The Job Hunt: DIY Coaching
The Philadelphia Inquirer Online
October 01, 2010
Career coaches will tell you, "You can do anything you put your mind to."
That includes coaching yourself without the aid of a pro if you can't afford one, says executive coach Howard Guttman, principal, Guttman Development Services, Mount Arlington, N.J.
In his new book, he tells you how.
Guttman wrote "Coach Yourself to Win: 7 Steps to Breakthrough Performance on the Job and in Your Life" (McGraw-Hill, 2010) to give "everyday people" the same opportunities for growth and fulfillment as corporate bigwigs, who usually get coached on the company's dime.
A key premise of Guttman's book is that the first place to turn to achieve an objective is inward. "Change is first and foremost an interior game," Guttman says.
However, self-coaching is not something you do by yourself or in private. Part of the process involves recruiting a team of supporters who will become stakeholders in your success. One will serve as a guide, or mentor, who has agreed to observe your progress and help you stay on track.
To round out the team, look to fill such roles as sounding board and subject matter expert. Moral support is the group's main purpose, Guttman says.
Work psychologist Paula Caligiuri says that for self-coaching to be successful, "You need to consider context, including the people around you and how they're affecting and shaping how you think and what you do."
They needn't have formal roles, necessarily. Even if they're not specifically charged with spurring you to excellence, positive people will give you a boost, says Caligiuri, author of "Get a Life, Not a Job: Do What You Love and Let Your Talents Work for You" (FT Press, 2010).
If you want to change fields, self-coaching might also involve putting yourself in group situations to realistically gauge your abilities and potential relative to others. You could audit a course, for example, to see if you are a star student or if you struggle to keep up, Caligiuri suggests.
Ultimately, you are your own best coach and cheerleader. To keep your goal alive, give updates on Facebook and Twitter, Guttman says, and write in a daily journal every action you took to get closer to victory.