Does this sound familiar?

It’s Sunday afternoon. You’ve had a great weekend with the family or friends. The sun’s setting and a feeling of dread begins to come over you. This is a very familiar feeling and you’ve experienced it most Sunday nights for some time now.

If I am describing you, it seems you’ve got yourself stuck in a job where you are not happy. It’s common and I am asked by many clients to ‘get me out of here’.  But, you know what? Sometimes it’s not the job that’s the problem. Often, it’s the fact that you’re avoiding a difficult conversion with your manager, colleague or direct report. For some reason, along the way, you’ve experienced some conflict, or you’ve been handed a project you really dislike or you’re working with a department that’s really letting you down, and you’ve chosen to just suck it up, rather than deal with it.

In this Forbes article, 5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict, Mike Myatt makes a very meaningful point about leadership and conflict, stating that they “go hand-in-hand. Leadership is a full-contact sport, and if you cannot or will not address conflict in a healthy, productive fashion, you should not be in a leadership role.”

Ouch! That hurts doesn’t it? Well, my friend (okay, we may not know each other yet, and it may seem a bit familiar for me to be calling you that, but . . you know what I mean) . . . the truth does hurt. If you want to be the leader you know you can be and you want to progress your career, conflict needs to become your friend and asking someone to help you ‘get me out of here’ is perhaps not the first action you should be taking

But you haven’t taken action and you are avoiding the difficult conversations.

So it’s Sunday evening, and the feeling of dread is getting stronger.

There is good news!

You can have the courageous conversations with your manager or colleague and finally deal with the issues, once you know how. What you need to do is develop strategies to deal with what’s causing the feeling of dread. This will help you work your way through them in a less emotional and more proactive way.

I help many of my clients do this, which can lead to them choosing to stay in their current roles. They come to the realisation that, by tackling the issues that bother them more rapidly and as they occur, they are able to avoid the feeling of dread and are enjoying themselves much better on Sunday nights! And some of them even have a stronger sense of purpose about their roles as they are clearer about their overall career plan and where this current opportunity fits into their grand plan.

So here’s the thing. A Career Coach is much more than a person who can help you develop an action plan for your next career move. We are also experienced HR professionals who can guide you on how to achieve greater satisfaction in your current roles. So often I see clients make the mistake of thinking recruiters can play this role for them. Don’t make that mistake!

A Career Coach can help you be more effective in your current role, or, if you’d prefer, we can help you feel better on a Sunday night and avoid that feeling of dread. We can do this because we are your advocates!  For more about my views on this and the difference between a Career Coach and a Recruiter (and why you need to be talking to me WAY before the active job seeking phase) please read Career Coach Vs Recruiter: What You Need to Know!

Examples of Courageous Conversations I’ve Helped Clients Have

If you’re thinking “Marina, I’m not sure what you mean by a courageous conversation”, here are some examples of how I have helped my clients have courageous conversations. My aim is to help you understand why you will get value from investing time in yourself and seeing me for a career consultation to help you develop a stronger sense of your strengths, potential areas of development and possible next steps (within and beyond your current organisation).

  • Conflict Resolution – how to broach more difficult topics with your manager, colleagues or direct reports that you perceive to be a potential for conflict (but they are part of the reason for the Sunday afternoon feeling of dread).
  • Career Conversation with your Manager – how to explore with your Manager your options within the organisation to move sideways or up in the near future or how to seek feedback about why you were not considered for a recent promotion.
  • Preparing for Performance Reviews – how to maximise the annual performance review conversation to help you receive recognition for your efforts and explore future career opportunities with your Manager.
  • How to Identify a Mentor – in the absence of formal mentoring program within your organisation or industry body, I can show you how to approach relevant informal mentors within and outside of your organisation.

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