Uncategorized

Asking ChatGPT About Coaching

Based on the chatter and traffic on the OpenAI ChatGPT, I have no doubt folks are sourcing more than college essays or exam answers from this platform. There are probably professionals asking (or should be asking) questions to our robot friends. As a coach, I became curious to learn what information and advice was being offered about the field of coaching. So, I decided plug in the frequently asked questions (FAQs) I get from friends, family, colleagues, and potential coaching clients. Coaching FAQs: ChatGPT answers + my edits/adds to these responses.

Q: How can I find a career coach?

A: You can find a career coach by: (or any type of certified coach)

  1. Searching online for professional coaching organizations or individual coaches, (The Top 6 Coaching Organizations from Paperbell — there might be others, but those are the ones I know of)
  2. Asking for referrals from friends, colleagues or HR departments, (ASK YOUR NETWORK! Only some HR departments offer these resources — I wish there was more career development & growth support!)
  3. Checking with local universities or career centers, (especially if you are an alumni)
  4. Consulting directories such as the International Coach Federation, => ICF’s Find a Coach
  5. Checking professional networks such as LinkedIn for coaches. (Suggestion for LinkedIn to design a new feature — why not identify Certified Coaches in this professional network with a URL like: https://www.linkedin.com/coaching)

Q: What questions should I ask a coach?

A: When interviewing a potential career [OR any type of] coach, you can ask:

  1. Can you tell me about your coaching philosophy and approach?
  2. How do you measure success with clients?
  3. Can you give me examples of career transitions you have helped clients with?
  4. Can you provide references or testimonials from past clients?
  5. How do you communicate and work with clients, such as frequency and methods?
  6. What is your availability and scheduling process?
  7. What is your rate and packages offered?
  8. What is your cancellation and refund policy?
  9. How do you handle confidentiality and privacy in coaching?

This quick list of coaching questions aren’t bad. They seem really transactional in nature — so I might go a bit deeper to figure out what you want to get out of a coach. What do you want to know about someone you are going to work with? How can you be certain this coach can support your needs? To offer a counter perspective, here are the typical questions I ask potential coaching clients to see if they are prepared to enter into a coaching relationship with me:

  • What led you to coaching?
  • What experience do you have with coaching? What do you know/want to know about coaching?
  • What are your goals for coaching?
  • What would you like to achieve by the end of our time together?
  • What can I do to help you achieve your goals you have set?
  • What would a successful coaching relationship look like to you?
  • What questions do you have for me?

Most coaches offer a free exploration session where you can meet, ask questions, build rapport, and learn more about them and their coaching practice. One of my potential clients used this coaching questions guide, and I shared ICF’s Hiring Tips & Questions which include taking action BEFORE you meet a coach (I hope this is helpful if you’re search for a coach):

  • Set your own goals/objectives for coaching
  • Search the ICF directory for a certified coach — filter by topic, experience, domain, expertise, etc.
  • Identify at least 3 coaches to meet
  • Outline questions to ask a prospective coach
  • Follow-up if you think of questions you thought of after the initial call/meeting

Q: How do I become a coach?

A: To become a career coach, you can follow these steps:

  1. Gain experience and knowledge in the field you want to coach in, such as HR, recruiting, management, or a specific industry. (AND gain knowledge about what it means to BE a coach.)
  2. Obtain coach training and certification from a reputable coaching school or organization, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the Career Coach Institute. (YES!)
  3. Build a network of professional contacts and resources. (Sound advice for anyone who works today.)
  4. Develop a coaching niche or specialty. (Maybe? But explore and try out a few along the way — good coaching IS good coaching in ANY domain/field/specialty area)
  5. Establish a coaching practice by setting up a website, creating a marketing strategy, and building a client base. (I’d probably start with your WHY, at least — this will help you figure out your mission or north star to guide your coaching practice.)
  6. Continuously develop your skills and stay current with industry trends and best practices. (solid advice for any professional or practitioner — but what skills?)
  7. Consider getting liability insurance. (definitely part of setting up your own LLC and business plan)
  8. Consider pursuing advanced coaching certifications and accreditation to further demonstrate your expertise and credibility. (I’m a big fan of the ICF-accredited programs — you can search the directory to find a coach education program that works for you!)

Although the list is accurate, there is so much is missing. Ask any coach and they’ll let you know their coaching development and growth goes beyond these 8 steps. Becoming a coach is not a checklist, and it doesn’t necessarily occur in the above order.

