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Woman2Woman Career Coaching and Life Transition Coaching
This month we feature Dr. Sylvia Christian, Ph.D., N.C.C., C.C who has been working with women for more than 20 years in academics, career counseling, mental health and coaching. Sylvia has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (emphasis on Career Counseling), a M.A. in Mental Health counseling and is both a nationally certified counselor and a Career Coach. She is also a military spouse of over 30 years!
Another pitfall job seekers and college graduates succumb to, is not talking to people in their chosen career field before investing in an expensive college education or spending time in a job/career, and later discovering that they have very little interest in that profession.
Sylvia advocates and teaches that individuals should research what they want to do, or what they ‘think’ they want to do, before going to school or during the process of schooling, so that they finish with a stronger desire to work in their chosen field. (Research, and real life experiences of those in the field, may prompt a college student to change their major before graduating).
Job seekers, according to Sylvia, also sell themselves short and believe that they are not qualified – and often they are -- but instead are willing to except anything, and consequently, are unfulfilled in their jobs. “If you are not happy,” states Sylvia, “you are wasting your life.”
So how does an individual go about starting the process of Career Coaching? “It is never too late to find the job of your dreams,” she says.
When choosing a Career Coach there are at least five elements you should look for according to Sylvia.
2. A counseling background (job choice often correlates with life experiences)
3. A connection to that person (think trust)
4. Solid testimonials and a specialty that fits you
5. Lastly, you have to be open to the process of coaching and receptive to new ideas
How does coaching differ from counseling? I asked. Sylvia stated simply that counseling works backwards and explores through reflection (and is usually covered by insurance).
Career Coaching does not address mental health issues and works with events that are occurring now and projects into the future (and is not covered by insurance).
With that in mind, Sylvia generously offers a FREE 20 -30 minute complimentary session, followed by reasonable rates, to help individuals better understand what their specific process would be and how she can help. Career coaching usually only lasts about three months, a short span of time in comparison to a lifetime of unfulfilling career choices. Clients begin with an initial questionnaire that assists them with unraveling their thoughts and capturing their dreams. Sessions are usually once a week for 40-50 minutes (telephonically) and involve conversations with short homework assignments and goal setting exercises.
Career coaching can be especially beneficial for career changers, empty-nesters, military spouses and women over fifty. When our lives change dramatically or unexpectedly, career coaching can help to clarify a person’s purpose and goals. Sylvia helps clients to recognize their possibilities, steps they may need to take to achieve their goals and to focus on the direction of their career. Security is important, she knows, however, “If you often find yourself wondering if you should be doing what you are doing,” says Sylvia – then Career Counseling might be a great opportunity for you. It is a step-by-step process, she explains. She helps clients explore other career/life options, learn more about themselves and start down the pathway to realizing their career dreams.
As a testament to the process, at the end of three months, clients often feel a sense of new or renewed confidence and know what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. To contact Sylvia or learn more about her services visit her website at woman2womanlifecoaching.com or call 757-648-1412.
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Kara Varner, MAOM, CPRW