Steve is the Creator of The Implicit Career Search and Founding Partner at The Aha Moment Academy.
Fascinated by the question...
Not fully satisfied with the traditional approaches...
After a 7-year period of research and development
Since then ICS...
Having been fascinated since childhood by the question of “How am I going to decide what to do for work?” I eventually found myself delivering career planning workshops to unemployed clients in British Columbia. In 1987 this consisted of some basic assessments (MBTI, Strong Vocational Assessment, Holland Codes) combined with a lot of attempts at motivation (Becoming Assertive, Dealing with Stress, etc.) and some basic job search help (Resume and Cover Letter Writing, Interview Techniques, etc.). These workshops were enthusiastically received by most participants and many of them went on to find work shortly after, mostly due to this boost of enthusiasm accompanied by an increase in self-esteem. The work often did not last long however, and I would find ex-clients back in my classroom, looking for another boost. This did not seem like a sustainable model to me. Eventually I realized that even the people we did help, were attaining jobs that would have been filled by someone whether we were delivering this program or not. This became a serious challenge to me, and I decided to solve it.
Research Phase 1
Thus began a four-year odyssey of travelling all over North America and Europe taking any course and studying any approach that I thought may give me a clue to helping people decide what they wanted their careers to be and how they would accomplish that. I participated in workshops ranging from Shamanism in Arizona to Business Leadership at Berkely, CA. After being introduced to Joseph Campbell and his Hero’s Journey motif, I decided to use that as the background for my work. This solved my problem of providing unemployed people with career programs for jobs that would get filled anyway. Encouraging people to heroically contribute to making our world a better place is a worthwhile investment of taxpayer’s money I thought, and still do.
While taking courses and having experiences during the day I was reading fanatically at night. I read all of Campbell’s and Carl Jung’s published material, explored the Perennial Philosophy as described by Houston Smith. I covered all of Peter Drucker and Alan Watts, and looked into Nietzsche, Emerson and Freud. While driving I would listen to tapes of Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra and others. As I came across each new concept, I made a note to include that somewhere in the modules of my workshop.
A critical point of this journey occurred while I was participating in what turned out to be a, for me, life-changing program (Practitioner of Organizational Behaviour) through University Associates in San Diego. The curriculum involved three ten-day stints in San Diego where we were introduced to many of the leading lights of the time from the business and human potential worlds. It was during this course that I met the brilliant American psychologist, Dr. Will Schutz (Joy, Profound Simplicity, The Human Element, FIRO Theory, etc.). Will became enamoured with my quest and offered to help me with it.
Thus began another four-year journey – to develop what would become The Implicit Career Search.
Research Phase 2
In 1990 I was living in Salmon Arm, BC and contracting to both the Federal and Provincial governments to provide services to the unemployed in that area. Due to the employment contract field being new at the time and Salmon Arm being isolated from the main centres, I was given free rein to experiment with different approaches.
I also had the security of a contract, that ran for four years, with the federal government, that provided me with 16 participants a month to experiment with. Will and I devised a process where we would design a ten-day workshop that would provide participants with an internal and external ‘heroic journey’, I would deliver the workshop and then we would discuss the outcomes of each exercise and either keep, revise, or replace them for the next workshop. Will taught me six different methods to apply in workshops: lecturettes, written assessments, guided imagery, movement, group feedback and non-verbal exercises. Delivering guided imagery in Salmon Arm in 1990 produced some interesting reactions!
Our 3 goals were to:
1. Discover what the main motivation would be to get people enthusiastic, and re-energised for looking for work.
2. Develop an approach that would make their job search practical and sustainable.
3. Have the approach be a worthwhile investment of taxpayer funding.
As an aside - an entertaining book could be written based on the stories that came out of those workshops.
For the first year or so we applied Will’s FIRO Theory to help participants understand where they were getting stuck in their Behaviours, Feelings, and Self-Concept as the Inner Journey of the first 5 days. The Outer Journey was an amalgamation of Richard Bolle’s ‘What Colour is Your Parachute?”, Steven Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ (I had become a certified 7 Habits practitioner) and the usual resume writing, job search and interview techniques.
