Case In Point

KAREN, Lawyer/Spouse/Mother

Karen, 42, is a busy, accomplished lawyer wearing too many hats. After having children, she was determined to be the woman who can have it all. She has very high standards for herself, her family and her career. This makes daily life very complicated and demanding.

Karen is married to another successful lawyer working in a fast-paced environment. His career continues to ramp up and he receives notable recognition for his work. He is not slowing down.

Karen returned to work after having her second child. She now manages a nanny at home, the household, the children’s schedules, her and her husband’s social life, her health and fitness regime (which barely exists most weeks), her own friendships, and her aging parents’ needs. This, all while managing her more than full-time career.

Karen does not intend to leave law. She came to the coaching NOT to make radical changes in her career, but to make a fundamental, intentional shift in how she approaches her life and how she wears her many hats.

Karen is exhausted. She has close friendships at work, but she does not feel comfortable openly admitting the toll her life takes on her each day. Her superiors are primarily men, and the women who are more senior do not reach out and recognize Karen’s daily struggles and that she is not alone. She is a top performer with a strong career trajectory and although this satisfies her, it compounds her issues – with high expectations on her, it makes it harder for her to take time out from her busy schedule to breathe.

Karen needs to know that she is doing the right thing. She needs support making meaningful decisions so she can be confident that her choices are right for her and her family. She needs help managing the guilt that she feels when she says goodbye in the morning. She wants to get clear on her career path so that she can stay on track in the face of difficult times. She wants a health plan that is realistic AND she wants to tweak her relationship with her husband so that the family and household run smoothly.

Valerie provides an objective space for Karen to talk, brainstorm and turn her wishes and goals into reality. They work through issues one by one. Valerie supports her every step of the way to ensure that Karen designs a life for herself that is based on her own circumstances and not the standards or ideals of anyone else. Karen gets clear on her values, strengths and priorities. Karen addresses the guilt and perfectionism that have been constant forces in her life.   She feels relieved and has more energy. She goes to bed at night knowing that although this stage of life is never going to be perfectly balanced, she’s confident in the choices she has made, the role model she has become for her family, and the control she has re-gained.

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