How Coaching Others Has Empowered Me Professionally
Opinions 21 Apr 2023
By Joe Leong, Product Manager, Core Skills Academy, NTUC LearningHub
In my previous role as a career coach, I have been fortunate enough to help many individuals achieve their career goals and improve their livelihoods. However, little did I know that becoming a career coach would positively impact my professional development and boost my confidence at the workplace.
I started my career in manufacturing, providing backend support for processes and machines. After nearly a decade, I found that relating to people was more my strength than working with machines, hence I pivoted to a career in recruitment. In the beginning, I found the job very challenging because I was not used to the competitive and stressful nature of a sales role. Thankfully, I had a great and understanding boss who coached and gave me much encouragement.
STRUGGLING WITH IMPOSTER SYNDROME
As a career coach, my goal was to help people find meaningful jobs. While I was confident in the role, I had my own set of insecurities and doubts about my abilities. Internally I struggled with Imposter Syndrome when I could not see how my work translated into results that impacted others positively. This crippling feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt at times stopped me from embracing new challenges and possibilities.
Surprisingly, I was not the only one. Even famous individuals such as leaders, entrepreneurs and celebrities also struggled with Imposter Syndrome. These individuals have spoken publicly about their struggles, including Serena Williams, Tom Hanks, Michelle Obama, and even Albert Einstein. For Einstein, despite being acknowledged as one of history's finest physicists, reportedly battled feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt throughout his professional life.
COACHING OTHERS AND MYSELF
Over time, I learned to recognise and manage my own insecurities and self-doubt. As I started working more with my clients, I realised that I actually had a lot of valuable insights and experiences to share that could make a real difference in their lives. Helping others build confidence in their abilities and find clarity in their career goals, made me reflect on my own strengths and achievements. I started to recognise the unique value I brought to the table and how my own experiences and expertise could provide a learning platform for others.
In the process of coaching and understanding clients, I noticed patterns in their struggles and successes. I also gained a deeper understanding of the job market, the hiring process, and what employers seek in a candidate. I started to recognise the importance of lifelong learning, networking, personal branding, and possessing strong adaptive skills to ensure lifelong employability.
This newfound knowledge made me a better coach and opened the pathway towards gaining confidence as a professional coach. At the same time, I applied these insights and strategies to my own career, including proactively seeking out new opportunities to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone. For example, I enrolled in relevant online learnings to occupy my evenings, involving myself in volunteer work to widen my network and connecting and engaging with subject matter experts on LinkedIn.
Utilising coaching skills such as listening and asking questions, has increased my confidence through the positive feedback I received. Hearing kind words from clients who have found success in their careers after working with me has been incredibly rewarding. Knowing that I have played a key role with coaching has given me a sense of pride in my own abilities.
EMPOWERING OTHERS TO COACH
Even though I am no longer working as a career coach, I am privileged to be involved with coaching in another meaningful way with NTUC LearningHub where together with my team, we provide upskilling opportunities to current and aspiring coaches, managers and leaders, equipping them to help others be better individuals in life and at the workplace.
Coaching has not only allowed me to help others achieve their career goals, but it has positively impacted my professional development and career. Through my work with coaching, I have gained a deeper appreciation of its benefits for others and myself. Most importantly, I have learned to recognise and appreciate my own strengths and achievements, which have all made me a more confident and empowered professional.
Reach out to our Skills Consultants to find out more about how you can transform your life through learning today!