Friend + Coach = Danger
My friend really hates her job. She's a terrific writer who
writes our community newsletter. How can I encourage her to
embark on a writing career, using her talents to make money?
You seem to be a truly kind, caring person. Now I'm going
to ask you to do something really kind. Let your friend find
her own path. Refuse to discuss her present, past or future
Your friend may love writing but hate a writing career. Writing
a free newsletter bears little resemblance to writing commercially,
where command of the query counts far more heavily than command
of the language.
Writing is a marketable skill only when it's packaged with
an ability to tell a story (like John Grisham) or access to
a topic that attracts public interest (anything from life
in prison to life in a palace -- and, according to Sarah Ferguson,
they're not too different). And, with few exceptions, a writer
has to be first and foremost a marketer and networker.
If you really believe a friend is heading for disaster, speak
up, tactfully but honestly. Encourage your friend to hire
a coach or counselor. One loving wife gave her husband one
of my Power Hour calls as a much-appreciated birthday gift.
In my experience, it's hard to merge career coach and friend
roles in a single person. Rejoice in your friendship and set
firm boundaries on conversational topics.
Your friend comes up with a harebrained idea. Being a supportive
friend, you say nothing or you say, "Wonderful!"
Be clear that you are not delivering feedback and guidance
-- or your friend will come back with, "Why didn't you
Better to say, "You know, I really don't know anything
about careers in general, or this career in particular. I
suggest you visit Cathy Goodwin's website, movinglady.com.
And now let's change the subject to talk about your dog..."
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.