The participants in the first 18 classes became quite motivated. It seemed to me, however, that they were getting an increase in self-esteem but not a focus on a career path. Then one discussion with one client changed everything. Dennis was the ultimate disruptive client, rolling eyes, insulting other participants, constantly interrupting me. After about fifteen minutes of this I called a break and took Dennis into my office to ask what was going on. He forcefully explained how he did not have time for navel gazing as he had no idea how he was going to feed his kids that night, pay the rent at the end of the month and so on. Internally I agreed that this was not the best time for him to participate in this workshop and I thought I was going to say that. I am still shocked at the words that actually came out of my mouth that day, “Fair enough, but when you take care of all that what are you going to contribute to the world.” When he lifted his hand I thought it was to hit me and I began to duck. I then realized he was wiping tears away and he said, “If you can help me figure that out I will figure the rest out myself.” He went on to be the star client of the group and, using his plan from that week, developed his own business running a worm farm in Enderby, BC.
That interaction helped me realize my own work purpose: To develop methods and techniques that will encourage individuals to pursue their implicit careers.
I named the program ‘implicit’ because my experience during the four years of research had convinced that our work purpose is ‘available but not apparent’, we cannot be told what it is, we need to decide that for ourselves.
The Implicit Career Search has since taken on many forms: public workshops, coaching, business programs, online versions and now, a live online version. Through this it has maintained six core modules. Each module is based and supported by theory by academics and scholars, most of whom I have worked directly with in developing the module.
This table is intended to give you a sense of the academic background to each module.
Consulted Directly With
Taking Charge (Decision Making) – discovering areas where I have more control than I previously thought.
Dr. Will Schutz
Getting Unstuck (Personal Development) – identifying labels, defensive behaviours, limiting beliefs and ‘shoulds’ that I have, usually unconsciously, taken on and using tools to lessen their influence on my decision making.
Dr. Will Schutz
Personal Mission Statement (Personal Definition) – defining the person I intend to be and putting that into practice.
Dr. Stephen Covey
Work Purpose Statement (Career Definition) – declaring the contribution I will eventually make through my work.
Influenced by: Bridges, Drucker, Boldt, others
Career Development Spectrum (Career Development) – developing the career through the five stages of craftsperson-manager-leader-expert-creator
Strategic Career Planning (Career Planning) – identifying vision stages, implementation steps and contingency plans
Jack Stephens, University Associates (Applied Strategic Planning)
I am happy to report that The Implicit Career Search is now delivered in Canada, USA, UK, France, Mexico, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, and Holland in one of its various formats:
5 day workshop; One-one Coaching (live and online); Online programs (The Aha Moment and
Career Hero) and a 5 day live, online version (Working On Purpose).
The Emergent Leaders Program is a
combination of Will’s Human Element workshop (designed for organizations) and
The Implicit Career Search. It encourages businesses to provide their employees
with implicit career planning to help them decide, based on their work purpose,
whether to stay with that business or to develop a plan to move on from it.
This approach has resulted in some, to me, incredible results in improving
staff engagement and retention.
To this point availability to ICS has been limited to those who have been able to participate in group sessions but now, thanks to the inspired genius of my business partner, Silviu Cojocaru, the program is available to all online through The Aha Moment!
Steve in the media:
Silviu is the co-founder and CEO of the Aha! Moment Academy.
After a successful start in his career…
By 23 he...
At 25 he collaborated with Steve Miller:
By 29 Silviu:
Silviu's Full Story
- was working in 3 part-time jobs, participating in 2 volunteering schemes while studying (graduated with 1st in Business Management) - which won him the Student-Employee-of-The-Year-in-the-UK Award
- consulted for one of the largest financial institutions in the world where his consulting impacted 90,000 people
- earning as much as his 40-year-old colleagues, always holding more than 1 job
By 23 he:
- changed industries and roles 3 times, each time without having all the experience needed on the Job Description
- built expertise around landing had-to-get jobs without having 100% of the formal experience
- started Millennial Hero - initially a side project that turned into a business helping millennials land hard-to-get jobs – with a success rate close to 100%
After seeing how clients achieved success but were still dissatisfied after their new job honeymoon was over, he recognised that landing the job is just half of the equation. The other half is: knowing what roles and careers to go for, knowing how to plan and manage one’s career effectively.
At 25 he collaborated with Steve Miller, the creator of the Implicit Career Search Method and a pioneer in the career planning industry with 3 decades of experience, and co-founded The Aha! Moment Academy - an organisation that helps working adults plan their careers that are successful but also fulfilling and satisfying beyond the new job-honeymoon phase.
