The client was referred by his supervisor at work. Several employees had quit and gone to work for the company's competitor. At the exit interview they indicated that my new client was the chief reason for their leaving. They each related a story that described their former manager as being critical and demanding.
At our first career session the client appeared to be, fatigued, de-moralized, dispirited, sleep-deprived, and burned out.
The client related how the company had been through three mergers, and a recent reengineering. There was the imminent possibility of another downsizing. He as well as the other “survivors” felt overloaded with work.
The strategy was to help the client get in touch with his emotions, and discover ways to regain a sense of control. The client took several career instrumented assessments and wrote a persona autobiography.
We worked on the client learning how to delegate and collaborate with others as a way of regaining personal power. Considering the work overload it was important to prioritize work based on what was truly important. We worked on the client changing his way of thinking about change, and to focus his energy on the future. Most importantly we focused on the client discovering a sense of purpose...what was truly important to him.
The client discovered that his real childhood love was art. And that he had gotten into banking in his 20's as a way of making a living when he first moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The client told me he was taking a vacation and going to Hawaii to surf! I was surprised that he was passionate about surfing as it seemed out of character. Upon his return, he told me how he had come upon the idea of starting a business designing surfboards! What wonderful synergy of taking action, tapping into his essence -the love of art and creating a business of his own.
The client continued to work for the company, but with a new sense of commitment. He had learned essential emotional intelligence skills, and developed vastly improved relationships with his direct reports. He continued to work on his decorating surfboards business with the goal to transition into his own business in the next year.