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Impostor syndrome & career coaching - Say What? #40

Hi everyone; Selamat Hari Raya to those who celebrates it! I hope you all had a good time last weeken
June 1 · Issue #40 · View online
Say What?
Hi everyone;
Selamat Hari Raya to those who celebrates it!
I hope you all had a good time last weekend, despite not being able to celebrate Raya the normal way. In times like this, there are bound to be sacrifices in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the community. So, wherever you are, I hope you all had a joyful (and sanitary!) celebration.
Apologies for sending this issue a day late - yesterday was my mother’s birthday celebration so I wanted to spend the weekend with my family.
In today’s issue, I wanted to share a little about my struggles to overcome impostor syndrome - this time in terms of being involved with career coaching and graduate employability.

What does 'coaching' actually means?
First thing first - Coaching is different from teaching. A teacher imparts new knowledge and information to the students, but a coach helps and guides the student to refine and develop what they’ve already know.
There are a lot of coaches out there, like your typical sports coaches during school. But there are also coaches for more specific personal/business areas, such as career coaches (to help you plan your career), health/fitness coaches (to plan your fitness journey), life coaches (to plan your overall life), etc.
As much as I enjoy helping and guiding people with things related to their employability and personal development, I never really considered myself as a ’coach’, just because I have an image in my head that says a coach is usually someone much, much older and experienced.
Me? I’m a measly graduate, barely making a dent in the industry. How could I even think about calling myself a ‘coach’, when I’m only just starting out myself?
Yes, I do enjoy talking about graduate employability and helping people with their questions on job search and all that. It’s fun, at least for me. That was the reason why I started my #FreshGrad101 series. It was also why I decided to take the leap to officially offer my career services for hire earlier this year.
(p/s - if you’re a graduate/student and are looking for opportunities to learn and improve on your employability, do consider signing up for my Job Search 101 class next weekend! Read the below post for more info!)
Job Search 101 - Improve your employability! - Silent Confessions Job Search 101 - Improve your employability! - Silent Confessions
But I never thought about actually using the term ’coaching’ to describe what I’m doing. I do mine mostly for fun (except for the career services, where I charged a small fee for what I do). I never properly thought about how I can pursue this as a legit career, despite how I enjoyed doing it.
Calling it ‘career coaching’ makes it sound so formal and professional, whereas I’m just a small girl who does it for fun and in a very casual, informal way. Never have I thought I would call myself as a career coach.
At least, until recently…
The #KisahSiswa Career Coaching initiative.
TalentCorp started this #KisahSiswa initiative to support Malaysian students and graduates in navigating the job market and planning their career, especially during this very dramatic and ever-changing landscape. Students and graduates who sign up and share their concerns, stories and experiences will get the opportunity to be coached by professional career coaches and industry partner.
Kisah Siswa - Initiatives | TalentCorp Malaysia
So, where do I come in?
#KisahSiswa is open to Malaysian undergraduates and fresh graduates (with less than 2 years of working experience). Technically speaking, I would be eligible to sign up to the initiative as a graduate and get the support and help from TalentCorp and their partners.
But… Someone from TalentCorp’s Graduate & Emerging Talent recognized what I do (through my blog and social media), and invited me to join the initiative - as a coach.
Me. A coach.
A not-yet-26-yo, still-fresh-out-of-the-oven graduate, coaching other students and graduates officially. Heck, some of the participants may even be the same age as I am, or a little older. Wouldn’t that be a bit weird?
Is he joking? was the first thought that came to my mind.
Apparently not. He was dead-serious. One of his reasons was…
“I haven’t met that many young blood who’s passionate about career coaching/guidance.”
And so, fast forward a few weeks, and here I am, awkwardly being in a WhatsApp group with more than 100+ career coaches and feeling small and insignificant. But a career coach, nonetheless, with my own coachees to mentor and guide.
My first 'real' career talk - a Zoom session on 'How to write a resume' to 80+ Malaysian students in South Korea. Thanks PPMK & Seeds Job Fair for this opportunity!