By 29 Silviu:
- spent more than 1,000+ hours coaching, training and facilitating hundreds of professionals, leaders, managers, executives and government agencies.
- Certified as Integra Protocol Practitioner
- Created The FORMAL Method©
- wrote hundreds of articles and appeared on various podcasts:
- Heart and Hard Work Podcast: We Continue to Overlook These Keys to Successfully Change Your Career and Life - Silviu Cojocaru, CEO of The Aha! Moment Academy
- Voice of America - “Out of the Comfort Zone Show”
Silviu’s Work Purpose is: To accelerate the evolution of people's intentions: from working to survive/meet own goals to working with the intention of serving others, through small groups and 1-1 facilitation.
We made an already successful career planning program fail-proof
In 2017 they met and...
Through this collaboration
In this collaboration...
Here’s what clients had to say about the collaboration:
The Implicit Career Search Method
The Journey to Essence
The Journey to an Efficient Career Plan
The Journey to a Successful Implementation
More About The Implicit Career Search
- Each of us has something unique to contribute to our society
- Each of us has an innate desire to deliver this contribution
- Is implicit—available but perhaps not apparent—to each individual. It is our primary source of motivation and can most effectively be located or 'remembered' by removing much of the false beliefs, inaccurate labels and defensive behaviours we have accumulated (Modules 1 and 2)
- This Work Purpose (WP) will form the foundation of a successful career
- Can effectively be planned out and described fully in six identifiable stages (see map below)
- Each stage can be explored at different levels of depth, from superficial to profound. All levels are useful for exploration.
Participants are not told what job to pursue; they are provided with tools to help them discover, define and develop their career path.
Research on the ICS Method
Stepping Stones Survey
96 clients over a one year period reported:
- 100% rated the program a minimum of ‘worthwhile”
- 66% found work as a direct result of their plan
- 83% were still using the planning process to guide their job development and search
- 100% indicated they would be recommending the program to others
- Key repeated words/phrases: ‘Clarifies’ ‘Honors’ ‘Provides a framework’ ‘Empowering’ ‘Healing’ “Re-evaluates’ ‘Provides incentive to change’.
Susan Petrina, a facilitator from the North Shore Compass Agency introduced the ICS approach in the company and they immediately saw this philosophy as one that would appeal to their ‘high potentials’ and incorporated it into their training program.
Three years later they released these results:
|Trainers becoming managers||50%||85%|
|Managers remaining with Max||20%||70%|
|Average training time||2 years||1 year|
Career Beliefs Survey
Career Beliefs Survey summary:
Greater independence, stronger belief in planning, less reliance on others.
Clearer Self-Concept, increased confidence, increased optimism.
30% increase in Self-Determination
Less belief in luck, increased confidence in decision making ability, clearer understanding of barriers.
Increased flexibility in personal life, clearer understanding of today’s job market and the role of education in it.
18% increase in Self-Awareness
Clearer understanding of self and how it is seen by others. Greater acceptance of strengths, weaknesses and a stronger belief in ability to change them.
United Kingdom Study
UK Study summary:
|Increased likelihood of sustaining employment||7.5%||15%|
|Increase in self-esteem||7.5%||15%|
ICS participants were evaluated daily as to their impression of the program.
ICS in Prison
The success of this pilot resulted in ICS being delivered through John Howard Agency.
ICS in prison summary:
‘This course helped me identify my essence and gave me the guidance and tools to become a more respectful, focused, confident and aware person.’
‘The course was awesome and the facilitators were great.’
‘I really feel this program will change my life, in a better way and I feel wonderful.”“..it revealed a lot about myself that I did not know.’
‘It was very inspirational... instructors were very professional... I give it 10/10.’
‘Taught me how to make better choices.’
Overall these were the type of comments we received from all participants. There were a lot of comments about finding essence and motivation. Next were the references to improved planning skills and overall were the comments about thoroughly enjoying the course.”
– Fred Stratton, Acting Deputy Warden
Brentwood Bay Resort (Staff Retention and Engagement)
After much research she settled on The Human Element (Schutz) and, after being introduced to The Implicit Career Search, worked with Miller to develop The Emergent Leader Program that combines the two into The Emergent Leader Program (TELP).
