The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
That’s what coaching is all about. It is a process that enables a client to reach deep within and develop a clear career strategy to follow. Additionally, it is a process that enables the client to navigate through various – and often inevitable – career challenges or crises. This blog posting will focus on the development of a crystal clear career strategy, and a subsequent posting will focus on how to handle the various career challenges or crises.
Career coaching is NOT teaching clients how to write a powerful resume, become proficient in networking and using such technological assets as LinkedIn, and the like.
Those are tactics – very important, to be sure – but they are not the stuff of developing a meaningful and useful career strategy.
In the thirty-some years that I have been engaged in career coaching, mentoring, and serving as a partner/friend to those seeking to develop a personal career strategy or navigate through some crisis, my coaching technique has evolved into coaching in accordance with ICF principles and ethics and mentoring to share my knowledge, experience, and vision to help clients develop a clear career strategy and a wise perspective on how to handle career challenges/issues in today’s environment. To compliment my experience, I have become certified by the ICF as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), and a Certified Positive Intelligence Coach.
For those who are seeking to develop such a strategy in today’s corporate world, my focus is on the development of clear and understandable skills and experiences that point a client to some first level “capstone” position in the client’s area of interest. My definition of a first level “capstone” position is a position generally one level below the C-Suite. These are positions such as VP-Finance, VP-Marketing, etc., that form the bulk of executive searches.
The theory is that to advance to the “C-Suite,” an individual must first reach a first-level capstone position.
Accordingly, it makes sense for a client to aim her or his career toward gathering the kinds of skills, competencies that form a clear “mosaic” that can be clearly identified either by the organization in which she/he is employed or by an executive search firm seeking to fill such a position.
An example of such a “capstone” position is a Vice-President Finance who might have a mosaic of skills and competencies (shown by the dots).For another capstone position such as Vice-President Marketing, there would be a different skills/competencies path as shown overlayed with the VP-Finance position.
If you overlay many such capstones, you will find that there are some common skills/competencies that apply to all capstones as shown.
Those common skills are the “Critical Skills” that are necessary no matter what a client wants to do in a career.
There are eight such “Critical Skills” that emerged from doing research on over 900 actual executive searches and are articulated in detail in this blog. You can look at the history about how thee Critical Skills were developed by clicking HERE>
You can get Charlie’s book, WANTED: Eight Critical Skills You Need to Succeed by clicking on the button below.
The important points about looking at careers from the point of view of a skill mosaic are these:
- It’s difficult, if not impossible, to reach a first level capstone position if you don’t have a clear mosaic of skills – functional and critical – that identifies you as a candidate.
- For any first level capstone position, you should manage your career to gather those skills/competencies that will enable you to be recognized either from within an organization or by an executive recruiter.
- You should exercise extreme caution about changing jobs so that your mosaic does not become “blurry” – this is a common problem with “job-hoppers.”
- “Blurry” skill/competency mosaics make it difficult to quickly capture who you are, what you are good at, and what might be your potential for the next step in your career.
- You should focus your career strategy on building a meaningful, crisp, and understandable skill/competency mosaic.
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