The powerful impact of a career coaching process starting from who you are and what you really want.

Watch the full and inspiring interview with Olivia

If you prefer reading, here is the transcribed interview

Ziv: Hey, I’m Ziv and this is “On the Journey”. Every week “On the Journey” expose the intersections of wellness, spiritual inquiry, mental health, personal growth, and purposeful living through the eyes of the people we interview.

And today, I’m happy to meet Olivia from Romania, Bucharest, a Career Coach.

Olivia, what is a powerful question a Career Coach would ask?

Olivia: Well, thank you, Ziv, for having me here in your interview and I’m very excited to talk to your listeners and your viewers. This is a powerful question that you asked me to, Ziv, right now.

I’m thinking about it and I can say that when people come to me for their careers, the powerful question that they don’t expect is the one about themselves. A question that can sound very simply like “What is it that you really want?” can actually turn into a whole process that will take them in a long journey. It will start from their own person, and then it will reach out their careers.

Career is that part of the iceberg that we can see, but it will only be reached if we go to the bottom of the iceberg that we don't see. And that is the powerful part. Share on X

Let’s say, the powerful impact of a career coaching process starting from who you are and what you really want.

Ziv: That sounds like a really powerful question for maybe every decision. What do you really want?

I’m not sure I know what I really want or for sure I had no clue 10 years ago maybe couldn’t be better.

So, how do we discover what we really want?

Olivia: Yeah. That would be the next step to narrow it down a little bit and to go into different areas of our life. And this is the place where the coach actually brings in instruments, techniques that will allow the person in front of the coach to go and explore the level of awareness about what they want in personal life, professional life, spirituality, connectiveness, communications.

All these aspects that put in balance will actually give them an idea. And then we start working on that particular aspect of their life where there is the most, let’s say, the bigger gap between what they want and where they are at at the moment. So, of course, we narrow it down.

Ziv: Can you give us a taste or how exactly to like how do I get closer to what I really want? Because for me, it’s such a good question. I’m not sure I know what I really want really mean. 

Olivia: Okay. We will not start with that. That will not be the first question that we ask because then the person will be lost, of course, just as you said you would feel.

So first of all, if we were to work together in the coaching process. I would first of all ask you, okay, this is the first thing that we need, Ziv. Can you please tell me for this session of one hour what exactly you think that I can serve you with? Can you give me a quick answer that comes to your mind, let’s say that we worked together?

Ziv: Actually, now the quickest answer that comes is, wow, if you will help me to get to really understand what would really make me happy? 

It would be amazing.

Olivia: Okay. And let’s say that we get this answer during this session, Ziv. What do you think that you would need to happen in the session so that you know you got the answer?

Ziv: Hmm. I’m not sure. I guess I would discover something new about myself because when I think about it, like if I knew already what would make me happy, what kind of career I need to choose, then I wouldn’t need to discover anything. I guess there are many to discover. Oh, wow, I need to think about this.

Olivia: So, would that be this kind of I will not call it an “Aha” moment. But may be a moment when you get a moment of awareness, something that like a bulb that lives at that moment. So that would be the sign for you during this session. You got a little bit closer to the answer to the question “What makes you happy?”.

Ziv: I think it’s also maybe one of the complicated things for me and I guess for other people is that we constantly get answers to what would make us happy, right?

So I think if we move to this house or even if I was there or if I will marry this woman or if I would work in this job or if I will learn this and sometimes it works and we get happier.

So, things are getting better. But many times the feeling is that we are in like an infinite circle running, trying to catch our own tail.

Olivia: Exactly. So, now I’m going to step out a little bit of the question and answer process that we were actually mimicking, and I just wanted to say that this is one important aspect that I wanted to accomplish in my own life.

We think our mind feeds us an ideas about things, let’s call them things that will make us happy. But at the moment we get them. We see that the feeling of happiness is not there and that we need to restart the journey to search for happiness.

And it seems that there is a feature of our mind that actually gets very used to what we have the moment we have it. It seems that people in Yale University call it hedonic agitation.

Once we have it, it does not take us long to actually get used to it. So the question is, what do you do in this case when you think about a marriage?

Let’s say that you have a car. Well, yes, you can sell it and then at some point get a better one or a nicer one and you will feed the feeling of being happy. Well, what do you do about a marriage?

So in the coaching process, this will be, let’s say, the first part that we deal with, because careers, a better job, a higher salary are also among those elements that we think will make us happy.

And every time we get a job that we wanted, we let’s say immediately, and that might be months or even years, but the quest will start again for another job, for another higher number in money. So we will never arrive at happiness this way. That’s why my approach to career coaching is through personal coaching and through understanding what really makes us happy.