TELP results summary:
|Brentwood Bay Resort||Pre-TELP||Post-TELP|
|Staff Turnover (industry average 66%)||52%||7%|
Cambie Results summary:
|Results 4 months after the program||Standard Job Services||ICS|
|Total employed or doing productive work||31%||78%|
|Off income assistance due to employment||4%||13%|
Everyone needs a clear, purposeful and strategic plan for their career.
The profile of our clients isn’t based on their:
● employment status
● current or future career aspirations
You're not expected to change careers, stay in the same career or start your own business. You create a plan that will offer your the growth, security and success you desire.
As a result of going through the ICS process participants have:
● stayed in the same careers
● changed career
● have started their own businesses
All participants created reasonable, practical and realistic plans to contribute to this world with the skills they had or wanted to build.
To gain the most out of this process, we encourage participants to go through the process when the time is right:
● if you need a job tomorrow or can't pay your bills...
● if have recently gone through a traumatic event...
● if you can't prioritise the process (on average participants require 2-4 hrs/week)...
...then during the enrollment call we may recommend postponing the start of the process until you gain some more emotional and financial stability.
Having said that, many of our clients work in parallel with a therapist, or change jobs, houses, countries, or get married – while going through the process.
Download The Aha! Moment Academy Program Map
I told you at the beginning, I was very confused. I had all these voices in my head telling me, ‘You can't do that. You will fail. It will never work.’
Now, I have none of these voices anymore in my head. And it's very clear what I want to do.
And I even talk to a lot of people now. I'm all out there talking to people and speaking about this.
And of course, I think 80% of the people tell me, ‘there's already so many coaches out there’.
But I don't care. They can tell me whatever they want but that's what I want to do.
During the program, the first part for me was more as a surprise and especially all the visualization exercises. Because people expect to go into 'these are my competencies' and try to identify a dream job based on the skills they already have.
I can't say the visualisation exercises were challenging because I like that. I like that type of exploration. But they were more of a surprise in that type of program.
For me, what I learned in the program was clarity and determination.
I needed to understand somehow where my career took the wrong turn. And why?
Because if I didn't, if I hadn't understood this, I would've run a big risk of going back and do the same mistake again.
Cause you know, when you have a big job, a big salary, I'm the bread-maker for my family. If I don't earn a good living, then it puts us under pressure.
There was a huge risk for me but...
The fact that we went through all this thinking process and I had this moment where I understood that THAT direction was wrong because it was not aligned with my values and with the life I wanted to live in the future with what I want.
To anyone who wants to join the program, I'd say go for it. But you need to be determined and motivated to change something in your professional life.
You need to have enough time to go through the modules. You need to have this willingness to go dig quite deep and go into areas where things that are not so nice. So be brave. For me, it was key to my transition."
"When we were having our conversations back in October, I was totally lost in my burnout. I always felt like I'm stupid. I'm like a five years old and I was telling myself 'what the heck'?
And now I think I'm doing really good. I’m really busy, but
it's my dream job. I've never been happier in my life. It's a perfect thing for
me. It's all everything I wanted to do.
I get paid well which is important for me, to feel that I'm not being taken advantage of whatever. It was good. I've never gotten so much money. It was almost double what I was making at G**** and it’s a good market price.
The team is great. They're very nice people. Hardworking but they're also very supportive and collaborative. It's a team effort, has a very safe culture, gives feedback and people listen. They don't become defensive we are all like contributing.
I feel like I fit in and I can contribute and it's totally aligned with what I wanted to do and where I want to go. I'm afraid but I'm really, really happy.
What I’ve learned in the program is, the magic is there inside of us. We just have to bring it out and believe in it. You just have to trust that, going after your passion makes sense in the adult world.
Now I can see the whole steps. I can see my steps, my career plan because I am on the right path.
Silviu and Steve help me on that path."
But after just three years, I knew that I wouldn't stay that much in this domain and I knew that I wanted to become sales because I was attracted by sales in the consulting. And I felt that I would like to do the job that my business manager was doing. Let's say building teams of consulting.
I did the change from consultant to sales and also business management in the consulting domain. I enjoyed it very much. I became director in the consulting domain. And my next step that I was thinking I had to do was to open my company because I would say that was the next step.
And going to Silviu was the last brick to continue my career.
