Updated: Jan 25
The Great Resignation is set to continue into 2022. Women are seeking flexible working due to motherhood, inflexible/toxic work cultures, and burnout. The pandemic has changed the way we work forever; coaching can help women harness this change to their career advantage.
In this blog post, I will:
Explain what the great resignation is
Define what coaching is and why it’s important
Share 5 ways coaching can help women during a career change
What is the ‘Great Resignation’?
The great resignation is also known as the ‘Big Quit’. It’s where employees leave their jobs en masse, voluntarily (Wikipedia). This trend started in early 2021; a direct result of the pandemic. Antony Klotz, Associate Professor, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, said that changing work landscapes caused by the pandemic have created a situation where “a lot of people now realize, ‘I’m more than just my job.”. Millions have aspirations of changing jobs at the first convenient opportunity, which will see people quitting continue to rise in 2022.
During the pandemic, women bore the brunt of the workload at home and work. Juggling working from home, managing the household, and home-schooling led women to question what they were doing and why they were doing it.
Statistics on women at work:
A survey of almost 13,000 mothers carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the campaign group Mother Pukka found that one in two had had a request for flexible working turned down or only partly accepted by their current employer (The Guardian).
YouGov polling commissioned by Mental Health UK has found that almost one in four (23%) women workers in the UK are currently struggling to manage feelings of stress and pressure at work (Mental Health UK)
41% of the UK workforce confirmed bad workplace culture has impacted their productivity and 42% have previously left a job due to negative workplace culture (Business Leader UK).
One in four women are setting up their own business, while 61% are dreaming of a complete career change post-Covid-19 (Allbright)
Women, now more than ever, are choosing to leave inflexible, toxic corporate cultures and burnout in favour of greater freedom, flexibility, and more fulfilment.
What is coaching and why is it important?
Coaching is one of those buzz words you hear a lot at the moment, but what exactly is it?
Let's start with a definition from the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the "gold" standard in coaching. The ICF describes coaching as:
“Partnering with a client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential."
Coaching is a partnership. It's an inquiring conversation. It's a process that enables and supports change. People who want to make changes, improve their performance, and overcome personal or professional challenges, seek coaches. Coaching is about asking, not telling. It's about empowering people. Helping people move forward in a sustainable and supportive way.
Coaching provides you with the space to pause, reflect and increase self-awareness, self-development, and self-agency. Don't just take my word for it, read Seth Godin’s take on coaching.
As a credentialled coach, I believe you have all the answers and my role is to support, guide, and challenge you to dig deep for those answers.
5 ways coaching can help women during career change:
1. Provides a safe space to create clarity amidst the fog
Coaching gives women time to pause from the daily stressors of work and life. It permits them to unpack their desires, challenges, and fears in a confidential space. It offers women objective and impartial support and guidance, in contrast to the emotional responses and attachments of loved ones.
Partnering with a qualified, credentialled coach helps women reflect on their situation and glean insights and awareness that they may not have reached on their own. Through a process of inquiry, the coach helps them get clear on what it is they want without shame or judgement. With clarity, they feel confident and capable of moving forward.
2. Empowers women through a process of self-discovery
Using coaching tools and techniques, a coach guides women on a journey of self-discovery. Helping them see their strengths, values, and skills they begin to see themselves in a new light. Armed with this knowledge, women are empowered to harness their past experiences and propel themselves forward to a vision aligned with their deepest desires.
3. Identifies blocks and limiting beliefs getting in their way
The coaching process helps women identify what might be getting in their way. A coach holds the mirror up, from various angles, and reflects ideas, beliefs, and mindsets that are holding women back. The coaching process helps women challenge their limiting beliefs in a supportive, yet firm way. Working with a professional coach helps you dig deeper than you would if you were doing it alone. Naturally, as humans, we tend to move away from discomfort and the unknown. A coach will gently keep you in this space, by being a guide by your side and supporting you.
4. Explores options and possibilities
With greater clarity, deeper self-awareness, and greater confidence in themselves, women can then start exploring what options and possibilities are available to them. Clouded by limiting beliefs and false assumptions, women are often unable to see outside of their lens/worldview. A coach is skilled in helping women widen their lens and begin to see opportunities and possibilities that were invisible to them before.
5. Be courageous and take action
A coach helps women create a future roadmap with clear actions and in-built accountability. With the coaches' support, women start taking courageous action. They gather evidence to prove to themselves that they can do hard things. As a result, their confidence increases.
In my coaching sessions, women often remark, they “feel indulgent” or “selfish” when talking about themselves for an hour with a coach. It feels counter to the culture and societal conditioning women are used to. Women are taught to please and support others, over themselves, from an early age.
Due to the pandemic, the way we work has changed forever. Women have the opportunity to leverage this new way of working by changing their careers, or reconfiguring how they live and work to better suit their personal/professional needs.
Seeking support from a coach can help women gain clarity, deepen self-awareness, identify limiting beliefs in order to see new possibilities, and start taking courageous action towards a purpose-driven and more fulfilling career.
Interested to see how coaching can help you navigate a career change or explore new options? Here are some ways we can work together:
“Coaching helped me to zone in on my strengths, the type of lifestyle I wanted, and the type of working environment I want to be in, going forward. I learnt that I can stay in my career (which I had given up hope on) but within a different type of environment”.
(Saphia King, Garment Technician)
“It has given me career confidence (which does transcend into my personal life), I feel more grounded and it has reignited my natural, curious and positivity”.
(Sarah Lindsay, Mother/Sales Manager)