Ziv: It makes so much sense that when we are lying, there’s an alignment between who we really are and what we do. So in this alignment is manifest in the career, then things should work well, even when it doesn’t.

So we go back to this powerful question. So first we need to uncover what we really want, who we really are, and then we can work on getting to the place where we do want.

Olivia: Yes.

Ziv: We are really approaching to the end of this interview and I’m curious. So I would just guess that you do what you really want to do and let’s say that you did like what you had to do.

How did you get to that point? What was it?

Olivia: You put it so nicely. And I can tell you hand of my heart that, yes, I’m doing what I really want to do, I’ve always wanted to do only that I didn’t know it from the very beginning.

I was very fortunate from the start. I always did what I thought I wanted to do at that point in my life. So I remember that I was six years old and I was watching Dallas back in Romania. It was the communist time and that was the only soap opera we were watching.

And I decided that I wanted to speak English as Pamela Ewing. So I went out and I graduated from the English Department of the Bucharest University. I became an English teacher, and that was really what I wanted to do with that place.

At that time in my life, I was very happy with it. And then, my teaching career was also combined with a management career in this school, but then back in 2007 and you know, if you add the numbers two and seven, that nine there is very powerful. Back in 2007, there were some bad things, let’s call them, that happened to me in my professional activity that prompted me to leave the school of my dreams. I called it the school of my dreams at that point and to go out on my own.

I didn’t know anything about business. I thought I wanted to do something on my own, be in the education field, but not in the system. So I started the recruitment and the training company for teachers and kindergarten teachers and all kinds of educators in Romania.

And that was the beginning of being utterly free to try everything that I could try. In 2010, I got in touch with coaching for the first time with my first certification. I love the approach, but I said to myself that I’d never do that.

At that point, I was so sure that what I was doing as a trainer was somehow superior to that, both in, let’s say, terms of impact and in terms of the time that I had to put in. But I said I would never do it.

Now, if I look back to it, I know that the reason I said that was because I was not ready. And because I was on the verge of discovering that deep down I was insecure. And that deep down, I was believing that I was not good enough. Who was I? How good was I? Could just be face to face to a person who really needed someone to guide them to actually have an impact? In front of a group of people in training, it is a lot easier to fill the question.

And that is a lot more difficult. Then 2018, after my training company went down, I let it actually go down. It was as if I needed to let things go down so that I reached my very bottom too. I started a personal development process myself and 2018 was the moment when I went back to coaching as a profession for me.

Ziv: Wow.What a journey? 

Olivia: Yeah. It was absolutely powerful. And I’m so thankful for everything that went the way it went, because now I know that this is where the place where I have to be. It is about people, but it is now I know that I can help a person face to face. I know that I can shut up. I can listen. I can keep them on the hot seat for a little time and then let them out and things like that.

Ziv: Olivia, wonderful. So your journey is really a reflection to what you do because of the way you say, “Okay, we are going on a journey.”, it has to be inside because we have to know what we really want and we have to feel secure with who we are, what we really want. And then this journey goes out into actions and in your case, to choosing the right career where you feel that you do the right thing for you.

Olivia: That’s exactly it.

Ziv: So, Olivia, I want to thank you, tell you how grateful I am that you are suggested this interview, shared with us, your story, your journey, your method. Thank you very much.

Olivia: That was a pleasure for me, and I really hope that together we can reduce the quantity of unhappiness in this world and incite people.

Ziv: Thank you. Amen, hopefully. 

Who are you?

Olivia Podobea was born in Bucharest, Romania; English teacher by formal studies; former manager of three most important private schools in Bucharest; then started her own private company in 2007 as the first educational staff recruitment agency in the country; extended the company activities to corporate staff recruitment and corporate coaching, training and teambuilding. 

– TUV Thuringen Certified trainer,

– Certified Executive  Coach by Academy of Executive Coaching UK

– Certified Career Coach 

– Belbin Team Roles Accredited Consultant 

– Guest speaker in national and international conferences

– Featured trainer and speaker on various online platforms  – Upriserz, Business Days etc

– Founder of two Toastmasters Public Speaking Clubs in Romania 

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    a. employees if/when they:
    • suddenly lose their jobs and their line of work is no longer needed on the market;
    • feel they no longer want to do the work they have been doing because they have always wanted to do something else but lacked courage;
    • have any other reason for changing their jobs, but do not know where to start;
    • need to optimize their CV and their presence on the labour market.

  • b. entrepreneurs in:
    • selecting the best employees for their business
    • developing their teams
  • For the last 13 years I have ???????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????? how to develop their soft skills that always make the difference between two very good professionals:
  • My ???????????????????????????????????? ???????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????? has helped hundreds of people to better understand each other as individuals, but also as members of the same team by fun and also “Aha” interactive activities.


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