When I met Géraldine Vermue, she was at a point in her life where she needed to make the most informed decision she could. She was a talented woman with a remarkable professional profile, but she still felt that something was missing. Géraldine was fundamentally faced with a lack of clarity about her personal life, her career and what she was passionate about.
“It is especially difficult for me to express that I feel bad or sad, or to talk about my problems. At that time I also doubted the principles of coaching, but I felt a lot of involvement, sincerity, and generosity in Magali.”
Géraldine is a French woman living in Amsterdam, just like me, so it was not very difficult to understand her situation. She describes herself as a woman who can connect with anyone at any time. While working together, I confirmed that she is very good at socializing and nurturing interpersonal relationships.
But even though Géraldine and I connected from the beginning, we still had a long way to go to work on the problems she was having. It took a whole year for us to have our first coaching session.
“Initially, I was amazed by the warmth and the time given by Magali. She was putting herself in my shoes, not forcing, but still being present to support me, for my personal growth. Sharing when I feel bad, speaking about the problems, taking decisions is hard for me. I also doubted to trust the principles of coaching. But I felt a lot of involvement, sincerity and generosity. We met for 1 hour at Magali’s office, and Magali called me a couple of times. And years after that, I started the sessions. I need time to make the best decision and Magali made it possible to me.”
The thing that was missing
What worried Géraldine the most about starting a coaching plan with U Diverse was how difficult she found it to trust that through the process, she would find the answers to her professional and personal future. She wanted to know that at the end of the process, she would know what she was passionate about, and about the career decisions that could put her in a position to match her ambitions and competencies.
Once we started the coaching program, Géraldine’s priorities and goals became clearer and clearer. It was about taking a turn in her career and achieving balance in her personal life.
“My top professional priority became clear through the process: contributing to better health. I would like to keep working on prevention. The best work environment for me is made of transparency and learning possibilities.
My dream is to share my enthusiasm with a man ! And professionally to stimulate elderly people to move so that they feel better physically, mentally and value their contribution to the world.
It was clear to Géraldine from the start that she was struggling to turn her career around. To find something that would be exciting for her and, at the same time, allow her to make use of all the skills she had. It was mainly for this reason that she contacted me to design together a coaching plan that would allow her to achieve her goals.
What Géraldine and I did during the coaching sessions was to focus our efforts on three different areas concerning her goals:
We focused on a process that would allow her to get to know herself better. This helped her to better understand her work style and what she needs from her work environment to feel and stay motivated in her professional life. Finally, we explored what her limiting beliefs were to gain clarity about her situation and the different opportunities we could explore once those limiting beliefs were overcome.
After having a clearer picture, Géraldine quickly gained clarity about what she wanted to do with her life and about the things that were preventing her from taking a step towards her new professional approach. She discovered the situations that served as triggers that made her doubt herself, and most importantly, she learned how to overcome those triggers. In the process, Géraldine discovered the things that were essential to her career path and let go of what was not necessary.
To achieve all this, we worked for 16 sessions in which, although we worked as a team, Géraldine also had to face some situations on her own. During the process, there were several actions she had to take to succeed.
During our sessions, we did countless exercises that gradually discovered Géraldine’s qualities and strengths, as well as the professional paths and ambitions that best fit her profile. It was great to see how she took responsibility for her self-discovery process to transform her insecurities and limiting beliefs into clarity and passion for her professional and personal goals.
We began by listing the interests and possibilities in terms of career options that best suited Géraldine. We did this by thinking about the possibilities without considering any restrictions or limitations. To have a more realistic and concrete set of options, we filtered all options according to her needs and profile.
Once we were clear about the career path options, it was time to start building relationships that would allow her to enter those new horizons. During this stage, Géraldine researched training programs that would facilitate the process of pivoting her career towards the new direction she had decided to take, as well as researching and making new contacts in her new professional area.
“Magali was a trustful person that allows me to be myself. That is the best thing you can expect while working together. I could be myself, fully, with my personality, the first time very severely judgmental on myself, sometimes tensed, no need to try to look good; just me with my faults. Magali gave me exercises according to my needs. A lot of relevant questions, propositions of contacts.”
During our sessions, we also defined outreaching strategies that would help her talk to people who were in the position that Géraldine aspired to reach shortly with this new professional focus. We prepared discussions to network and project professionalism while working on how to convey the same professionalism in her LinkedIn profile.
“Magali provided me with her constructive perspective and suggestions of thoughts and actions that I put in place.”
During the process, Géraldine basically forged her business development skills. She even tested some ideas to sell a product that genuinely reflected her new mission and interest in dance and healthcare.
After Géraldine’s new career path was clear, we designed a concrete career and job plan.
At the end of the coaching sessions, we not only met Géraldine’s expectations but exceeded them by a wide margin. She began this process by trying to gain clarity about her next step in her career but ended up not only with that but with a clear, long-term strategy.
By the end of the process, Géraldine was energized by having rediscovered her passion. She had a level of self-awareness that she had never reached before, and she knew what she had to do to make her dreams come true. By this time, Géraldine was taking steps to find a health care job that would meet her needs and abilities.
But not all of Géraldine’s accomplishments were in self-knowledge and clear goals, she also took the first step in a new direction for her professional life. Most importantly, Géraldine left behind her limiting beliefs and replaced them with positive ideas and clarity about how best to use her strengths to move forward.
“I even got a contract to sell a service of which I am very convinced and which corresponds to all the criteria that I defined for my professional life after four months! I believe that Magali was also surprised about that achievement. I feel like embracing life now fully. Bad experiences are lessons, and I value better the good moments, the essence of my life. I sense more, and I am conscious of them.”
“I would advise people who are in the same situation as I was to :
go ahead, try out, enjoy searching your place, learn, do what you like, enjoy the moment and trust coaches.
I would recommend a coach when you want to know yourself better and to go ahead faster and take concrete steps. Then you need to be fully yourself. Magali is emphatic. So whatever your culture, believes, competencies, her humility makes the working together trustful and pleasant. If you trust your capacities to go ahead and if you trust Magali, the best can happen!”
I really enjoyed this experience as much as Géraldine herself. The best part of this coaching process was the energy we both put in and how committed Géraldine was to taking concrete action. It was a very structured process and full of valuable insights for both of us.
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About U Diverse’s founder:
Magali Toussaint is the founder of ‘U-Diverse’. She is a certified Talent Acquisition Strategist, an ICF-certified Leadership Consultant, a Career Coach, a Cross-Cultural Trainer, and a Job Search Strategist with an extensive career in Recruitment, HR, Diversity, as well as Education. She has lived and worked in over four countries and speaks French, English, and Dutch fluently. Read More...