You feel as if you have been sucker punched. Out of the blue, your job has been taken away. You know it’s time for a change, but where do you begin?
“A career transition can be a tough time, especially if it is unexpected,” says Molly Walsh, certified executive, career coach and principal with Standout Consulting. “But, I’ve seen it time and time again. You will get through this, be employed again and be happy. You will land on the other side.”
Don’t you feel better already? But Walsh, a graduate of the Weatherhead School of Management Executive Coaching Program at Case Western Reserve University, isn’t only a cheerleader. For the past six years, she has guided senior and executive management-level clients through job searches, workforce re-entry and personal branding. Her background also gives her expertise in fundraising, leadership training, nonprofit board relations and creating balance between work and a personal life.
“When I first started helping clients with career transitions, I assumed once they landed a job that would be it. But I have more and more clients who keep me on well into their new roles, sometimes for three or four years,” says Walsh. “They like being coached, they like having a sounding board and having someone who just has their best interests at heart.”
Some potential clients contact Walsh through her website. If she believes the professional client/coach relationship can be a good fit, an initial in-person or phone interview (depending on timeframes and geographical locations) is arranged. Walsh is certified to administer proven assessment tests and also has created her own methods and plans that lead others to career success.
Walsh defines a leader as someone who has a vision, clearly articulates that vision and gets other people on board working toward that vision. Although some of her clients are natural leaders, others can be taught leadership skills, and still others are more comfortable and successful with supportive roles. One of her mottoes: “Align What You Do with Who You Are.”
One recent client, a woman in her 40s, had a successful career in health care but decided to make a career transition on her own. Unfortunately, the move was unsuccessful, and she left her new position. She contacted Walsh, not sure of her next move.
“The client had liked doing some of the work she had done in the past and so decided to do her own consulting,” explains Walsh. “She was nervous about going out on her own, but she took a leap of faith. Her career blossomed, and she is so happy. She has more clients now than she thought she ever would have. Now, her biggest challenge is managing the growth of her business.”
Health care is “definitely one profession with a lot of opportunities and movement, especially in Cleveland,” according to Walsh. But she also sees more people opting for work on a contractual basis in many other fields, “doing what they love on their terms.” These professionals like the flexibility of working from home or on a part-time basis, and technology has opened new doors.
“People spend a lot of their life at work. If they’re not happy with what they do, they can make a change,” says Walsh. “I like helping people get there.”
(Standout Consulting, 216-272-9927; standoutconsulting.net)