Potential clients & the coach curious often asked: “Why did you start coaching?” and “How did you get into coaching?” I wish my response was a numbered list, but, like most, discovery of what you enjoy takes a much longer, windy path. I’ve responded to this question, “What is your past experience with coaching?” to share my origin coaching story (shout out to the Higher Ed Coaches training program & Katie Linder!). And, you can listen to me in conversation with Julie Larsen and other coaches to de-mystify coaching practice on the Coaching Through It podcast. If you’re interested in becoming a coach, I’d highly recommend using this ICF resource: https://becomea.coach/ I wish this was available when I was thinking about starting my own coach journey!

What drew me into coaching is helping others reach their potential and find their own way in their life/career. I’ve been career curious for a long time. I can track my exploration about the world of work by the career books I’ve read over the years (these are just a select few):

As I grow and develop professionally, I definitely coach myself at all stages of my career (Re: Career Check-ins). This has offered me new challenges and afforded me to work outside my comfort zone as I work my way through career transitions. For the opportunity curious and possibility minded like me, this quest is just how I’m oriented to the world. For my coaching clients and colleagues, it helps us to take a new perspective, question the status quo, and think about “what ifs…” for where we go next.

What questions do you have about coaching? How can I share more about the life of a coach?

coaching, Uncategorized

Career Check-Ins

In setting up my clients for success, beyond any coaching engagement, I thought — why isn’t there more of a career check-up available? What would work assessment look like if someone wanted to take a pulse check? I dug into some of my coaching resources and readings to share questions often ask my clients. If you want to think more deeply about your career and life — specifically how you might want to make your next professional move— then these career exploration questions might be a solid place to start your own reflection.

How you doing, career? How are WE doing?

I used to do a monthly check-in tied to a planner for my own work life and projects — thanks to my Get To Work Book. There are monthly prompts to “reflect and goal set” on a regular cadence to ask what is going well, what’s still in progress, what needs attention/focus, and what could/should I let go of that’s not getting done. I love dedicating space and time to think intentionally about what I am working on — and more importantly to look at the bigger picture: Career Direction. Maybe it’s time to set up some regular appointments to review and ask, “How’s it going with my career?” Here are a few questions I tend to ask coaching clients when they start on this career check-in journey.

Explore Your Career Interests

  • How did I get here professionally?
  • What do I want to stop doing? What deflates you at work?
  • What do I want to start doing? What excites you on the job?
  • What do I want to continue doing? (E.g. transferable skills)
  • What are the verbs or actions I enjoy doing at work?

Define What Work Means to You

  • What work excites you or makes you feel alive?
  • What are the things you love to do at your job?
  • How do you define meaningful work?
  • What do you want your career growth to look like?
  • What skills do you want to build and grow?

Ponder Your Career Possibilities

  • What do you find interesting?
  • What topics do you often talk and/or read about?
  • What issues or ideas do you genuinely care about?
  • What do you want to learn in your next role?
  • If work was not required, what would you do?

Transfer Your Talents & Skills

  • How do you want to expand on our professional experience(s)?
  • How would you like to use your talents and skills?
  • In what ways can another industry utilize your expertise?
  • What are the problems you want to work on?
  • What impact would you like to make in your life/career?

Want to learn more? Check out these reads resources to help you think deeper about your career direction: Find Your Fit, The New Rules of Work, and Designing Your Work Life. If you want to talk more, feel free to book an exploration coaching session to learn if/how I could if support your career plans.

How are you checking in with your work self? What ways are you checking in with yourself and your career?

Career, Job Search, Reflections

The Fool Leaps (I Quit My Job)

School was out for the summer. The last few months I designated as an intentional “break” to archive projects, wrap up research, draft/edit/re-submit manuscripts, and continue my own learning. The Fall/Spring terms are full-on with a large course loads, so this pause from instruction offered me some mental space to reflect on my professional practice. My career questioning had me reflecting on my own interests, talents, and support. Like others, I’ve been rethinking what professional success looks and what really constitutes meaningful work for me.

Over the last five years I’ve been a non-tenure track faculty member, a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer who doesn’t really lecture, facilitating, designing, and creating digital learning experiences for a diverse, working adult population. I’ve also been able to collaborate with a clever group of researchers to understand more about how we educate online and explain/animate these practical outcomes/findings of our scholarship. Lately, I’ve been questioning my own direction. I’m not sure if more teaching is the right fit for me now — so I’ve come to the “what now?” and “what’s next?” crossroads. This professional itch definitely is driven by my goal to find a new challenge and a possible career change.

