The Pivotal Shifts in Transformative Career Change – A Client Story

By Jill Rehman, Career Coach, Toombs Inc.


A sudden, unexpected job loss can rock one’s confidence and make even the most multi-talented professional question themselves. This is the story of a client that went from undervaluing her professional assets to fielding multiple offers for high-quality positions.

Christine*, a professional accountant with 15 years of experience, started her career transition with Toombs feeling shaken and unhopeful about the prospect of finding a new role that was as good as her last – a role with a company she had loved and was bewildered to have lost.


Pivotal Shift #1 – Activating Career Transition Supports

In our initial career coaching session, when we discussed possible future career options, Christine mentioned applying for roles that were junior to her last position because she felt uncertainty as to whether she had the skills or experience to apply for more senior roles, even though her work history clearly demonstrated otherwise. Christine had led small projects and teams before but had not held an official managerial title.

Extensive work experience without the title left Christine uncertain about her true qualifications, a common occurrence.

As a career coach, I know it can take time to solidify self-belief and chosen professional direction so I planned to revisit this theme throughout the career transition process.


Pivotal Shift #2 – Reconnect to Professional Accomplishments

A powerful part of the career transition process for Christine was working on her resume. Generally, when building a resume, people write about their responsibilities, stating them in general terms. I worked with Christine to highlight her accomplishments. Her accomplishments shone a light on the impactful difference Christine made in her past roles, underscored the scope and depth of her skills, and demonstrated many examples of her ability to proactively improve the projects and processes she was involved with. While Christine had experience in a number of different areas of accounting, in her recent roles she worked on projects and played a key role in proactively finding effective and efficient solutions, her specialty was diving in deep to understand the issues.

Building a resume through highlighting accomplishments has the most excellent side-effect – it (re)builds confidence and connection to one’s professional value.

After several rounds of resume edits and improvements, Christine felt solidly connected to extensive proof-points for the types of roles she hoped to find. A much-improved state of mind from when our coaching work first began.


Pivotal Shift #3 – Career Path Clarity & Targeted Applications

When we returned to talking about job possibilities, Christine shared the roles she really wanted versus the ones she would be less excited about. They were manager roles, ones that she previously did not think she had any chance of getting because of the gap between her experience and the role titles on her resume. After connecting to all her accomplishments, Christine knew she should apply for the next level of jobs. Ideally, she wanted to lead a project and was proud of her ability to see how the pieces all fit together and felt mentoring a team would be fulfilling.

Christine found a job posting for her ‘dream job’ and when we looked at the roles and responsibilities, it was clear that she had the experience and skills it required.

This was an important point for Christine, seeing the positive impact she made at work written down.

It is an important step to target each resume and cover letter to each job posting, as needed, and this is what Christine did. She ensured that she had an accomplishment in her resume that showcased every skill that the job posting required. We reviewed the key words in the posting and tailored her resume to include these.

After refining and expanding her resume for this opportunity, Christine could clearly see how much value she added and now targeted similar manager roles in her next applications.


Pivotal Shift #4 – Grounded Confidence During Interviewing

Three weeks later came the call for an interview for the ‘dream job’. We practiced interview questions and with her accomplishments so recently reviewed, Christine spoke confidently during the interview and gave examples that emphasized her abilities.

Instead of feeling nervous and uncertain, she felt confident in the interview and in the follow up interview.

Upon reflection, Christine said that a month earlier she never would have thought a job she considered a step up would have been possible.


Pivotal Shift #5 – Holding Out for What You Deserve

In the end, Christine decided that this particular job was not the ideal role she had initially thought it was as some of her key values and work culture parameters were in question after the final interview.

Due to her renewed confidence, Christine knew she did not need to accept an offer she wasn’t 100% excited about so she kept searching, networking and applying.

After a short period of time and several job offers, she chose an ideal leadership role which met all her needs and had a hefty dose of growth potential built in.



In my role as a career coach, I am privileged to work with people at this difficult point in their lives. I love the point when clients are connected with the right information and resources, and their confidence grows, making barriers seem less intimidating and making the path forward smoother.

To find out more about Toombs Career Transition programs, reach out to us here.  


*Name changed for privacy reasons

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