Avanade Voices: What it looks like to be my full, authentic self as a life coach
- Posted on September 22, 2021
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Austin Walker.
“Avanade Voices” is our series in which we sit down with people from Avanade’s various Employee Networks. The series serves as a platform to amplify different perspectives about meaningful societal and cultural issues, from racism to education to mental health. As a global company, there are so many different backgrounds at Avanade, and we have an opportunity to learn from each other by bringing our different viewpoints and passions to the table in dialogue.
This entry in Avanade Voices is authored by Austin Walker, Group Manager in the Sales Talent Community.
During my time at Avanade, I’ve been impressed and inspired by the organization’s culture, especially when it comes to well-being outlets. Avanade has committed to establishing a community where well-being resources are encouraged as a norm — for both personal and professional growth — and it has elevated my work-life experience. It has nurtured an environment where I feel empowered to share a passion from my life, a well-being outlet that has had a transformational impact on my journey: life coaching.
Outside of Avanade, I am a life coach. I partner with people to empower ownership and intention in pursuit of their highest purpose.
Over the past 18 months, I have seen an increased demand for well-being outlets, particularly amongst people of color. Earlier this summer, I shared coaching with members of INSPIRE, our Black Employee Network, offering education and complimentary coaching sessions to the group. The response was profound. The experience of serving underrepresented communities by illuminating the impact of well-being tools fueled my desire to share coaching with the broader Avanade community.
Let’s start simple. What is life coaching?
Most folks generally recognize the usefulness of coaching, but are not necessarily clear on how it may support their individual journey. One of my priorities in the advocacy of coaching is educating and providing context for people on what it is.
Coaching is a partnership designed to move people closer to their stated goals through forward-focused questioning. It is grounded in the experiences a client is committed to achieving — if there is no commitment or goal, coaching doesn’t exist.
Those goals are often professional. They revolve around questions such as: How do I get my next promotion? Who do I need to be in order to secure the role I desire? What are my automatic responses that both support and sabotage my efforts? But coaching is not relegated to professional oriented topics. The same concepts can be applied to many areas of our lived experiences. It could be romantic — asking “how do I find my life partner or show up more fully in my relationship?” — but it could be any aspect of life.
Coaching can be used to explore how you relate to friendships, faith, nutrition, adventure, or even life purpose. If there is a desired state you’re trying to achieve, coaching works to close the gap between your current situation and desired reality by looking at both and inviting you to explore past the edge of your comfort zone.
A few years ago, I noticed a misalignment in my life. It was odd considering I was in the midst of a thriving career in technology sales, lived in my dream location — New York City — and had achieved many of the experiences I had spent years working toward. Yet two things were missing: fulfillment and purpose. It’s an isolating feeling when you notice misalignment that goes against all of the things that “should” make you happy.
I began a search outside the scope of my profession to determine the fulfillment, full expression, and purpose that I desired. It was at this period of my life that I found my life coach. Working with her helped me understand what I really wanted in my life. There were so many things — lived experience, cultural norms, learned behaviors — that acted as blockers to what I wanted and how I wanted to experience life. But with her help, I began to stop seeing myself as wrong or needed fixing through searching for purpose and instead, someone that was whole while on my purpose journey. And I realized I wanted to create for others the same impact my coach had with me. I wanted to help people take ownership of their lives and be the best versions of themselves they could.
My initial exposure to coaching led me to enroll in an accredited coaches training program, become a ICF certified life coach and launch my own practice designed to support others in purposeful living. As I continue to grow and integrate coaching into my life at Avanade, I’m becoming aware of the power of sharing my passion for coaching with others. Bringing my passions into Avanade helps me be the most expressed and authentic version of myself.
Coaching has allowed me to look at my life from a different perspective — to see that what I thought was my end-goal is not the same as what it actually was. It changed my life, and now I want to share that with the people I work with.
What happens when you operate from a position of possibility rather than probability? What’s possible when you distinguish for yourself what you want to create with your time versus the default of “what you’re supposed to be doing”? Coaching is a resource that will make a profound impact in who you decide to be in all areas of your life.
For any readers who would like to understand how coaching can be a sourcing well-being structure in your life, I would be honored to partner with you in the exploration. I am offering complimentary sessions to anyone who is ready to get curious around coaching. My commitment is to support empowered living while ensuring every voice is accounted for – thank you.