Being able to follow your coaching and being able to connect and to understand really who you are made the whole difference. You could go, I would say, to people who have very good connections, in a multinational company who will drop your CV to a good table. This is not the same.
Now that I'm purpose driven that I know that my calling is to be a pioneer, I'm much more peaceful. I know what I'm doing and I know why I'm here. And it gives me confidence.
Now I'm at Salesforce. Salesforce is an amazing company, a huge growth, unique product management.
It's an upgrade in every domain, in the salary, in the mission, in the client in the portfolio, in the team. This is an upgrade everywhere and I can say I'm blessed. I can say this. It was not easy but it's awesome.
And for me, now I know also my strength because we made this matrix of competencies.
You taught me that that's wrong. I had to hear my emotions in order to be able to be empathic to people. And the emotion has something to say.
And it's another Aha! moment that I brought home.
I would recommend this to anybody. For the tools that you provide and for all of those things that I was telling you before.”
"Before the program, I just had a normal life as anybody else would think. You have a job. You go to your job. You earn your money. You pay your bills and then you have your holidays and days off for what you actually want to do and enjoy. So that's what I had.
I was working in customer service in hospitality and I was happy but not necessarily with the companies that I worked for. I was happy because of the people that I worked with.
I was never really into any company's vision or any company's long-term views. And I never really thought about purpose driven workplace or my contribution.
I was just going with the flow basically and not necessarily super happy but was just okay with it because everybody does this so I'll just do the same.
My original purpose was to help big cats to increase their numbers in the wild by improving their habitat. So that's still I would say the ultimate goal.
Obviously, the plan would change and I'm okay with it because I still rediscover new topics and new ways of doing my purpose and to contributing.
I know that this will be probably very challenging and difficult to do again, but it just shows how many different ways you can actually approach it.
Joining the course, the biggest Aha! moment for me was not on only during the program, but also after the program that I'm realizing even now is that it actually changes you as a person, your mindset.
Even though it's a career transitioning program, it's not just about career but it is about YOU and getting to know yourself and accepting yourself.
I think that's the biggest Aha! moment for me because I never would've thought that getting into a problem for career change, I would actually rediscover myself and even get emotional in some of the exercises.
Now, I started as a senior administrator and I have an administrative assistant as well. I just manage her and I report straight to the director of the department."
"I used to look at the problem as a logistical issue. It's
more about, I'm going to go back to London, and I need to find a job. And
what's the best way to apply for jobs, and how should I think about things like
travel, and should I just stay in my current lane?
The moment I decided to apply for the program, I definitely took into consideration the amount of experience which was being offered by Silviu and Steve. So I did a little bit of research about them.
I think that was the most important factor at the time I needed to decide before the deadline ran out.
Having someone like Steve with decades of experience, I know that he knows what he's talking about.
It was really good to have someone like Steve and Silviu on The Aha! Moment academy because this process has to be done using methods which are tried and tested.
I've had experiences with similar services previously, and I never got that feeling that the coaches were actually interested in my success.
When I began doing The Aha! Moment program, there were so many challenges while doing the exercises throughout the program. But at each of those moments, you have people on board who have seen it all.
Talking to Silviu, I really got the impression that you were there for your clients and you were really passionate about it.
What The Aha! Moment did for me was an understanding of how important it is to connect with your essence.
Number two was actually having a method, which I thought was tried and tested.
And since our last session, I've actually already landed one interview and that's just from one attempt I've made. That's quite a good breakthrough and it's in a role which I didn't think I'd get an interview for.
Anyone who is on the fence of joining this program, I would tell you of the importance of having people who have been through the process.
Steve and Silviu has so much experience applying and refining their method and have mastered the process and bring that depth of experience into coaching you and helping you.
They've set it up for me and I can't express how grateful I am. They have definitely over-delivered.
This is stuff was missing in my previous experience with coaching. All of this stuff which I paid the previous person for - The Aha! Moment Academy delivered 10 times more value."
I worked for the same company for 21 years. That's quite a long time to be working for one company, but I just thought, there's something else that I want to do.
I wasn't sure whether I wanted to get out of law, because I'm a lawyer. Whether that was the right thing to do because you've done the law degree. You've done your professional qualification. Should you just leave it all behind?
So, there was that.
Because obviously we're in the middle of a pandemic. People were being furloughed at other companies, and people were losing their jobs, and there's more people out there looking for jobs. And I just thought, 'No, I'm just going to go with it.'
