Meet Jamee Tenzer, Executive and Life Coach, owner of CMQ Coaching, wife and mom of two. She shares with you how to start a coaching career and the one thing you need to overcome any fears you may have. Jamee’s secret to balancing work and family? The “Big Rock Analogy”. Funny, poignant and ever so applicable, this interview will help you step on the path to become an Executive or Life Coach!
Coaching is a great career to start at any time AND it’s a career you can begin while you are still working at another job. – Jamee Tenzer
What led you to choose coaching as a career? – I was in a job where I had the chance to coach and mentor employees and felt that I would enjoy coaching full time – and I do! Even as a kid, I was often nominated to mediate peer conflicts or have those “difficult” conversations with teachers or parents. Not always fun, but it taught me at an early age that effective communication could make a huge difference.
How old were you when you started coaching? Can I start a coaching career if I am older? – This was my second career and I was 39 when I started. Coaching is a great career to start at any time AND it’s a career you can begin while you are still working at another job.
Tell me about a typical work day for you? What do you love about your job? – A typical work day would include a coaching session on the phone with a client and then I might facilitate one of the classes I teach to coaches for continuing education. I might also have a meeting in the field with an executive client or with an organization that has hired me as a consultant.
What education or training requirements are there for your job? – I think it is important to attend an ICF Accredited Coach training program. There are many programs available – both in person and virtual. After that, I am a big believer in continuing education to keep skills sharp and to stay in touch with colleagues. You can also find out more information about requirements at The International Coaching Academy.
I guess I’m a bit of a communication geek – because I am fascinated by how a well placed word, compliment or phrase can make a difference. – Jamee Tenzer
What fears/barriers did you experience to gain entry into coaching? – I was nervous about being able to get clients. I also faced quite a bit of anxiety when I first started teaching.
How did you overcome those fears/barriers? – My strategy was to be a little over prepared for every eventuality. This helped me feel confident in these new situations.
If you could go back and change anything on your path, what would it be? – I would have charged a bit more at the beginning and I would have invested a bit more in my business. I was trying to be as frugal as possible and so it took a very long time to ramp up.
What tips do you recommend for work/family balance with your job? How do you make it work? – I love the “big rocks” analogy. You have a large jar. The big rocks are the things that are most important to you. It might be time with the kids, or exercise for yourself. Put those “big rocks” in your schedule first and make your appointments with yourself just as important as the appointments you have with other people. Then you can put in the little rocks which can easily fit in the spaces between the big rocks. The little rocks would be items on your to do list that are less important but still necessary in your life like dentist appointment, empty the dishwasher, give the dog a bath, etc. If you fill your life with little rocks there is no room for the big ones.
Advice/encouragement to a woman who may want to try this career? – If you have been a good listener all your life or you find that people gravitate to you and start telling you their stories (and you like that!) you would probably make a great coach.
If you would like to pursue a coaching career, the following organization web pages are packed full of information to help you on your journey. The International Coaching Federation and The International Coaching Academy and The Center for Credentialing & Education. But most of all, remember Yes You Can Become a Coach!. Now get out there!!!
Woman to Woman Questions:
What’s your favorite movie? – Midnight Run
What’s your secret mom/woman behavior? – I keep my children’ blankies in one of my drawers and every once in awhile take them out to be reminded of sweet memories.
Hat or ponytail on a bad hair day? – Ponytail!
What would you tell your 20 year old self if you could go back? – Do more of the fun stuff and don’t worry about what people will think.
What is your favorite food indulgence? – Buttery mashed potatoes
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would that be and what would you ask them? – Dalai Lama. How do I maintain a light and fun perspective at all times?
What quality of a woman do you most admire? – Comfort in her body
What one thing would you change about women if you could? – Discomfort with their bodies
What is a book you would recommend to any woman to read once in her life? – Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie
Still a little unsure about which career choice may be for you, check out our career page for more options!