Outside In Coaching was founded to meet a gap in the market for affordable, ongoing support for professionals over 40 looking for a new role.
As well meaning as they are family and friends don't always have the 'bandwidth' or skills to provide the ongoing support you need when looking for a new role. Despite best intentions it can be hard to remember to call about to provide a pep talk to a friend before their interview, or if you're a job hunter's partner to bolster their confidence - when, as much as you truly care, you're more worried about whether they have picked up the groceries for tonight's dinner or remembered to pick up the kids from training.
Similarly if you were made redundant or engaged a coach or outplacement consultant it can be a costly service to keep up, and one you want to save for very targeted help.
Why we're Outside IN
We're outside in, not inside out - because job hunting Is not about you!
As a job hunter there is so much we want to tell people about our experience and why we're right for the role. We want them to know the full story and help people dig behind the bullet point.
However to accelerate our job hunt, the story we need to tell, is not our story as we see it.
It's the story that the outside world wants to hear.
It's your story based on insight and knowledge of what the people on the outside want to know.
It's not about what you, on the inside, want them to know. It's about letting prospective employers know what they want to know, not what you want to TELL them.
That's why we're Outside in coaching, not inside out. We help keep the outside world perspective front and centre.
What we do and why we started
To get to the 'outside story' - we often need someone to listen to the 'inside story'.
Outside In's key service, peer-based coaching circles for professionals looking for a new role fills the gap between family & friends and career coaches, resume writers, executive coaches and outplacement consultants.
What we saw was missing in the market is a forum or opportunity for job hunters to have the time and opportunity to discuss, mull over and get input on the big and small challenges of their week.
Peer coaching circles plugs the gap, providing the support that family and friends aren't always in a position to provide and the more expensive one-on-one consulting services that you most likely save for advice on the 'big issues' and 'big tasks'.
Yet often it is the small stuff that can undo or stall us, or even if it doesn't halt our progress, we would love to get another perspective on.
The small, but big things such as, 'should I say this or that', 'should I text or email after my interview'.
Sometimes job hunters also just need the opportunity to 'vent' and be listenened to be people who understand and will hear them out. It's a step in moving on.
It's also an important part of venting and getting something off your chest, so it doesn't become part of your story.
That's why peer-based coaching circles work. Essentially they help you extract the knowlege you do have. They provide a safe and supportive forum to voice your doubts, get advice, but because the sessions are facilitated the overall tone is positive and whilst not every conversation has to be about a solution, sometimes you just need to be listened to, the group will step in and help when you need to wrap up and re-write your story and move on, just as you will help others in the group do the same.
Indeed a huge benefit, is that by giving and vocalising advice to others you are helping embed and cement those messages for yourself. You will find yourself pulling yourself up during the week, if you start doing something that goes against the grain of what you advised someone in your cohort to do. It stops you being hypocritical. Other benefits include:
Benefits of being part of a supportive group with a skilled facilitator for 5 weeks.
The irony of job hunting is that when you are at your most vulnerable and uncertain you need to appear your most confident and can not let your guard down. Because the immutable facts of job hunting are:
- Confidence is attractive
- People want to work with winners
- Any doubt you have about yourself will cast doubt amongst your potential interviewer or employer
So despite being at your most vulnerable and having your confidence frequently tested, you have to continually be putting on a front, or when you do want to let your guard down, can't find anyone to talk to.
One of the many benefits of peer-based coaching groups and why we think they are so valuable is that being part of a coaching circle allows you to let your guard down in a safe and supportive environment and ask for the confidence boost you need.
Other benefits include:
- Bolster your confidence helping others
- Embed knowledge by learning from the advice you give others
- Get advice from other professionals
- unlike family and friends they are not biased one way or the other. Also you are more likely to believe the comments of an objective outsider
- get energised from working in a focussed way with like-minded people
- have a group with the time and focus to bounce ideas off
- access different perspectives on the questions you have and the challenges you face, so you are not dependent on just one point of view
- get ideas from people in different roles and differnt industries
- gain courage, confidence and momentum from meeting regularly with a supportive, like-minded group
Smash self doubt, stop floundering and let the group help you put your best foot forward
Why 'peer-based coaching circles' work
An accomplished professional, it is likely you have reviewed many CVs, interviewed many people and hired many staff. Theoretically you should be well placed to put together the perfect CV and totally nail every aspect of job hunting from networking, crafting the perfect follow up email to being pitch perfect with all your answers to interview questions.
But for so many reasons all that knowledge, experience, skills and logic disappears when trying to apply it to yourself.
