Career And Job Advancement Coaching Case Studies 

These career coaching case studies from my client files* demonstrate how life coaching helped these clients move from where they were to where they wanted to be in their jobs  and careers.

*And, of course, names have been changed to protect confidentiality and privacy.

All these clients wanted help moving forward - handling any obstacles, even disasters, that they felt  stood in the way of their career success.

And this is where career and job coaching using life coaching skills is so effective.  I hope these career coaching case studies will give you some ideas for ways to work with your clients.

Leah Was Fired And Felt Her Career As A Trainer Was Over

Leah had long had a goal to take the career leap from being a teacher to a trainer. She was over the moon with delight when she got a job with an organisation specialising in change management and team building.

Man firing a distressed employee

Leah set herself a specific goal to become a leading facilitator within the organisation. So far, so good.

Then disaster struck. In the first workshop that she was allowed to lead on her own, Leah came up against a difficult and disruptive participant. Because of her lack of experience, she did not handle the situation well!

On the evaluation forms that participants fill out at the end of a workshop, some of the comments were pretty negative.

The training organisation, in a fit of over zealous damage control, fired her.

Leah was devastated. She felt she had no option but to throw in the towel and go back to teaching. Her confidence at the front of the room was shattered. Leah decided she did not have what it would take to achieve her goal.

She had hit a brick wall and fallen in a heap and came to me for coaching to restore her confidence and find a new direction. 

Coaching Breakthrough: Leah realised this was not the end, just a setback to learn from

As I took her through my process of turning around failed goals into stepping stones, Leah came to realise that she was not going to get everything right first time and there were going to be lots of learning experiences to benefit from (maybe not as severe as the first one) .

We reviewed that dreadful day in all its horror and how the drama had unfolded. 

Then we worked out a couple of strategies she could have used to better handle the difficult participant and keep the rest of the people in the workshop with her.

When Leah came to a frame of mind where she could look back on the reason for her failed goal and view it as "a mistake I learned from and don't have to make again", her energy and motivation for her training career returned.

She reset her goal to be a trainer and it wasn't long before she was on her way again with renewed confidence.  Leah has now achieved her goal and is a sought after corporate trainer.

This career coaching example demonstrates how a bad experience in a previous job can keep a client from moving forward confidently.  As a coach, look at what happened and what needs to happen to turn that experience around to a stepping stone rather than a failure that is holding the client back.

You'll find a whole chapter on turning around failed goals in my book Be Your Own Goals Coach.

Why Did Jack's Dream Job Turn Into a Nightmare?

Man having nightmare about his job under the sheets, in bed.

For a long time Jack had a goal to move interstate and work for a company that organised motivational seminars.

He loved the self-discovery and growth principles of the organisation.

When he got the job as operations manager for the promoters of a well known personal growth seminar, he was over the moon.

His joy didn't last long though. Although well qualified for the job, Jack became totally stressed out with the frantic pace, dealing with his team and coming home anxious and despondent.  It was affecting his family life. 

Jack was very confused. What had gone wrong with his dream job? It had become more of a nightmare.

What was wrong with HIM?

Coaching Breakthrough: Jack got in touch with his core needs and values

With coaching, I helped Jack get in touch with his core needs and values. These are all things he needed to have for career satisfaction.

He discovered that, while he valued personal growth highly, he also had a need for health, harmony and peace. These were not exactly features of the long, pressure-filled, team leading days of his new job.

Jack is now studying to be a naturopath. His new goal not only reflects his values of personal growth and health but can be achieved in an environment that is compatible with his other values and needs of harmony and peace .

A valuable career coaching lesson is to spend time with your clients get in touch with their core needs (what drives their behaviour) as well as their values.  It's a vital step in identifying the whole picture of the client and any career issues and what will bring them job and personal satisfaction. 

My colleague Emma Louise of The Coaching Tools Company has created a Career Coaching Toolkit  to help clients who want to work on their careers. The tools in the kit will help clients discover what's important to them in their work and energise them to move forward in their current job or go for a career change.  A particularly useful tool called the 'Career Discovery Ponder Sheet' will help you:

  • Ask 21 thoughtful career questions designed to stimulate your client's thinking
  • Discover common threads and themes that point to possible careers
  • Get clients re-inspired by identifying qualities to incorporate into their work-life

Sally Was In Overwhelm About Her Trucking Career Goal

Crane at a building site demonstrating big goals

Sally's ultimate dream job as a truck driver was to drive one of those huge vehicles used in mines and be employed on a fly-in, fly-out  basis. She had set herself a six month goal to achieve this.

She knew what was needed but was having trouble deciding what to do first. She was very confused! She needed to get a special dump truck licence but this was expensive and she also found it a bit overwhelming.

Sally was delighted with the fact that being a woman in the male dominated trucking industry was turning out to be no barrier to success.

However, in the mate-ship atmosphere, she found controlling her junk eating and beer drinking habit with the boys hard to break. 

This was affecting her health and weight not to mention the budgeting she needed to do to pay for that expensive dump truck licence.

Coaching Breakthrough: Break big career goals down into small steps

I worked with Sally to realise she needed to break down the goal to achieve her dream job into smaller manageable steps.  This involved getting other relevant licenses before she went for the big one and to start setting up contacts and relationships that would get her the job she was after.

We made the deadline of her goal more realistic given all the steps she had to take.

We also developed some strategies to help her have more confidence that she didn't have to go with the blokes culture and control those eating and drinking issues.

The last I heard from Sally was that she had achieved two more important, but easier to get licenses on the way to the big final one, which gave her confidence would put her in good stead for her dream Job.  She had also made contact and established relationships  with people that would know about any job vacancies that came up and get in touch with her.

She also had the confidence not to need to be "one of the blokes" and was eating better and managing her budget.

The career coaching example here is the importance of working with the client to help them to set a realistic time frame for their goal and break down what needs to happen into small manageable steps.  Also just because they are working in a particular environement they don't have to adopt other peoples behaviours.

When it comes to helping your clients get straight to the real heart of any issues including their career, I can really recommend The HeART of Laser Coaching by MCC Marion Franklin. I  bought this recently released book as I have long respected Marion as a coach and it lived up to my expectations with lots of practical information and great processes.  

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I hope these case studies have given you some strategies to use in your own careers coaching and you can read information about coaching clients on career issues.  

You can read more life coaching case studies the specifically deal with the niches of Personal Coaching Business, and Goal Achievement.  And if you want more information about coaching in a specific niche you'll find it here.