So, that's what I did.
You're in a comfortable route as it were. And it's easier to stay in that comfortable track, going down your little roots, rather than turning off the road somewhere, and just doing something completely different.
But speaking to Silviu and Steve, they were completely different to anything else. And I thought, no, this is going to work. Because it made sense when you were talking to me, and I thought, 'No, this makes sense.'
And it did make sense. It's the way someone puts it across to you. Somebody could tell me all this, and the other but you guys made it simple.
It is simple when you get down to it. But other than that, it's a real uphill struggle when you're trying to decide what you want to do. And you might say to people, 'What do they know? Or, What does he know?'.
During the program, I feel so liberated because Silviu and Steve told me, 'Okay, it's not difficult. This is what you have to do.' And I did all the coursework.
I think there's something missing somewhere, but no, this is it.
And I find it so eye-opening, if you like, to be able to say, 'Well yeah, I can do something else.' And so I just acted upon it.
The entire journey was awesome. Really awesome.
I'm one of the people that sit on the fence. I'm so skeptical, cause I'm a lawyer and I have to question things. But no, just go with it. Just trust your instinct and go with it.”
I was working really long hours, holding the teams through crisis, I was already thinking about changing the job but...
'What do I really want in life rather than just what's my next promotion or next job?'
I started to feel a little bit tired with where I was and kinda thinking 'Do I really want to continue doing this?'
I started to feel like – 'I want to enjoy my life, I don't want to just work.'
I certainly had really poor work-life balance when I started this.
I was just working and normally in leadership positions you often do, but it was even more so than normal because it was the crisis response.
And I think what was challenging was we didn't know how long it was going to last and I felt like, I don't think I can go on forever. I was starting to feel it.
I started to reassess, what are my values, what do I want in life?
I want spend more time with my family, friends, with my partner and I wasn't doing that because I was working in a great senior position, but I wasn't really that happy.
And I think my problem was as well that I get bored quite quickly and I think I was just jumping from one job to another because every time I achieved what I wanted to achieve, it was like, 'okay, time to move on to the next one'.
I wat in that kind of wheel - if there's a problem I'm up for it.
And then I realized that I just keep doing that and I don't actually think about the why am I doing this? Why do I always want a problem or a challenge?
I joined at the point where I was just thinking about what's my next big job? But knowing somewhere deep down that I actually probably didn't want the next big job, that I've done enough of that.
Every time I take a job I felt 'this is another mountain to climb' but I keep climbing these different mountains but none were MY mountain.
When I look at the mission statement I've written as part of the course of who I want to be and how I want to live my life, I look at it and say, 'This is what I'm doing'. I wanted to spend more time with my friends and my family. I wanted to have better work-life balance and not work sixty hours a week.
I wanted to do things that will fulfill me and where I feel that I really doing something meaningful.
And I do because I have coaching sessions with my clients and I leave a feeling like this was worth it. I'm making a difference. I have just made a difference to somebody's day, life, week, job, whatever it is.
To anyone who wanted to join the program, you shouldn't think about that - this is too much money to spend, because what you're going to get out of it is way more valuable than the investment that you're making.
I definitely say that the combo of the program, the fact that it's evidence-based and well researched, and that you've got Silviu who's the driving power behind this and Steve, it just works! I've certainly seen it work for me.
"I studied to be a lawyer. I worked as a lawyer for three years in India. I wanted to change my career from law to something else.
I wanted to
get into marketing which is why I went ahead and did my MBA in Marketing and
It didn't work out. So, I worked as an Operations Manager. Currently I work as an Assistant Operations Manager in a charity in UK.
I've moved countries over the past two years and I've moved roles and functions. Well, I had been applying to a lot of roles, and not really getting either any response, or even after interviewing, I was getting rejected.
I think one real problem I was facing was that I was an outsider and did not have any London experience. Another thing was also that I did not know how to navigate the London market.
And also, I myself was not very sure about where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, my industry function, etc. I was very anxious.
[I was] anxious in the sense that I would start working on one work stream and then jump to another. And my mind was always in an overdrive and very unsettled.
The course was very expensive for me especially I had not been earning for two years. So that was one big obstacle. Another obstacle also was I had tried this career coaching with someone else.
