighed on me. In evenings and on weekends, I could not shut my mind off. I was losing my ability to be present with my family.

Jessica began to wonder if it was time to look for a new job again.

My big question was: should I stay and try to make it work or should I leave? I had just been through so much transition and did not have the energy for another job search. Plus, I was not sure what else I would do. I felt stuck.

Jessica turned to her company’s HR department for support. The HR team suggested she work with a leadership coach and recommended a few people.

I chose to work with Alida because I felt really safe with her. I was in a very raw, vulnerable place. Alida quickly demonstrated she was trustworthy, she was not judging me, and she was going to partner with me, to help me.

Alida and Jessica immediately got to work addressing the dynamics that were causing Jessica so much daily stress.

We developed a roadmap of things I could do and things I could support my team to do to stop the dysfunction. I set boundaries for my boss and the team. I quickly saw things calm down. My working relationship with my boss got a lot better. The team established healthier norms.

The members of her team and colleagues across her organization noticed. She gained respect for the changes she was able to implement.

Once the critical issues were addressed, Jessica had time to think about her future. To explore the question, what did she really want to do?

I’m in a time of life where I’m meeting a lot of people’s needs, my family’s, my partner’s, and my employees’. Working with Alida allowed me to make time for myself, to be creative, to open my brain and my heart, and explore.

Through this work, Jessica developed a clear understanding of her strengths, her style of leadership, and the type of work that really lights her up. When an opportunity for a promotion came up in her organization, she was offered the position. Due to her reputation and track record for producing high-quality results, she was the obvious choice for the position, despite having a non-traditional background for the role. As a result of all the work she had done with Alida, Jessica knew the new role was exactly what she was looking for and accepted the promotion with confidence.

With my educational background, it was very unexpected that I would even be considered for a role like this. However, I had so much institutional buy-in for me as a leader, that I was promoted. The way Alida helped me handle the issues I experienced on my team really helped to build my credibility.

Jessica stepped confidently into her new role and as she continues to develop as a leader, is finding a new level of joy in her work.

These past few months have been so wonderful, I have flourished and moved into another layer of my abilities. I have learned so much from Alida. I am now able to coach some of my junior employees on the skills I have learned from her.

I’ve never been happier in my employment in my whole life. People who have known me for a while have told me that I seem different. I feel really happy with what I’m doing. I have a very clear strategy of what we’re working on and a clear connection to the impact it’s making. I feel freed up to do the work while also having good boundaries and taking care of myself. Working with Alida has been the best decision I’ve made in my whole career history.

Are you looking for this type of contentment in your work? Book a call with us to learn more about how we can support you to become the type of leader you were meant to be.


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