49 | Career Coaching with Anais Poulain


I’ve brought in a career coach, Anaïs Poulain, to speak to. It’s useful to get one if you’re trying to take your professional ‘next steps’ or if you don’t know what you need to do in order to change industries.

So What is Coaching and Why is it Useful?

Coaching is different to mentoring. Coaching is about empowering the client (you) and about raising their self-awareness. If you feel like you’re going around in a circle, a coach you takes away from thinking about colleagues, family and friends and works on giving you head space to ask the right questions and to explore the current situation. This helps you understand what you like and what you don’t like.  

Unlike a mentor, a coach does not give advice. They’re more likely to ask another question to help you make your own decisions. A coach is here to support you and provide structure but the answers must be from the client themselves. A lot of the time you know the answers already but haven’t had a chance to think about it! 

Anais worked in a big corporate firm, in a global position, working for across countries and so she was exposed to many people as well as ways of working. She enjoyed working with those personalities, bringing together the solutions to get to the final goal. She also liked having an impact on people’s lives and hence started coaching. 

How to find a coach that’s right for you?

Coaching is like dating, says Anais, so try a couple of different ones to see who works for you. First, ask around and get recommendations. Some like the direct approach and being straight to the point, whilst others need time to embrace the journey and so on. Sometimes you need time understanding what approach works for you. 

Anais helps people with their career, from helping gain confidence after a recent promotion (or to get that promotion you deserve) or to help start their own business because that’s something that they always wanted to do. Career transition is also common, so bridging gaps of knowledge and helping with this tradition is a big part of what Anais does. 

Career Coach Shares Biggest Struggles for Digital Marketers

Digital Marketing is a recent profession so being aligned with what senior manager is looking for can often be difficult, alongside keeping up with so many updates and innovations. Digital marketers know they really enjoy what they’re doing but sometimes the environment isn’t opening all of the doors that they need to, in order to do their jobs properly and also to develop themselves or the business. A coach helps grow their confidence to influence change within the organisation that they’re in. Interacting with industry and keeping up with the lingo are big challenges as it’s such as fast paced environment!

In a climate of redundancies…

In a difficult financial climate, I’ve personally seen a lot of redundancies in 2019. It’s therefore also difficult to find another job and I have a friend who hasn’t been able to find anything else yet so I’ve asked the career coach what her advice would be to my friend. Anais says it depends on everyone but what’s important is identifying what is your motivator. Is it about being knowledgeable and having the right experience/a specialist. So, if it’s what you are passionate about then stick to it as you can try moving horizontally for the time being. Another industry on the other hand can help use your skills differently. Think about your expectations in terms of salary, location and industry but remember that you may need to compromise. 

The first steps you take with a career coach

The coach will ask you questions such as; what is the reason you’re looking for another job? Articulate those reasons clearly even if it’s a redundancy. It’s a critical step because you’re underlying the reasons to make a change. Some people are running away, others are attracted by something but may not know it. This is THE WHY.

Then, what are you looking for? Do you want a role of a manager but don’t mind the industry for example. Sometimes you can come with a couple of different visions and it’s about working through those further. This is THE WHAT. 

Setting Goals at the beginning of every year

I’ve set targets for myself and personal growth every year for more than a decade. “If you don’t look after number one, nobody else will”. I believe in growing yourself and this is even more important this year where people are being made redundant left right and centre, so having your own growth and a backup will mean you’re in a much stronger position than someone who hasn’t thought about that (non-financial) safety ‘net’. Setting goals and hitting them feels amazing but at the same time if you don’t get to that target of yours then don’t feel annoyed, understand why it happened and if it’s even still right for you to try and achieve. 

It’s absolutely fine to fall back as well. If you realise that something isn’t working or isn’t for you then do go back and have a re-think and help yourself get motivated with what you’re currently doing. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side…

As a woman in SEO, about to go on maternity leave…

I can’t change career (and not looking to,) but I do have to put profession on hold but I’m keen to continue to learn. It obviously depends on people, for example Anais’ had a client who created 4/5 months worth of content and scheduled it in so that things don’t stop whilst she’s away. She went the extra mile to ensure a smooth transition. 

Ask yourself, what would you like to go back to when you’re back at work? For me, it was keeping that work-life balance but keeping my profession and knowledge (and hence confidence) strong. 

Contact Anais Poulain for career coaching. Use [email protected]!

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Music credit: I Dunno (Grapes of Wrath Mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/56346 Ft: Jlang, 4nsic, grapes.

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