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Purchasing Director Re-defines “Right” Company

August 25, 2004

I was in a difficult situation at work. I no longer felt valued or needed and had been feeling that way for a year or more. Being single, I really needed to find a job before I could quit a job that was dragging me down both physically and emotionally. I felt trapped and didn't know what to do.

Call it divine intervention. I was driving home after working late again and thinking about getting help with my job situation. I had heard about career coaches but never dreamed it was something I would do. Anyway, I drove home with the thought that I was going to do something about changing jobs. As soon as I walked in the door, I got on the Internet and looked up career coaching. That is how I found Meg.

We started working together right away. She understood how desperately I wanted to make a change and got me started thinking about how to do it. Doing my assignments was really hard as I was doing so much overtime at work that it left little time to really do them as thoroughly as I'd like - and I was exhausted. Every Thursday night Meg and I talked and she kept me motivated. She suggested I join a club to do networking and get me away from work. I joined a Garden Club and volunteered to be the Membership Chair to get me closer to the people.

I had a business trip coming up and Meg asked how I could also make it a trip for me to do some job networking. Well, I did just that and felt great about it. It was actually fun. One person I spoke with said his co-worker might know of something. On my next trip I saw this co-worker and he came up and asked if I was still interested in changing positions (as Jason had told him of my interest to do so). He asked me if I was willing to relocate. I said yes. Right there on the trade show floor he called the potential employer to ask if the position was still available. It was and she wanted to talk with me. Upon my return I contacted Janis and we arranged to meet at an upcoming trade show we would both be attending.

We had a brief meeting there and she asked me to contact her when I got back. This job would mean a 500-mile relocation to Dallas. All through this process Meg guided me on what questions to ask and helped me figure out how to handle every situation that came along. This was a small company and it became apparent that they were not going to pay my way there for an interview. I felt strongly that it was a position that I was very much interested in. Plus, my daughter and son-in-law lived in Dallas where the job was and they had just found out she was expecting. Meg suggested I visit my daughter and call the prospective employer to tell her I would be in town and ask if she had any time to see me.

It worked! I called and scheduled a meeting time. Meg sent me some interview questions even though I wasn't having an interview per se. I worked through the well-designed set of questions and then Meg role-played them with me to help me strengthen my answers. Off I went to the Big D. The meeting went well thanks to Meg's coaching and I was offered the job a short time later. Meg coached me through negotiating the terms of employment. Again, she had lots of questions and ideas for me to use during the negotiations. They all worked.

During all this, the daily grind at my job had become nearly unbearable. It was obvious that my employer wanted me to be gone. Meg had coached me that if it got unbearable and I wanted to walk away I needed to have my "go away card" ready to be played. We discussed how to develop it.

The day came and I felt that if I didn't resign I would have been fired. I made a quick call to Meg and she was there to coach me on the spot to help me figure out my next move. I played the "go away card" the day I accepted the other position that wouldn't start for 5 months. With Meg's help I ended up with a separation package that took me to within a few weeks of starting my other job. I ended up with time to sell my house, move and take some needed time off for some R and R.

There were some weeks that I wondered why I was paying Meg, and was about to quit, but then realized that she kept me focused and forging on. In the end Meg saved me a lot of money! I have recommended Meg to several friends and have told many folks about how much assistance she was to me, and still is as she replies to my emails, even though we are no longer formally coaching.

Kay S., Missouri / Texas

Meg’s Note: After working 10 years for a large retail chain, Kay discovered she preferred the family-friendly work environment of a smaller company that cared about her as well as their business.

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