Living from crisis to crisis

Jenny engaged an executive coach several months ago after being passed over for a job promotion which she had hoped for this year.

She was almost half an hour late for her first coaching session, as she had apparently slipped and fell whilst getting off the bus and had hesitated on whether to visit a nearby medical clinic for a check-up.

The following week, she arrived very late again for the coaching session having just lost her wallet in an Uber Car, which contained ID Card, Employee Card, and all her bank cards, credit cards. She wanted to know if all her bank savings and identities would be stolen.

The week after that, she had emailed a report to an important client with spelling mistakes and numerical errors. She asked her coach if she would be fired by her company and whether there were any means to retract the report from the email server.

Each week, Jenny would arrive late and recounted various mishaps and misfortunes that had happened during the day, whilst seeking advice on how to handle them.

Her coach continued to work with Jenny each session, refocussing on coaching objectives, exploring options and action plans. But there were so many “fire fighting” episodes in Jenny’s personal and work life, the coach sometimes felt like being a fireman rather than an Executive Coach.

Several weeks passed, Jenny mentioned to her coach that it was increasingly hard for her to get out of bed every morning. She did not feel motivated to go into the office. She was overwhelmed by feelings of stress, anxiety. She would eventually drag herself out of bed to face the world after self-identifying some crisis, emergency, urgent situations that required her immediate attention.

It appeared that Jenny was making use of dealing with crisis after crisis as distractions to calm herself from her stress and anxiety. In doing so, she would have postponed or avoided responsibilities to address the deep underlying root causes of her matters. By taking on various fire fighting activities to stop herself feeling and thinking, Jenny had avoid responsibility for her own self-destructive acts. In her subsequent coaching sessions, Jenny and her coach continued on exploring the insights into Jenny’s conscious and unconscious behaviours.

*All personal identification details have been altered to maintain confidentiality.

Joe’s career transition story

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts

For the first time in 20 years, Joe is officially unemployed, having ample free time to reflect and ponder on the next move in his career and life. Joe had always been in the corporate world, working for several financial services companies in London and Asia. He was working long hours, and never quite happy with his job, but the money income was good. Due to a corporate re-organization, his job role in Singapore was moved to London unexpectedly and he found himself out of a job for the first time in his entire career journey.

A Reinventing Process (Ibarra, 2004) unfolded before him. He looked at alternative career paths leading to different possibilities in industries outside of his comfort zone and explored “Whom he might Become?”. Joe conducted small experiments with different companies, speaking with insiders from different industries, attending career discussions and interviews, and tried on different identities during the process. Eventually, he used the time to set up his own business entity in Singapore specializing in Career Transitions Coaching. This in itself is a small experiment to test the market in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region to see if his observations, hypotheses on client targets and demand is accurate or requiring further refinement. Joe also linked up with several liked minded friends who would be interested to partner with him on his new business adventure.

Joe feels revitalized, rejuvenated, healthier and happier. He is ready to embark on his new life journey.

*All personal identification details have been altered to maintain confidentiality.