When Sher Han Lim discovered coaching, she was juggling a full-time job, a volunteer position, and being a new mom. Having spent four years in a public service position in Singapore, she now found herself torn between continuing along that path or shifting her focus to dedicate more time to her volunteer work and her family, two things she was passionate about.
Through her volunteer work, Sher Han Lim was presented with the opportunity to work with ICF-credentialed coach Chuen Chuen Yeo, PCC, also based in Singapore. Feeling a mismatch between her skill set and her current job, Sher Han worked with Chuen Chuen to identify new ways to find fulfillment in her career, and the courage to embrace a new path.
What led you to partner with a coach?
I was unsure about my career path and what I wanted to do with my life. I always felt like I was taking a very safe route upon graduation with my degree, working a very stable job for the past four years.
I reached a point where I felt it wasn’t very fulfilling. Work takes up a lot of time, more than half of the day, so I was thinking, “How can I get more fulfillment from the time I am spending at work? Could I work for a different organization, one where I could relate better to the work that’s being done?”
I wanted to explore other opportunities, and understand what it was in my current work that had me feeling that I wasn’t up for the job.
I wanted to explore other opportunities, and understand what it was in my current work that had me feeling that I wasn’t up for the job. I always felt that there was a mismatch between the skills I am good at and the things I needed to do at my full-time job.
At the time, I was also a part-time volunteer with a social enterprise. That organization partnered with a professional coaching company to provide leadership and career coaching services to the staff, and I was one of the staff asked to be given the opportunity.
I thought it was time for me to speak to a professional coach to see how I could take my career forward.
Do you feel like coaching helped you bridge that gap between your current career and what you could be doing in the future?
Coaching made me discover myself. It made me find out what my strengths were and why I felt a mismatch between the role I was doing and the skills that I have. Coaching made me face the situation seriously and do something about it, instead of just sitting down and getting by.
Were there any specific exercises or questions that your coach used that proved helpful?
One exercise we did that resonated with me was narrowing down a long list of values and picking the top five that meant the most to me.
I recently became a mother and was struggling between my own career development and playing the role of a mother, having to juggle the roles for my family. After this exercise, I realized that at the end of the day I still prioritize my family and my child the most.
This made me realize that instead of chasing career advancement, maybe I should take a step back. It’s okay to be slower for the coming few years as my child is growing up. In reality, as evidenced by the values exercise, I do value my family more.
Were there any other changes in your life that you’ve noticed as a result of the coaching?
I was more at peace with the situation. I felt more assured about the decisions I was going to make. I ultimately left my job to work full-time for the social enterprise business.
It was a big move for me. It was a very scary move, but I was assured, under the guidance of my coach, that it was a great move that I made. Without my coach, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage, the assurance and the knowledge to leave my stable job.
I am very pleased with the decision that I made, and I definitely would not have taken this big step without the help of a professional coach.
But with Chuen Chuen, I realized there are other things that I value more than a salary. I am very pleased with the decision that I made, and I definitely would not have taken this big step without the help of a professional coach.
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