Coaching for Career Progression

Steve Jobs once advocated that “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” When it comes to inspiring professional excellence and job satisfaction, the man whose name is synonymous with inventiveness and success certainly knew what it took to reach the top. Jobs maintained that in order to produce outstanding results at work, a person needed passion. 

So, are you passionate about how you earn a living? Do you like what you do and do what you love? What is your idea of success? 

As a recipe for job fulfilment and improved productivity, the notion of passion and deep engagement at work sounds promising, thus encouraging companies to focus on aspects of their human capital. Increasingly, organizations are seeking solutions that are self-driven, collectively produced by motivated employees who are inspired by fresh work practices and cultures. And the answer to this, as many organizations have found, is in adopting the coaching culture at the workplace.

The International Association of Coaching defines coaching as “a transformative process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth”. The enabling and empowering power of coaching  help individuals and organizations unleash their talents and address challenges through the process of self-reflection and discovery.  Coaches are the main conduits and goal facilitators that can help affect self-directed changes in behaviour and work practices.  

It has been shown that employees developing deep professional intimacy and passion towards work goals and practices, either individually or as part of a  team, can bring  about immense benefits. Firstly, it creates greater commitment and raises professional standards. Secondly, it improves individual and team performance as well as job satisfaction And, thirdly, it increases productivity.

Passion at work is defined as a “strong inclination toward a workplace activity that people like, that they find important, and in which they invest time and energy. This means that people can value their jobs, spend long hours on it, and still love it.” (Vallerand & Houlfort, 2003 as quoted on surveymonkey).

Yet, with the realities of the work environment as well as organizational and personal challenges, developing a ‘success’ mindset requires, time, effort and conviction. Here, everyone from the CEO down to the office assistant needs to come on board.  And this is where the inclusive nature of coaching as a potent developmental tool can help companies and their people soul-search and explore pathways to success.

The benefits of coaching as a means towards improving career prospects through progression and change, have been widely documented. Coaching works both at the personal and professional level, providing an excellent and unique experience for people to explore issues that have hampered progress.

For individuals involved in team coaching, as the process is always inclusive, even the most reluctant employee, possibly someone lacking the confidence to engage, will be empowered to participate. Coaching brings out the best in anyone who desires change.

Thus, through coaching, professionals finding themselves at the crossroads of their career or are feeling uninvolved, demotivated and uninspired at work would eventually discover ways out of the impasse with gradual self-realization. Steeped in the art of empowerment which enables self-reflection that facilitates goal-setting and decision-making, coaching promotes  growth and development.

Significantly, coaching processes are not designed to suggest or instruct clients towards a particular direction deemed beneficial by the professional. Rather, coachees, with the support of the coach, learn to listen to their inner voices. This process helps to uncover issues that have long presented as barriers to growth, not least of all, to career progression. These issues have been mostly unrecognized or hidden by life’s  demands,  including work-related pressures.

In this respect, coaching conversations are designed to propel coachees to discover aspects of their personalities, circumstances and challenges that may have had an impact on their career development goals. So when a person feels that potential career opportunities are being affected by personal or organizational barricades, these self-discoveries would help bring up potential possibilities, encouraging clients to look beyond the problems. Inevitably,  coaching enables coachees to discard entrenched negativity that have blurred visions and blocked potential career moves for quite some time.

Certainly, coaching conversations can bring about clarity and purposefulness .The coach-coachee engagement may bring a fresh perspective to the client, helping the latter address issues long overlooked.

Indeed, coaching matters – that is,  for those who have a genuine desire for change. As the coach is there to ask insightful questions, coaching conversations would, over time, help coachees to realize their strengths. From there on, the unleashing of hidden talents will become a reality, driven not by the coach, but the coachees themselves.

Thus, career opportunities that were once considered challenging or unattainable can now be pursued with much clarity and greater determination. And a coach’s job is almost done!