More to life than this – I need confidence:
I feel as though I’ve worked so hard to get where I am, yet one thing that escapes me is a feeling of happiness. Maybe it’s my age approaching 40, but if I’m honest, I’ve had enough of living my life to please everyone else.
I know there’s more to life than this, yet when I think about how fit I used to be, what I’m looking at in the mirror doesn’t please me. I’d like to have another relationship, but I suppose because of work I’ve spent a lot of time missing out on that.
Yet I’m not sure how to go about changing it, and being less attractive than I used to means I find it hard to motivate myself. Where did the time go? I don’t seem to have the confidence to get out of this, and even if I did have it, I’m no longer sure I know what I want really.
Career Manager needing a change:
I want some career advice, coaching in how to turn my career into something different, something that takes account of my strengths. Currently I’m a senior manager in human resources. I’ve been 3 years in this job, 16 years in the company. I’m in a department that’s changing its focus away from what we’ve been doing up till now to more of a people than process orientation.
My problem is I’m perceived as a process person, and this label really doesn’t work for me. I need to show I can do something more and go beyond that. I had 360 degree feedback, that suggested I need to change. So, how do I change my own and others’ mind sets? It feels as if I’m standing at the crossroads – I’m feeling vulnerable and don’t know how to go on from now.
I’m hard working, and when I promise, I deliver. My performance is not an issue, I just question myself. People’s impression of me as process-driven closes some doors. I need my behaviour to change, to be much more confident to express my opinions in situations where I do not have the most knowledge. I want to engage in other conversations instead of feeling helpless or a victim of circumstances. I’m finding this really difficult.
I’ve just been told by my doctor that I have a condition that might affect my ability to have children. They say it’s not life threatening, thank goodness, but they do say it will probably be necessary to operate. I’m in my late thirties, and although I’m a successful business woman and I’ve been married before, I’m still hoping I can meet the right man and have a family.
I feel so helpless. I’ve changed my diet, and I look after myself. That’s why is seems so unfair, and I’m afraid of time passing. I know this is a signal, my body telling me I need to change something, either something I’m doing, or something in my life. The trouble is, I can’t work out what that is! Can anything be done?
Decisions and their consequences, loneliness of the CEO:
As Chief Executive here, I’ve been carefully positioning my people to ensure not only that everything works as well as possible, but to ensure their personal success and growth. My Operations Director for example is a really competent leader, highly emotionally intelligent and handles herself and her people very well. There’s an excellent chance she will replace me when I go.
Because of changes thrust upon us by government, I’ve had to make a choice about how to position our organisation, and it was one of two alternatives. I’ve done what my head tells me is the right thing to do. In the longer term, it will be still be good for the end users of our services, keep a structure that allows for the continued development of my people and puts us at the centre of things. But it’s not what my heart wanted.
What we were doing was working, and the choice I’ve made will put some of that back possibly for a number of years. I’m really struggling with my feelings about this, and with the nagging doubt that I could have got it wrong. The big issue for me is that my individual directors know me very well, and I don’t want my feelings of uncertainty to leak out unconsciously and to unsettle them. This is a really critical time, and this is of prime importance to me.
Coaching high performing teams:
This team has been put together to handle a big commercial project, and their job is to get a signature to this manufacturing contract at the end of the next three months. This is a critical programme, and if successful, will mean hundreds of jobs for the next fifteen years.
There are fifteen people in the team, most of them highly experienced, all of them are really strong and independent characters. We need to get them up and running very quickly, and need help in getting them to cohere. After their first two meetings, there’s little sign of that happening, and something needs to be done quickly. This is too important to fail.
Early desire for change of career – the search for meaning:
I’m working in a profession that is not for me really. I work as an Engineer while what I really love and feel passionate about is people and their development. My job is quite demanding. Most of the time I have an impossible workload, a lot of responsibilities, I work very long hours, and I feel like I’m always rushing. And when I ask my boss for support or advice, he doesn’t hear me and wants to know what I’ve been doing! I feel an internal pressure to move on as soon as possible.
I believe that I’ve only a short life here and I’d prefer to spend it in a way that is satisfying and meaningful to me. I feel like I’m wasting my time working in engineering although I notice that I’ve learnt and grown a lot, but I feel absolutely ready that my time has come to move on. I want to move into the field of personal and professional development but I don’t know how to begin.
Company director in transition:
I’ve finally taken the plunge, and it feels very cold out here. Naturally, I’m following up my networks and letting people know that I’m looking for something new, but how do I deal with the fact that my move hasn’t been entirely voluntary?
If I’m honest, although my severance package is not unreasonable, and I do have an offer of a fair amount of consulting work back in the company this year, I still feel a tremendous sense of urgency – there’s no time to lose. At the same time, I’m realising that I’ve given my best years to this, sacrificed time with my family. It feels like being cast adrift. I think my biggest priority is to learn how to market and sell myself. I’ve prepared my “stump speech” and think it’s pretty comprehensive, but I’m not sure whether it’s the best way to do things. Getting my first contract with a new client is a key target.