Walking in treacle

The Power of Coaching – Moving from ‘Zero’ Back to ‘Hero’

Why Do I Love the Work I Do?

Quite simply because there is no better feeling and personal reward than playing a significant role in helping to transform the lives and careers of other people!

Everybody loves an underdog and we all love to watch movies and read stories of talented people who go from ‘hero to zero,’ especially when through unfortunate circumstances but then bounce back again. However, when that person’s career and life is at stake, imagine what it does to their confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, when they are constantly rejected from similar jobs to what they held previously when they had ‘hero’ status? Anyone who has had an enforced lengthy career break or knows someone who has and have been down on their luck, will relate to this, I’m sure.

The reality is it’s much easier to get a job when you are already in a job, especially if you are a high flyer, as everyone wants to recruit the next ‘hero’, don’t they?

So, what of our fallen ‘hero’. What employer will give them a chance to reignite their career and rise to ‘hero’ status once more?  “It’s too risky“, “your skills are out of date”, “the sector has moved on“, “we are concerned about the time you have been out” etc, etc. Does this sound familiar? Maybe as an employer or recruiter you have uttered one or more of these typical phrases to a similar fallen hero?

As “Phoenix rose from the ashes”, so can our fallen hero. But how do you do this when your confidence has been crushed because of countless interview rejections or worse still ignored job applications? It really is an emotional roller coaster ride. One minute you are on the upswing and excited at the prospect of yet another interview opportunity to rekindle your fading career but then you are scared you will mess up at the interview or fall at the final hurdle and come crashing down again.

Most People Will Face Difficult Challenges in Their Careers and Lives

It is inevitable you will have many challenges to face e.g. because of promotions, redundancy, re-organisation, bereavement or situations where you must decide between your career and family.

I’m a firm believer that with the right mindset, confidence, self-belief and positive actions, almost anything is possible.

Enter our ‘fallen hero’, a high-flying executive, who for very unfortunate reasons had to give up his top executive job a few years ago to become carer for his infant.

After many interview rejections he was recommended to engage me as his Coach, to help him to win at interviews. Like many professionals, his interview technique was poor, he greatly undersold himself and, as with most ‘fallen heroes’, he needed a shot in the arm to re-motivate himself. He also needed to be able to focus on the positives he had to offer an employer, rather than fearing yet another character assassination, as to why have gave up his ‘hero status’ and what he had being doing with his life since.

Incidentally, he had developed some great new business and life skills and achieved much but in a very different way, during his career break. In my eyes he was a true ‘hero’ but just couldn’t see past his previous job title!

Every story needs a happy ending doesn’t it? ….

Only 3 sessions later, our revitalised ‘hero’ landed his ideal executive job!

This is both a life changing result and a massive return on his coaching investment and I couldn’t be happier for him :)

The moral of the story…

  • Everyone deserves a second chance
  • Employers who take a ‘perceived risk’ will have a super motivated new executive, absolutely chomping at the bit to deliver and prove their worth
  • If you have an obstacle to overcome, invest in yourself and the power of coaching!

A version of this blog was first published on LinkedIn Pulse in August 2018

Steve Preston is known as The Career Catalyst ®. A leading Career Coach to professionals and executives, the Career Coach’s Coach, MD of specialist Consultancy SMP Solutions (Career & People Development) Ltdmotivational speaker and Internationally acclaimed Author of Career and Personal Development books and products, including Portfolio Careers – How to Work for Passion, Pleasure & Profit, Winning Through Career Change – Six Steps to Navigate your way to a Brighter Future and Winning Through Redundancy.