Executive & Career Coach Sharon Teitelbaum has been a coach since before many understood what the profession was.
“When I first started out, when I told people I was a professional coach they’d ask me what sport,” explains Teitelbaum. At the beginning of her coaching career, her role was coaching as much as it was education around coaching, “My previous experience included very little sales and marketing, and I had a very steep learning curve learning to market coaching and myself as a coach.“
Teitelbaum has been a professional coach since 1995, became a Professional Certified Coach in 1999, and has been a credentialed Master Certified Coach, awarded by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), since 2006.
Since her start in executive coaching, the profession has grown tremendously. However, many of the issues she addresses with her clients haven’t changed.
“One dynamic I see frequently are women who are moving into new roles or responsibilities. They are in major learning and growth mode – but they expect themselves to already know everything they need to know, when in fact, it’s new to them. They can’t possibly have the kind of deep knowledge now that they will have after doing this role for a few years,” Teitelbaum says.
Teitelbaum notes that women are often over thinking the wrong things at work, like spending emotional energy on an inconsequential office interaction, instead of focusing on themselves and their personal growth. Often, clients don’t realize it’s an internalized pressure holding them back.
As a coach, Teitelbaum works with clients as a sounding board, a safe space to unpack encounters and decide on next steps. “They often need help in seeing the situation from other perspectives, and hearing alternative options to the one or two they have come up with.”
It’s from her specialty - women in the workplace - that Teitelbaum has had her own share of experiences before diving into coaching. Her background includes positions in project management, software & computer systems, training, and facilitation. No stranger to industry hopping and career changing, Teitelbaum brings her own experiences to client relationships.
The diverse path has helped Teitelbaum understand the pressure her clients feel in the workplace: “All of this experience made it relatively easy for me to understand what my clients were going through, no matter their field or setting,” Teitelbaum says. “Also, having been a working mom and being married for a long time, I also understood the family demands in my clients’ lives.”
Teitelbaum sympathizes with her clients when it comes to work-life balance. In her own career, it took a long time for her to realize how out of balance she was between the two parts of her life. Success in your career is more tied to maintaining a healthy balance than burning yourself out in the office, Teitelbaum explains.
However, make no mistake, creating a work life balance involves, you guessed it, work. Teitelbaum emphasizes that her clients must be ready to take action and focus on forward momentum. As Teitelbaum says on her site, “ I am biased in favor of your taking action. [...] I want you to come out of every one of our coaching meetings with a clear set of next steps that you will take between then and the time of our next meeting. It is through action that change happens.”