So, I spoke with a number of friends and peers in my professional learning network, to learn about their career changes, pivots, and moves. And, since I have a podcast (or two) and very gracious colleagues (who let me record these conversations), I decided to share what I was learning on the #InVinoFab podcast for a series called #CareerChangers back in 2019.

I’m so grateful for the candid sharing of their life experiences for me and the pod. I have no doubt that listeners (and maybe future listeners) will find these stories just as fruitful and interesting as I did. On #InVinoFab episode no. 44, I highlight my lessons I learned. Really, SO much more advice was offered — but I will let you listen and learn on your own. Here’s a quick preview of career changing advice:

  1. Find organizations that will help you to learn, grow, and thrive. ~ Diane
  2. Align your career with your personal and professional values. ~ @Kristin_Roe
  3. Build your community and expand your connections to support. ~ @GoogleGuacamole
  4. Be open to new opportunities, identify fit, and know this journey may not always direct. ~ @HRGore
  5. Consider how your collaborations and creative ideas can shape your body of work. ~ @DrHelenKara
  6. Assess, know, and play to your strengths to find ways to kindle your passions in work. ~ @ValerieHeruska
  7. Reflect on the “things” (the verbs) you enjoy doing daily: activities, tasks, and projects. ~ @JaimieLHoffman
  8. Always be learning and be a curious learner throughout your working life. ~ @Carol_Ed_Dev

This is just a slice. There was so much more I gleaned from these brilliant women (and many others) who let me bend their ear. I appreciate all of you who answered my questions, offered me professional advice, and provided me with insights to consider as I contemplate my career plans. Thanks y’all!

Beyond these informational interviews/conversations, I’ve been listening to and reading loads on the topic of career transitions/pivots. Here is my short list of podcasts and book recommendations, on the topic of career exploration/development, professional pathways, talent discovery, and what it means to get through this process:

With all this reflection/learning about careers, I thought I should mention…

I Quit My Job!

I decided to take a leap and I turned in my resignation in August. After spending 10 years at the University of North Texas, as a graduate student, staff, and faculty member (sometimes in a couple of roles, concurrently), I knew it was time to say goodbye. This end to a decade of work, did not come without all the feelings (good and bad); however, I thought it was time to make the move. Oh — did I mention I made this leap without the safety net of another job offer or another role lined up? This is true. Brave. Impressive. Stupid. What? These might be a few of the things going through your head (and mine) — but make no mistake, this decision was by choice and not just by chance. I am not lucky but rather being purposeful of what I do next — with the option to do so for once (i.e. no visa restrictions/requirements). p.s. If you email Laura.Pasquini@unt.edu — you are out of luck, as this address is gone. 🙂

The purpose of this career leap is to search, apply, and seek out a new professional experience to really excite and challenge me. Life is too short to “sort of” like what you do, as we spend a great chunk of our lives working. Since I gave my notice, I have a had an offer, negotiated for salary, turned down an offer, had discussions about another role to be created, and then some. I am not defecting from work. I don’t want to start my own business. Nor is this a move to ‘disrupt’ careers in higher ed. And, you will not find me outside your office window with my boombox protesting for a job reunion. All this, is to say:

I am officially on the job market.”

I am looking for an organization where my skills and talents will be valued, and I can thrive in a thoughtful and creative culture. I am a solid multipotentialite who would be a perfect intrepreneur for any organization, if you are in need of a Laura-Of-All-Trades related to learning design, research, training, performance, and creative works. I know that I thrive in a multifaceted role that offers some agility and growth. And, I definitely want to be part of a collective that is seeking to improve the status quo and loves to have a curious learner around to think about things a bit differently. My future professional role is not industry-specific, nor does it require any set location.

I am MUCH MORE concerned with the VERBS (the work and what I’ll be doing), rather than the NOUNS (the title, role, or label) for what comes next. And looking back at my “Idea Job” description, I blogged about few years back and I smiled as most of these attributes and interests still hold true (+any opportunity to join a media/audio/podcast production team). 

I smiled a bit when I heard the Overcoats song called ‘The Fool’ as I could identify with the sentiments and purpose of this song’s goal towards new beginnings:

JJ Mitchell (of the Overcoats) described how their song ‘The Fool’ (song) is similar to the tarot card: “It signifies taking a leap of faith and jumping into the unknown. Conceptually, it felt like the beginning of the project. We wiped the slate clean and decided to jump. That’s why the video includes the footage of us shaving our heads. We’re ‘The Fool’, and we’re taking our leap.

