Three Stories of Hope: It Could Happen to You

hope3Following up Dave Gallison’s excellent post You Gotta Have Hope, we are offering a two part series of actual success stories from our clients, with changes to guard confidentiality. If you are feeling discouraged about your career transition, may these true stories help you take heart.

Margareta success story by Anne Bryant, MAWhen we met, Margaret had been working for over six years as a technical editor and project coordinator in an environmental consulting firm. In another city, she had worked as an associate director of fund development, writing grants for a non-profit which had a social justice focus. While she was working at the Portland firm, she sensed she didn’t really fit within a corporate culture. To satisfy her desire to be of service and make a difference, Margaret continued to volunteer for Portland non-profits and did some free-lance grant writing on the side.

When we began counseling, I learned that Margaret had been conducting a job search, but she didn’t have a strong career direction. She knew she did not want to be at the consulting firm long term. We began by using career assessment tools to help her explore what other types of work she would like. One of the assessments we used involved analyzing her skills and accomplishments to discover or uncover which skills she valued most. This reminded her of her satisfaction with being able to raise money for worthy causes. Then a year ago when there was a transition in leadership at the consulting firm, many of the project responsibilities she had enjoyed were shifted out of her job description. Last April she became highly motivated to make a job change by July 1, 2014.

Part of Margaret’s corporate job had been to edit the writing of environmental scientists, and over time she had increased her understanding of concepts and terminology in their fields of research. When she saw a job description for director of grant writing and development at a small environmental non-profit, Margaret wrote one of the best cover letters I have ever read to accompany her resume. She emphasized her success at winning grants, a skill that nicely lends itself to quantifiable accomplishments on her resume. Her subsequent interview led to a great job and a raise, all before July 1. When I asked Margaret what was different about this process compared with other job applications that had resulted in rejection, here is what she said: “I’d been desperate to leave my old job and too invested in each application I sent out. When I let go and treated one of my resumes as practice, it all came together–my cover letter was easier to write (and better), and I got an interview for the job I have now.” Even though the stakes were high, Margaret made an internal shift and was able to detach from the outcome enough to experiment with changing the focus of her old resume away from editing and project management to meet the needs of her new employer.

Marilyn a success story shared by Bruce Hazen, MS.  There are Three Career Questions you must answer…more than once. When is it time to move up? Move out? Adapt your style for greater success? Marilyn needed all three. Any one of the questions wouldn’t have been enough to stimulate the complete assessment of her situation.

Her first question was about adapting her leadership style to get better results with her team. But there was lingering frustration about her inability to influence crucial business issues. That led to the premature belief that “Moving out?” was the best question to consider.

But there was too much going right and too much at stake to walk away from the people she liked and the pending stock options.

“Moving up?” was the saving grace. That’s where the real desire was. But the coaching really needed to focus on what was blocking her motivation to act.

A negotiation strategy, a starter script to get the dialogue going with the CEO, and an out-loud rehearsal was all that it took to turn the “Move up?” question into an action strategy. Today Michelle is the new CFO and thriving. And the company saved over $200K in replacement costs for her talent.

KS – A success story shared by Dave Gallison, LPC. When KS began consulting with Dave Gallison, LPC, he felt he was facing an overwhelming challenge. “Being out of work, fifty-three years of age and thinking about beginning an entirely different career was a lot of pressure and a lonely place.” KS said one of the most valuable aspects of career help was the sense of partnership. “Having a professional, someone in tune with what is going on, who is on my side, had a positive impact on my psyche…. Dave is realistic, yet hopeful. He empathizes and understands, but he kicks a little butt too, albeit gently and with great care. To me, that’s being the perfect coach.”

KS had been a commercial pilot, and after Dave helped him revamp his resume and begin informational interviews, he began getting positive feedback and better results in his aviation job search. A big eye-opener for him was Dave’s advice that it generally takes “one month of job-seeking work per $10,000 dollars of desired salary.” Although KS got the interview on his own for the job he has now, here is what he concluded: “if I did not have Dave in my corner before the interview, I don’t think I would have been offered the job. I just feel he went beyond the call of duty. He cared and he responded in a timely manner. I felt he was sharing in this important opportunity with me. I want to shout it from a mountaintop ‘Hire a professional!’”

In my next post I will share more success stories. Even though your work history may not be similar, notice the internal shift as well as outward changes that took place with each of these clients that enabled them to become unstuck.

Anne Bryant, MA
Anne closed her practice 5/30/17 and retired.

, , , ,


  1. Two More Success Stories and Two Life-Changing Questions | Career Transition: The Inside Job - July 8, 2015

    […] March I shared three real-life stories that reflected internal shifts, as well as outward changes, that enabled these clients to become […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: