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How This Career Coach Went From 0 Paying Clients to a Full Roster in One Month

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Meet Sophee, A Best Life Coach

Sophee is a Career Coach and Best Life Coach who finds her clients careers that they love and pursue with passion. She helps clients figure out what it is they want with crystal clear clarity, and then help with the transition to turning their dream into a reality. She has helped clients get better jobs, change their company culture, learn how to package what they have to offer, feel confident in their decisions, let go of anxiety and much more.

We sat down with Sophee to learn more about her coaching style, her coaching business, and what she thinks of the current job market.

An Interview with Sophee Payne, Career Coach

Tell us about who you coach and how you help them.

I coach driven professionals who feel really stuck in their career, and often as a result feeling stuck in life. They want clarity on their dream career and how to make it a reality, without letting fear, overwhelm, or uncertainty hold them back any longer. They often just don’t know where to start. 

I help my coachee (i.e. client) with a methodology that is tailored to each 1:1 coachee. The most common place we start is to first build a strong understanding of who they are and what they truly want in their life and how their career supports their vision for life. We then use the latest and greatest tools to get them closer to their vision for their life and career. Some tools are related to career clarity, career confidence, job search strategy, salary negotiation, networking, resume and cover letter, managing work relationships, and educational or professional development.

If someone wants to be passionate about their career and have opportunities to learn and grow, I can partner with them to figure out realistic next steps and a strategic roadmap so they can get there faster. 

What do your clients struggle with the most and how do you help them through it?

Initially, my coachees struggle with finding clarity on their career path the most. They find themselves in a job or career for years that they don’t like, and often never liked. They waited things out but things have not gotten better; in fact, the feeling of being lost and unfulfilled is rising.  When I meet my coachees, they dread work and it is starting to impact the rest of their life. They are filled with a sense of urgency to live a life that where they feel fully alive. 

To help with this initial struggle, we start the break down the big, overwhelming things holding them back. We take small steps into territory that was once too daunting to ever go into. It is important to start with who they are and what they want before thinking about “The How.” The how rears its head in questions like:

  • “How much will going back to school cost?”
  • “How do I make a living out of this?”
  • “How do I know I have what it takes?”

Questions like this are not useful at this stage. They will come in later, but in the beginning they just keep people stuck (sometimes for years!).

What has been your biggest learning through your coaching journey?

I was very busy with clients for much of my first year of business, and I took on too much sometimes. I have so much compassion for people feeling stuck in their career, and I want to help as many people as I can. I found that I need to take on fewer clients so I have the time and energy to build more group programs, which allows me to help many more people at once in the long-run. 

At what point did you notice your business taking off?

When I started my business, I began working with a coach immediately. I was able to go full time within a month, with a full client roster. I don’t think I would have been able to have my own coaching business if I had not hired that coach. As coaches, we need to believe in the power of coaches to live authentically as a powerful coach.

If you could go back and tell yourself something when you were first getting started as a coach, what would you say?

My top strength is learning, so what’s important is to keep using your top strengths. So it would be, “Keep learning.” I made the mistake of coaching so much that I did not leave enough time for myself to learn and explore as much as I needed to. Since learning is my top strength and it is more vital to my happiness than I realized. 

If you could recommend only one book or podcast to aid someone in their career, what would it be and why?

I could never do that! If I was forced to or be dropped into a tank of hungry sharks, I would choose Happen to Your Career Podcast by Scott Anthony Barlow. I admire his work and what he has done, and I appreciate his emphasis on research and using that data intelligently in the career clarity process.

In the near future, I hope to recommend my own podcast!

What are your thoughts on the Great Resignation? Is the end in sight?

The Great Resignation is a bit misunderstood by some people. The vast majority of the workers quitting are low-income workers switching jobs to make more money. The other large part of the “quitters” are not quitters at all – they are retirees. When older people are more at risk with COVID-19, early retirements in a pandemic is not surprising. 

It’s July 2022 and the trends in data are starting to show the Great Resignation is losing momentum. Surveys show that the percentage of employees who are not looking to quit their job in the next 6 months has been on the rise.

In my work with coachees, I see people quit all the time, but that is not a good indicator for the market trends. Usually, the whole goal of working with me is to quit their job! 

There is a talent shortage in certain labor markets that can aid some job seekers right now. However, this idea can also create anxiety for those on the job search. The media paints a picture of a favorable labor market for job seekers. When people are not getting hired as easily and as quickly as the media would tell them to anticipate, it can lead to frustration, self-criticism, and a lack of confidence in the continued effort to find a great job that aligns with their values and career goals. For most workers, it still takes resilience, a proven strategy, and clear direction to land a job that they are happy to have.

What would you recommend to someone contemplating a job change or career shift right now?

I recommend NOT to evaluate your ideas for a career change early in the process. In the very early stages, give yourself time and space to understand what are your values, strengths, non-negotiables, and overall vision for your life. Eventually, you want to start to apply that to careers you are curious about and then after that phase is done, bring in the “how will this work?” type of questions.

Where can people find out more about you?

Most people find me through my website at Sopheepayne.com. I try to minimize my social media presence and keep it simple, but you can also find me on IG @Sopheepaynecareercoaching.

Wrapping Up with this Career Coach

If you’re interested in working with a career coach, Sophee comes highly recommended by her clients. As one client put it, “Sophee allowed me to come to certain realizations that I couldn’t have come to on my own. Sophee is incredibly easy to talk to and that made me feel relaxed and at ease, even when I felt tense talking about the root cause of my fear of failure.”

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