For now, this “fool” is has leaped and is around and open to the possibilities. What are you thinking about your world of work these days? Are there potential career opportunities I should consider? What questions/emotions/thoughts are you contemplating about your own career path and professional life? Feel free to reach out, I’ve got nothing but time – let’s connect!

Career, Job Search

Engineer Your Career Passion

Most people want to be satisfied and fulfilled by their work. What we do for work and thinking about our career is a central focus for most of my learners, colleagues, friends, and family. And why not? Our jobs take up our time, focus our priorities, or at least have our attention — as we spend  an average of 13 years of our life at work. Asking individuals to find their “career callings” is a stressful task. How can you find great work you love, when really you need a job to be functional, realistic, and something you can obtain? Finding a “job you love” may not pay the bills, support your needs, and be something you can do at the moment. Work can be fun, but not all work is. And, sometimes a job is just a job — it might be a job to support yourself and family, that is in the right geographic location, be the first step in your career, or just something you’re doing right now while you try to figure out the next steps to take in your professional life.

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That being said, many people seek meaning and purpose in their world of work. Which might be something that may never happen. Maybe we’re putting too much emphasis on this job fulfillment. Whether it is millennial burnout or workism as our professional identity, there seems to be no shortage of folks discussing and writing about the topic careers and work life these days. I appreciated how Elizabeth Gilbert breaks down how we think about our careers in a Hello Monday interview, specifically how we might confuse these four aspects of our life when it comes to reflecting on our work life:

  1. Hobby: Is something you do because you enjoy it and you don’t need anything back for it. It’s fun and you delight in it.
  2. Job: A thing you have because everyone has to have one. It doesn’t need to fulfill your emotional needs because it’s there to pay the bills and you have a life outside your job that is more interesting (e.g. family, hobbies, pursuits, etc.)
  3. Career: Should be something you are passionate about (mostly). A career is a job that you deeply care about.
  4. Vocation: A sacred calling of something that is very holy to you that is the center of your life that can never be taken away from you no matter what.

This framework presents ideas around careers vs. callings, specifically outlining what you do and how you do. In the span of your work life, you might find yourself in anyone or all four of these areas to find fulfillment OR to support your career planning.  Listen to the full podcast episode HERE.

Sometimes how we craft our work and leisure time leaves many professional unsatisfied by not answering their career callings and leading to professional regret (Berg, Grant, & Johnson, 2010). This synopsis by Gilbert is not entirely wrong. Our job attitudes and meaning-making at work is highly predictive of how individuals thrive and contribute to their organizations of employment (Wrzesniewski, 2003), specifically when job crafting in service of purpose is encouraged and supports the well-being of the employee (Tims, Bakker, & Derks, 2013). Each semester I teach a course in personal/professional development, where my learners go through modules to figure out their own trajectory for their academic and career path. Some are first-generation, first time in college students; whereas others have years of experience in their profession and are looking to finish a 4-year degree to advance, transition to a new career, and more. I know that identifying career callings and directions are challenging. So I typically do NOT give the traditional advice to “find your passion.” I think passions are often developed and created as we gain employment experience, learn more about ourselves, and find opportunities for discovery in the wold of work.

I know that I am not alone in this thinking

Listen to the recent WorkLife with Adam Grant podcast: The Perils of Following your Career Passion that shares how the “do what you love” is often terrible career advice.

What will your future work self look like? Do you know what you want to be doing? What can you do now to get you there? Your first job might not make you happy or your next career move might not be your “dream job” — but what will help you learn, grow and enhance YOU for the next step in your professional life? How can you develop your talents and build upon your skills, interest, and abilities? These are the questions I pose to my learners each semester. That is, to really think about what drives you into action and to identify how to these interests to individual skills and talents for work.

In studying unconventional career paths of “dark horses,” Rose and Ogas (2018) found that the pursuit of fulfillment requires work:

“Following your passion takes little effort. Engineering your passion, on the other hand, is a more serious undertaking. It requires that you diligently pursue a deeper understanding of yourself. Engineering passion is hard work-but the benefits are enormous” (pp. 76-77).

I think we all could put more effort into designing and building the career we want. Passion might be part of it, or we might decide this passion is something we do alongside our work life. There is no one standard formula for how our hobby, job, career, and calling exist with one another. Here are a few big questions to consider if you want to start engineering your career passion to create a fulfilling work experience and to support your future work self:

  • Legacy:
    • Where do you want to make a difference in the world?
    • What do you want to leave behind?
    • How can you start moving towards these goals?
    • Would your 10-year-old self be proud of what you are doing?
  • Mastery:
    • What sort of actions/skills put you into a state of flow?
    • What is something you can focus on for hours?. e.g. you might forget to eat, lose sleep, etc.
    • What knowledge, skills, or abilities do you want to learn?
    • What ways are you challenging yourself to actively improve, practice, or develop?
  • Action:
    • What are you doing (or not doing) today to move your career goals forward?
    • How are you honing your optimal skills and talents for the next job or career transition?
    • What ways are you making time to grow and develop your future work self now?
    • Who might you reach out to to support/advise/mentor with your career development in your organization, industry, and/or professional field?

References:

Berg, J. M., Grant, A. M., & Johnson, V. (2010). When callings are calling: Crafting work and leisure in pursuit of unanswered occupational callings. Organization Science, 21(5), 973-994.
Rose, T., & Ogas, O. (2018). Dark horse: Achieving success through the pursuit of fulfillment. HarperOne.
Tims, M., Bakker, A. B., & Derks, D. (2013). The impact of job crafting on job demands, job resources, and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(2), 230-240.
Wrzesniewski, A. (2003). Finding positive meaning in work. In K. Cameron & J. Dutton (eds.) Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, pp. 296-308.
mentor, mentoring, Research

How Were You Mentored as a Doctoral Student? Tell Us About It!

Mentoring of doctoral students is varied and diverse depending on the degree, discipline, and institution. I know that mentoring happens informally and formally from peers, professors, colleagues, and more. Sometimes it is from a faculty advisor or supervisor; however, more often then not we meet professionals, practitioners and other scholars who offer some form of personal/professional mentoring while completing a terminal degree. In thinking back to my graduate school experience, there was definitely a tribe of mentors who supported my professional development, research and career plans. From my departmental ATPI Research/Writing Group and LPQ Journal editing on campus to digital networks like #phdchat, many #edtech colleagues, my @BreakDrink podcasting family, the @AcAdvChat community, and MANY more, who mentored me formally and informally during my Ph.D. journey.

HOW were YOU mentored as a doctoral student or in your terminal degree program?

  • What sort of mentoring experiences did experience in your Ph.D., Ed.D., or M.F.A. program?
  • Who did you seek out to build formal or informal mentoring relationships?
  • How did you “stay in touch” or connect with these mentors from a distance, if they were not on campus?
  • How did these individual, group, or peer-to-peer mentoring experiences impact your own career development and professional growth?
  • OR if you feel like you didn’t really have opportunities to be mentored formally/informally, tell us what you WOULD have liked during and post-graduate degree?

Exploring the Impact of Mentoring for Doctoral Students

If you have some answers to any or all of the above questions, consider helping one of my own doctoral scholars with her research project. We are curious to learn about the nature and dynamics of mentoring relationships, specifically HOW they impact students in terminal degree programs. This might include mentoring experiences outside of the faculty advisor/supervisor role and even beyond campus. Mentoring experiences we know often occur from conference attendance, academic meetings, professional organization involvement and within your own or other disciplines of scholarship/work

The goal of this research is to understand how doctoral students experience mentoring during and after the completion of their terminal graduate degree programs in both face-to-face and distributed environments. There are a variety of campus stakeholders and professionals who form a collective of mentoring experiences for individuals who are pursuing a terminal degree. With a variety of career paths post-degree, we want to know how doctoral students establish, communicate, and sustain mentoring relationships that support their personal and professional development. We want to know more about these mentoring relationships through the shared narratives of doctoral students who are currently in-progress and/or who has recently completed (in the last 2-5 years) a terminal graduate degree (e.g. Ph.D., Ed.D., M.F.A, etc.).

We would love to know how technologies shape and support these mentoring relationships? This might be to stay in touch, communicate, share on social networks, or even exist within digital learning environments. With the opportunity to connect to scholars and practitioners beyond geographic boundaries, it is now possible for graduate students to establish mentoring relationships with other scholars, peers, and professionals from afar. How are these doctoral scholars finding resources, support, and kinship within peers in online networks? What type of mentoring opportunities have doctoral learners found either formally or informally to reach their personal and professional goals? Are there mentoring groups, peer-to-peer, or professional experiences that have guided their early career decisions and/or direction?

To volunteer for a 30-minute interview for this study, please complete this form: https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d06SO2d0GL8al6d

To learn more and/or participate in the project, please find further details about this study here: https://ltiwithme.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/exploring-mentoring-relationships/ or contact Laura Pasquini (Laura.Pasquini@unt.edu) or Meranda Roy (Meranda.Roy@unt.edu).