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written by Bethany Kwoka
Forbes Coaches Council Spotlight: Wendi Weiner
Dreaming big is great -- as long as your goals are realistic.
Forbes Coaches Council members come from a wide range of backgrounds. And with their wide range of experiences, they have a lot to share with clients and fellow members of the community. To help them share with an even greater audience, we’re profiling Forbes Coaches Council members here on the blog. This week: Wendi Weiner.
We asked her three important questions, her answers are below:
What inspired you to become a coach?
Having spent 10+ years as an attorney who never felt “at home” despite constantly moving up and reaching pinnacles of success (including working at top national law firms and for the third largest insurer in the U.S.), I knew that finding my own career happiness could help other attorneys and professionals also find theirs.
The day I became most inspired was when I found myself consoling a colleague who told me that she had lost everything. She had just gone through a devastating divorce and felt even more lost in her legal career. I coached her one-on-one. We reflected on her skills, interests, and personality attributes that helped guide her and find the right fit.
After seeing her find career happiness in the legal profession as a result of my efforts, I realized there were many peers in my realm who also felt frustrated, helpless, and bored. They had so many talents but didn’t know how to properly utilize them. I always had a true knack for helping others through listening, guiding, and ensuring that they put their best foot forward. After all, I was a college writing professor for seven years. I helped my students grow through introspective thinking and writing. These experiences became the foundation for my desires to expand into career transitional coaching and have a full-service resume writing company. My goal was to help clients find a career they loved in an industry they loved and at a company where they felt rewarded and appreciated.
What one piece of advice do you find yourself relying on most? Why?
“Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.”
If your heart is not into something, chances are it won’t make you happy and it will clearly show to others. Your heart will always guide you to the right place, but be rational and logical about what you decide to do once you are there. I believe this applies both towards one’s career and personal life. I am very much a dreamer, but I am also a realist. Don’t follow in the footsteps of others just because you see how successful they are. Success does not happen overnight. Instead, create your own goals with originality in mind. It’s acceptable to have big goals, but ensure you can reach them and within reason. Give yourself finite deadlines for achieving those goals. If you can’t meet the deadlines you’ve given yourself, consider smaller goals and increasing them as you achieve them.
What is the biggest hurdle your clients face? What advice would you give others struggling with this issue?
The biggest hurdle my clients face is being able to create a resume that is a strategic marketing document rather than simply a summary of their work history. Having a strategic marketing document allows job candidates to brand themselves and adequately target their job search. One of the key factors in branding is separating results and achievements from daily functions in order to stand out amongst hundreds of job candidates.
There are many ways to quantify these types of measurable goals. I provide my clients with a detailed questionnaire that seeks to extract as much information about their career trajectory as possible before a follow-up strategy session call. This allows me to see the big picture in all they have done over the span of, say, 15 years. I ask them to consider providing me with copies of their most recent performance evaluations. Often, employers will list detailed accomplishments as part of the review. I also have my clients list their career goals and areas of both expertise and interest within their industry. That allows them to hone in on what they want out of their own career and in their next position – a great recipe for career happiness.
Forbes Coaches Council members: Want to share your story? Submit a member spotlight, here.