Looking For a Career Change? Look No Further.
By Ilija Sekulovski
Astorians – Are you feeling stuck in a dead-end career with a boss you hate, while you watch your relationship or marriage fall apart, and your body grow 2 dress sizes bigger? Would you love to get to the gym, but since your boss won’t spring for an ergonomic chair,the back spasms leave you too weak to exercise, and you can’t afford the money or time to see a doctor?
Do you absolutely dread Monday mornings and spend much of your Sunday anticipating the upcoming dread, thus effectively cutting your weekend in half? Are you dealing with a fear or panic that you’re not quite where you’re ‘supposed to be? Are you thinking about a career change but are not quite sure what the first step might be?
Do you come home from your day exhausted and with little to no energy to pursue what you real wanna be doing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this week’s Human of the Week, Jill Ozovek, might be able to help!
What does being a career coach entail?
I do group work and do one on one private coaching with clients. One on one coaching is when people come to me for one of two things: either they’re in a career that leaves them drained, exhausted or sick, and they’re looking for a change but have no idea what that change can be – but feel too exhausted to find time or don’t even know where to start. That’s the majority.
The other group is doing something that fulfills them, but they’re not too sure how to advance. I worked with someone who was a social media person, but didn’t feel like there was a career path, or how to utilize the path to their advantage. I worked with them on communication skills, salary negotiations, being a new manager, and managing up to your manager and down to your subordinates. Work place politics are something that happens everywhere, and I help navigate those minefields.
Basically it’s about working towards career goals – long term and short term. We work out a plan to help them achieve that.
Is there any type of clients you specialize in?
Absolutely – I focus a lot on millienials and mid-career women. The mid-career women have worked quite a while and can’t imagine continuing in their field. The millenials are several years out of college, and are sometimes working in what they want to do, but don’t know how to advance.
Where do you meet your clients?
I set up meetings that are comfortable and convenient for whoever I’m meeting with. I meet with people either in person, or I do phone chats – sometimes on lunch breaks. I do meet people locally – some people like cafes.
How did you choose to be a career coach?
In my previous role I learned a lot about business – how to operate in a company, how to manage and not manage people, how to run a budget, a P&L, a business. I was a young manager and promoted to head manager at 26. While it was a great experience, it wasn’t feeding my soul, so I took a bold move and left the country. I moved to Argentina for 2012. I had to kind of go outside everything I’ve ever known – and do a lot of introspective thinking, and really challenge myself.
Not everyone can go away for a year – but it’s similar in regard. My clients use me as a resource, and as someone to hold them accountable, and figure out what to do.
What I help clients do is get out their head. You’re with someone that doesn’t know you, that isn’t biased, and has the experience in changing their own career,, and setting themselves up for success. There’s an actual experience that they can relate to, and can see the outcome of.
What do you love most about being a career coach?
I love everything about this work. I love talking with people, I love learning their values and what they want in life. One of my clients left her corporate job and is now in the visual arts – something she had always wanted to do, but never knew it! Through working together we uncovered this passion of hers.
The most powerful thing is the alliance between coach and client. I never tell anyone what to do. At the end of the day it’s the connection you have with the clients, and the fact that they WANT to make those choices within themselves.
What’s the outcome of being coached by you?
Everyone leaves with a career blueprint personalized to them. You will come out with literally a document that ties up your values, what matters to you, what works and what doesn’t. You keep this document, and refer back to it, and if you ever want to change again, you have something that shows you how.
What advice can you offer for someone unhappy in their career, or someone looking to make a change?
The first step is to be open to possibility – you can’t underestimate that being open to possibilities that you might not normally have considered can significantly alter your life in a positive way. People think in a linear way – the corporate ladder way of junior executive then sophomore executive and so on.
The COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, popularized the idea of a corporate jungle gym, which is all about how there is no more corporate ladder. You can make lateral moves, change careers and figure out your path in your own way more than ever before.
The thing is – I get it. It’s legit so easy to choose to stay in a horrible job for so many reasons: you earn so much money you get addicted to a certain lifestyle and are afraid to lose it, your parents have instilled in you that you should never quit, a lateral move in your career would make you feel demoted, or even just that you have no freaking clue what you’d do instead – but you can change all that. It’s all about having the mind set.
You can learn more about career coaching at Jill’s website here.