On coaching humans about their jobs

Sometimes, Monday mornings bring flashes of insight and happiness. Today, it’s this: I am a career coach.

I come by it honestly. As a new college graduate, I started (fell into) a career in human resources. After 16 years in HR work, I left it and vowed not to look back. People don’t like HR people and my newly-beginning IT career seemed much more glamourous.

This morning, as I fiddled with this blog, I accidentally took stock of how many career-related blog posts I’ve written. My blog has long had an “organizational development” category and this morning — almost as a knee-jerk reaction — I added a category called “human resources.” Turns out 25 of my blog posts fall into the HR category. I’ve written about bad bosses, what you want from your first job, and the dreaded performance reviews. So there you go.

How do I know I’m a career coach? Because I’ve been formally and informally coaching humans about their jobs (or the jobs they want) for 35 years.

I was 25 years old when I became the manager of another person. I had to use my then non-existent supervisory skills right away because my new team member had a concerning lack of attention on customer service. Since then, I’ve led teams of 5, and 13, and 19. I’ve made it my focus to develop the people I’ve worked with; helping them gain new skills, giving them leadership opportunities, and even supporting them to leave my team for the perfect promotion. After all, good people can always leave.

A favorite quote from someone who worked on my team, “I saw Horrible Bosses this weekend. It was hysterical. By the way, I didn’t recognize you in any of the characters.”

I regularly talk, Zoom, email and lunch with individuals who want my advice about preparing for an interview, dealing with a difficult work situation or planning ahead for the job they want. I have been a formal mentor at mStoner and at William & Mary. New college graduates are referred to me and colleagues from various jobs I’ve had seek me out frequently. I love these conversations. Career talk is a passion and a happy place for me.

When you’re ready, contact me to schedule an informal chat about your job. Seriously, no cost, no obligation, just reach out and tell me how it’s going. I hope to hear from you.

Published by susantevans

Talker | Writer | Reader

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