Peer group coaching circles work because they help you apply the knowledge and experience you have to your own situation. The concept is founded on the following principles:
- that many people know that they should get out of a particular role, or should be more actively searching for a new position, and often times know what and how to do this - but find it overwhelmingly difficult to maintain a consistent level of activity and focus.
- that it is hard to be objective about yourself
- that sometimes 'quantity time' vs 'quality time is what makes a difference
- e.g. where so used to providing the short, sharp solution, to writing and speaking in bullet points. That's all needed, but being part of a coaching circle and meeting with the same group of people on a regular basis for a decent amount of time allows trust and relationships to develop and provides the opportunity to explore and discuss your thoughts, problems or ideas
Why it's a circle and not a group
About your facilitator
"Can I pay you? You should charge people for this. Why don't you do this professionally?"
I frequently hear comments such as this from friends I've helped with their resume or job hunting strategy.
But it has never been an interest of mine - until now.
There are a lot of well qualified executive coaches and resume writers out there and not much I could do that is different or better.
Then I realised I could fill the gap in the market that I have seen for a long time.
That is the gap I wrote about previously - the need for ongoing support that is more targeted and reliable than that provided by family and friends and more affordable than an executive coach or outplacement consultant. It is the opportunity to talk over issues and problems, to help brainstorm ideas or approaches.
Most importantly it's an opportunity to refine and practice our 'story' on an ongoing basis and test it with knowledgeable professionals who might be a job hunter today, but yesterday and tomorrow are executives hiring and firing with a wealth of experience and insight to offer. Just as you have to them.
Through conversations with friends and seeing what they were experiencing with their job hunt and how I was helping them convinced me that formalising a program for peer-based coaching would be very helpful for a certain type of person.
Common things I heard and saw that peer based coaching could help:
family members run out of patience or don't have the skills to help.
many people over 40 became complacent about their careers without realising it. Having achieved a level of success, family and other demands took precedence, meaning they have not been actively nurturing their networks, have let professional development slide and this can cripple or detract from their confidence finding a new job
that many people over 40 did not expect to and are therefore unprepared to have to reinvent themselves or their job and are unprepared for the new reality of work and job hunting - think, millenials being valued over Gen Xers because they are 'digital natives', Applicant Tracking Systems and key words governing resume reviews, actively managing social media and interview by video
that for some the situation that led or is leading them to look for a new role is they are unhappy in their current role, or with their current team and the damage this does to their esteem both affects how they look for work and becomes the mainstay of their personal 'story' vs what they can do, but people need time to work through this and there are few opportunities to do so
that if you are humble or dislike drawing attention to yourself it can be hard to portray your achievements in a competitive manner
that we become so immersed in company talk and culture this flows over into resumes and answers to interview questions and so it is good to have a group of people to bounce this off with, not just people from your industry. You want anyone to be able to understand what you do and the value you offer them
That quite often people have had a resume professionallu done, but it takes time to inculcate this and truly believe it in a way that you can 'sell' youself.
That all these things can be adressed in an oldfashioned way of spending time and developing relationships with people in a similar situation and meeting as a group provides the benefit of both many perspectives and making it affordable.
What equips me as a facilitator
Over the last few years I have done a lot of job hunting.
I have a lot of experience doing the 'wrong' thing with regard to CV writing and job hunting, followed by some 'ah-ha' moments, so am both well versed in what doesn't work, and therefore what does work
I am incredibly fustrated by the time I wasted and the impact on my career trajectory and finances that taking the 'wrong' approach took, and how this was impacted by not having access to a resource such as group coaching circles, that I desperately want to intervene if I see someone falling prey to the same path and help shorten their learning curve and put my 'learning experiences' to full use by passing on lessons to others and hopefully helping them find a faster, better path to finding a new role
My professional background is in marketing and communications, so i have a lot of experience in 'positioning and packaging messages' - which is essentially what job hunting is about
I spent many years working with scientists and in highly technical organisations, so I know how tempted many people are to take an 'inside out' vs 'outside in' approach to their personal messaging and how much they want to 'tell people' about their discovery, product or themselves, when the way to get impact is to do this by putting yourself in the shoes of your audience.
I spent many years working on culture change programs in large organisations and know how hard change can be and that people need the time and space to feel they have been 'heard' before they can move on and embrace change, be it for their organisation, or for themselves and how they position and market themselves.
For many years I've been the 'go to' person amongst friends for advice on job hunting and CVs
I know the future is digital and will be seeking out ways to help circle members come to rips with the new forms of interview such as the video interview.
I'm a passionate use of social media and have a sideline in influencer marketing, so can provide advice across the full spectrum of the job hunt topics.