My first 'real' career talk - a Zoom session on 'How to write a resume' to 80+ Malaysian students in South Korea. Thanks PPMK & Seeds Job Fair for this opportunity!
If others can believe in you, why can't you?
I always tell people - If you can’t believe in yourself and your skills, why should others? This is a big advice I tell people, especially when they’re going into an interview and are nervous about how to convince the employers to hire them. Which is true - if you don’t believe that you can do the job well, how are you going to be able to convince the interviewers that you are suited for the job?
And now, the advice is coming right back at me, albeit in a slightly different angle.
If someone else, a professional, whose actual job is to help graduates with their employability, can believe in my abilities and have the faith that I am capable of being a career coach, why can’t I accept it?
Is it because I’m still learning myself? Is it because I’m young? Is it because I’m not officially certified as a career coach? Is it because I’m not an entrepreneur, but instead am a salaried worker?
Or is it because I’m scared of the commitment and responsibility that comes along with it, and how it would affect what others expect out of me?
What if, as a career coach, I can’t help someone with a problem that they’re facing? What if I make a mistake as a career coach, and my coachee fails to get an interview/job offer? What if I tell them something that is wrong, and it negatively impact them? What if I don’t know the answer to their question?
Coaching--It's Not About Giving The "Answer" | Partners in EXCELLENCE Blog -- Making A Difference
Coaches coach, teachers teach.
But, the thing is… Coaches don’t teach. Coaches don’t need to have all the answers, because, in reality, that is bloody impossible. You can’t possible know everything there is to know about different jobs in different industries.
What a coach actually does is to help the coachee to think about things from different perspectives. To unlock their potential and build their self-confidence. To provide them the tools to be able to walk and run on their own two feet. To guide them to discover their own strengths and opportunities for growth and improvement.
And, sometimes, no matter how good the coach is, a coaching session might not turn out great if the coachees themselves are not open to be coached. Someone with a fixed mindset will be far more difficult to coach, as compared to someone with a growth mindset (I’ll write more about this in the next issue!). Not all coaching sessions are successful. Some fail, and that’s OK.
So, why do I worry so much? *knocks head on the wall*
Ironically enough, I took a Mentoring & Coaching module as a part of my Master’s degree, so I should know already know that. But somehow, the fear is still lingering in my mind, and holding me back.
I think it’s high time I actively work on overcoming this impostor syndrome. I mean, I know I’m pretty good at what I do (based on what others have told me), so why do I still feel scared and nervous about actually pursuing it? Even my parents are invested in what I do and sometimes would ask about how things are going, and they’re usually like “Why are you wasting your time doing these things?
If I can make my parents have faith in my non-conventional hobby, heck, I can do anything.
I honestly have no idea how to end this long rant, but I guess ending with a thank you to everyone is a pretty good way. Some of you here have been there with me for the past few months (and some, years!), and the occasional supportive emails and DMs on social media really helps to solidify this choice in my life, and I really do appreciate it.
And, thank you, again, for subscribing and supporting this newsletter, which, in a way, is an extension of what I do in relation to personal development & self-growth. I enjoy writing and sharing about what I’ve learnt and gone through in my life, and I genuinely hope that it’s useful and beneficial to you too. :)
Giveaway winners...
So, in the last issue, I asked you to either help me share the words out about this newsletter, or send me an email and share a little about you. I want to say thank you to those who responded or emailed me and shared your stories and the things that you are working on - I really do enjoy hearing from you! :)
I’ve chosen two lucky subscribers - Balqis Fazil (who won a customised canvas painting) and Sabri Hassan (who won the MY Money Stories Volume 2 book & e-book from Ringgit oh Ringgit). Congratulations to both of you! Please email me to claim your prizes :)
Sending you lots of love during this festive CovEID period, from 4 generation of women/girl in the Salleh clan. <3
Sending you lots of love during this festive CovEID period, from 4 generation of women/girl in the Salleh clan. <3
Until I see you again in two weeks’ time - stay safe, stay healthy, and maintain good social distancing!
Take care and stay awesome everyone :)
Nazu xx
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