As a coach and someone who has benefited tremendously from coaching, I’d like to share my personal journey with you in the hopes that you will find it helpful for – if nothing else – knowing that you are not alone in your search for a fulfilling work and a joyful career.
For the first part of my career, I worked hard, did a good job and moved up the career ladder. While I achieved a decent level of success, I always felt like I wanted something more out of my career – not just more money, a better title and greater responsibility and recognition. I wanted to do work that felt consistently fulfilling and uplifting.
Something that would give me a deep sense of satisfaction along with being able to earn a good living. (You can check out my Linkedin profile if you want more details on that.)
In 2000, I started a graduate degree in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. In this program, I took a range of courses focused on things like leadership, communication, finding solutions to business problems, developing growth strategies – and perhaps most important: looking at the people side of business including looking at myself. One class in particular was exceptionally powerful, “Self, Roles and Expectations,” taught by the late Jim Larkin.
The course focused on answering the questions, “Who are you,” “Who are the people in your personal and professional life,” “What roles do you play personally and professionally,” “What are your expectations for yourself,” and “What are others’ expectations of you?” Talk about a heavy duty, introspective exercise!
Working with My Coach
Around the same time, I was working with a coach to help me improve my leadership skills in the corporate world. After participating in some assessments and talking about my background and goals, my coach and I worked out a game plan of goals and actions that I would take. We then continued to meet on a regular basis to discuss my progress toward achieving my goals. Along the way, he offered insights, suggested books to read and both held me accountable and encouraged me as I worked on my goals. Having someone to advise and guide me during this period in my career was invaluable.
As a result of my work in both the classroom and personally with my coach, I ultimately decided that my path forward and the thing that would make me the happiest was to launch my own business as a consultant and coach to help business owners and professionals make their businesses and careers more successful. It was the culmination of my professional career and a powerful onramp to the business and life I enjoy today.
Our Work Together
In my work with coaching clients, I like to make it clear that there is no cookie cutter approach to coaching. Every person is different and will have somewhat different goals and needs. There are some recurring themes, however, that we do look at in coaching such as:
- What are your goals? Are they SMART goals?
- What actions do you need and want to take to achieve your goals?
- How would you like to measure your success?
- How do you relate to other people, and how do you prefer to work with others in a team environment?
- How do you want to position yourself to be seen by others? What words and actions do you need to take to accomplish this?
- How can I help guide you along your path?
Together, we will utilize a variety to tools and techniques. All of them are aimed at one thing – helping you get the job career where you will feel happiest and most fulfilled.
One of the very special resources we are likely to use in coaching is Teamability. This is a system to understand more about who you are, the roles where you will be happiest in, and how you can learn to be a more effective leader on teams.
Off Track? Don’t Worry – You’ll Get There!
As I work with my clients, one of the most powerful things I like to share comes from a priest who guided me in my early 20s. I had become too focused on making the perfect decision at every step of my journey. He assured me that there is no “railroad track” to the future – only a series of paths and learning along those paths that ultimately can lead us to a good place as we focus on making the best decision for now. My career has illustrated this point, with many steps along the way:
1973: Started working in a family car repair business when I was 12.
1978: Worked at a summer camp as a counselor when I was in high school.
1983: Earned a degree in journalism at Penn State University.
1983: Worked in youth ministry after graduating.
1984: Spent a year in novitiate, or religious formation, with an order of priests where I lived in a reflective and learning community and served as an assistant hospital chaplain.
1985: Worked with abused and neglected children in a social service setting.
1985: Worked in a maximum security youth detention facility with teens who had committed crimes.
1986: Began my corporate life as a writer / marketing coordinator for Prudential insurance.
1987: Sold life, health, property & casualty insurance and investment products.
1988: Moved from sales to internal marketing at Prudential
1988: Served as an editor and publications director for more than seven years for the Society of Financial Service Professionals.1989: Got married to my wife (now of 27 years).
1989: Bought our first house in Colmar PA.
1991: Had our first child.
1993: Had our second child.
1995: Worked in a startup business aimed to teach people how to use the internet.
1996: Returned to Prudential as a communication manager in Newark New Jersey and served as part of a high-performing team handling communications around a major class action lawsuit.
1996: Bought our second house in the Newtown, PA, to be closer to New Jersey so I could commute to my job.
1998: Hired by GE to run a marketing communications group in Lynchburg, Virginia.
1998: Moved my family to Forest, Virginia, near, Lynchburg.
1998: Had our third child.
1999: Recruited by Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company in the Philadelphia area to lead the marketing communication function at the company, and ultimately
1999: Moved my family (now five of us!) back to Philadelphia and bought a home in Doylestown PA.
2000: Began my master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania.
2000: Worked diligently for several years to help rebrand Provident, lead communications through major litigation and ultimately help sell the company to Nationwide Financial.
2002: Was (unhappily) retained by Nationwide as part of the “new team.”
2004: Went to work for Lincoln Financial Group in Philadelphia as product marketing director for life insurance, which at the time became the top individual life insurance premium earning business in the United States.
2007: Left Lincoln during a reorganization.
2007: Launched my own business spanning strategy, training, implementation and coaching for a variety of clients.
2008: Completed masters in Organizational Dynamics.
2008: Launched a marketing technology startup, which failed.
2009: Founded Business Referral Group along with a partner to help local businesses generate leads.
2010: Created SoMeBizLife social media training conferences (which are still going!).
2011: Affiliated with The Gabriel Institute to offer Teamability to business owners and professionals.
2011: Became part of the Novotorium business incubator team where I helped connect entrepreneurs with business services and angel investors.
2012: Created social media management certificate program at Delaware Valley University and taught in program for two years.
2012: Founded Faucet Group, a partnership of digital marketing professionals, which operated for two years.
2015: Joined Trajectify to provide individual and group coaching to business owners.
2015: Founded Biz Allies, a strategic alliance of professionals who can provide insights and refer business to each other as needed.
2016: Closed out relationship with Novotorium as organization moved toward internal innovation with parent company.
2016: Relocated with wife and youngest child to Conyers, Georgia – outside of Atlanta – to continue coaching and begin the next phase of my journey.
Onging: I continue to work with established coaching and consulting clients back in PA as well as new clients in Georgia, both in person and virtually. I continue to hold SoMeBizLife training programs in PA, and will begin bringing these to Georgia and other states in the near future.
My path has not been straight – and I can help you navigate your own career path!
Email me, and we will connect! – Chuck Hall