Set Priorities and Take Focused Action!

I’d like to tell you the story of Jeannie, a coaching client of mine who learned how to set priorities and take focused action in order to make a major career and life change.


Like many of my clients, she wanted to find more meaningful work than her current job. At the same time, she wanted to move closer to her boyfriend who lived fifty miles away. And there was one other thing—she wanted to make these changes as quickly as possible.

Any of these goals—a career change, a move, or a careful-yet-quick exit from an existing job—has a lot of moving parts. Jeannie could get overwhelmed or act too quickly on a compromise and then feel disappointed later.

Combining goals meant that we had to prioritize and keep key targets in mind during the process.

A World of Possibilities

We started by brainstorming Jeannie’s ideal job. What was she passionate about? What skills and experience did she want to use? What kind of contribution did she want to make? This information helped us narrow down a universe of jobs into a manageable list. In addition, talking about an ideal situation helped Jeannie feel encouraged rather than fearful of the impending change. She felt confident she would find a job that better suited her abilities and interests.

Next, we tailored her résumé to highlight her top skills, which were also the skills she hoped to apply in her new job: communication, customer service, research, organization, training and finances. We completed her résumé by demonstrating how her work experiences had called on each skill and how they transferred to the new line of work. Her focused résumé illustrated where she’d been, where she wanted to go, and exactly what she offered her new employer.

Finally, we brainstormed possible employers or industries in her new city. She could devote her energy to applications with a select group of employers rather than flooding the job market with her résumé.

Home Stretch

Each week, Jeannie could see progress. Steps that once seemed like obstacles were overcome. Instead of overwhelm, she had a manageable, targeted action plan.

Reporting her progress via e-mail kept Jeannie on track. She listed job prospects identified through her own research and noted the status of résumé s sent and applications completed. Our next few coaching sessions prepared her for interviews so she could demonstrate, in person, how ideal she was for the job.

Within three months of our first meeting, Jeannie had a job offer. We discussed how to negotiate for desired benefits and extra time off to handle her move to the new city. Jeannie was eager to begin this new chapter in her life, so we also navigated her resignation from her old job.

Focus and Priorities

Jeannie is now settled into her position and enjoying life closer to her boyfriend. Her ideal has become her reality thanks to setting priorities and taking focused action.

If you feel stuck or overwhelmed in your career change plans, let’s talk. Contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation and sample coaching session.

Note: Written authorization to share this case study has been received from this client. Certain details have been changed to preserve confidentiality.

Photo credit: truester ride the rocket via photopin (license)

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