Every person moves through various stages in life, born with unique talents, motivated by personal values, goals, dreams, and a sense of possibility! From the time we are born, we gradually discover ourselves and “the world” by way of family, education, community and organizational relationships. At some point along the way, every person begins to realize that there are difficult choices and it can be confusing to know “which voice” holds the most wise guidance. Our parents may have dreams and plans for our future, education teaches us another set of perspectives, and when we go to “work,” our bosses have strategic plans to be fulfilled … But what about your own mission in life? How do you navigate the variables of life and relationships, and learn to negotiate between values that compete? How can you plan for an unsure future, particularly when you are responsible for other lives as well as your own?
This can be a huge challenge to take on alone. Who can you talk to who does not hold a “vested interest” in your choices? A professional career coach is a creative partner who is trained to help you move through questions, and discover your own best ideas, strengths, motivations, and power to make the most of your life. When you are at your best, you can also bring your best to all the rest of your roles and relationships in life.
Beyond just clarifying your own “ideal” is also the challenge of navigating the changing waters of our contemporary society, as economic, social and environmental issues demand new strategies.
Leaders are realizing they may not be the smartest person in the room, so are asked to facilitate learning organization methods and cultivate partnerships to maximize innovation. Instead of “ownership” of goods and services, we are seeing shifts to a “shared” user model. Communications technologies have entirely shifted the paradigms, creating tension between access and security, the opportunity and the risk of open exchange. In a world of expanded, hyperlinked options, how may you build genuine partnerships and effective professional “presence”?
Thinking forward …
Future jobs will all have something to do with “sustainability” whether these be in commercial, government or non-profit sectors. Solutions will need to bring together the best talent to interdisciplinary team problem solving. We will need to figure out new ways to balance our lifelong education, work, family and community engagement in creative ways to ensure long term health for our people and our planet. So it is vital to begin to work together, find partners, and help each other maximize the potential of all in our shared community.
Ultimately we believe that nobody achieves a sustainable future alone. So we come to coaching to help facilitate the development process — one on one, in groups, with associations, to build partnerships who may serve as a network of support for individuals, organizations, and communities — as we all seek a shared sustainable future for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.
Phyllis Pouyat Thibodeau, MDE, CMC
Phyllis Pouyat Thibodeau is founder and CEO of Chesapeake Career Consulting, LLC. She is currently designing and delivering customized services for varied clients as Executive Career Consultant in DC Metro area and in communities surrounding the Chesapeake Bay Region. Her mantra is “Think Globally, Act Locally” as she works with leaders, career transitioners and students all focusing on issues of sustainability–from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints and changing workforce challenges.
Over the last 4 years, Phyllis supported career strategy plans to action for returning Peace Corps volunteers along with graduate students from around the globe, pursuing their Masters in International Sustainable Development with World Learning in Washington DC. Previously, Phyllis served as Associate Director and Executive Career Coach for MBA Career & Professional Development at University of Maryland where she supported over 1,000 working professionals across industry sectors in the Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia region. She brings over 25-years of experience in both corporate and higher education management, combining expertise in human development, organizational systems, professional education and international program development. At both Cornell University and University System of Maryland, Phyllis has directed design and delivery of experiential learning, distance education and career oriented professional education and leadership development programs in traditional and non-traditional contexts.
She is currently involved in a variety of community, education, business and professional networks invested in conservation education and sustainable development balancing the 3 E’s: Environment, Economy, Equity.
Phyllis completed her B.S. in Human Resources Development at SUNY and studied Creative Leadership at Cornell University. She holds a Master of Distance Education and additional certifications in Teaching, Technology and Environmental Education through Universities of Maryland. She is a Certified Master Coach, and active member of International Coach Federation.
Phyllis is also active as a Master Gardener with UMD’s Cooperative Extension working with partners on conservation education and “grow it-eat it” projects, as well as a variety of “Green Economy” initiatives. In all of these efforts, she works with essential partners who share in the mission of “People & Planet Partnerships,” both on the Beltway side and the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.