I was in the
midst of it and it wasn't working well. It had been two, three weeks that I'd
been working with that person and I was not getting the support that I needed.
I'd had a
really bad experience.
When I spoke to Silviu, it was not just about working on my CV or to work on some techniques and tactics. It looks like Silviu could solve my problem of also answering what I want to do.
And also, I saw of course that you were carrying out the whole thing. But you were also associated with Steve. And I saw Steve's credentials and I saw that he has worked for 20 years or so in this field.
And he has
done a lot of work, written books, collaborated with a lot of people.
So that gave
me confidence that although I don't know you people, you guys have something
solid versus a random guy off the internet.
surprise me were a lot of personal qualities about Silviu. And by personal
qualities I mean the kind of support he was giving.
working very hard to support me. I saw that he also recognized that timelines
are tough when you're in the actual job market.
The program is
for people who are wanting to change, or do something and define what that
different for people who are very clear about what they want to do in the future.
It’s not just a career coaching. It is a mixture of life coaching and career
I'm given a curriculum. I'm giving a pacing guide. I'm giving mandates by the state and the federal government. Of course, I have to follow those but something was missing. And the more I worked with children, I saw their struggles and their needs.
They have a lot of social and emotional needs that are not being met in the public school. We just sort of pushed the academics really hard and I was sort of losing my steam and feeling very stuck and dissatisfied.
One day I was scrolling around on Facebook just looking for something. And I just happened to see Silviu doing a little, I call it... [infomercial].
He said a lot of keywords that really resonated with me, like - being stuck in your career, being unhappy and unfulfilled and you don't have to be that way.
You can really find out who you truly are and what you want to contribute to the world. And I thought that is what I'm seeking.
Silviu and Steve helped me develop a Career Plan that is very doable and I know it will be successful because I intend to do it.
Even though I had this job that felt very dead and void to me, now I can have more passion about it because I can deliver my Work Purpose in that job until I get to different levels of that.
I have more confidence now. I have less fear. I have more direction, clarity.
One thing I learned in this journey is, I am starting to believe that if I mess up along the way, if I make mistakes, that's okay. I used to really shame myself and beat myself up when I would make mistakes.
I would feel not good enough and not competent enough and then I would just kind of, retreat back into a shell and stop, like I can't do that.
Now I'm beginning to work with those beliefs because I'm more conscious about them. And I'm like, 'I don't have to accept this as a truth.'
These beliefs are not truths, they're just habits and beliefs that we've picked up and they're programmed into our minds and we can change the programming in our mind and therefore our beliefs. And so I am learning to do that.
I'm a teacher and that's where I am but I intend to work my Work Purpose in my job. Now I'm more intentional about it. I know who I am in my essence. I know what I want to contribute to my students and I intend to implement that.
When I go back to school, I am going to be a different woman. So empowered, so confident, knows what she wants and watch out, it's all I can say.
I can see myself getting involved in groups that maybe go to different schools, public schools, and speak to young people, speak to educators, speak to parents that work with young people and then eventually evolve into a speaking career for young people and parents and educators.
The program has great resources. The coaches, Silviu and Steve are so accessible. I can send a message and Silviu respond immediately - 'Hey, let's have a coaching call' and they can steer me in the right direction. I've not experienced that before. The coaches I've had are not always so easily assessable.
Silviu and Steve truly invested in their clients and it is so worth the investment.
Any money that anybody pays to invest in their Personal Development and Career Development is so worth it. It is just worth it. It's priceless and I am so grateful to them. I really am.
It is one of the best, to this day, personal and career development programs I've ever taken and I've taken quite a few, and this is the golden ticket right here.”
After talking to him, I was able to identify my purpose and identify what I want to do at my next steps professionally and also personally.
Now I was able to apply all the knowledge given by these courses and officially have a new job now. I am going to start working for this new company following my purpose.
I already have three opportunities or four opportunities, and thanks to them I was able to have this clarity to distinguish between what I want. After this clarity came, I was able to define my job opportunity and literally go for it in a good way. And this was just crazy.
It was amazing to be able to present myself as I am and at the same time be efficient with my speaking and say what I have to say in the proper way. Because I was so bad at this.
Just to tell you guys that this definitely works. Just to give you a hint, I pass from $110,000 job to a $152,000 job. Additionally, I receive all the perks and benefits that I need. This is something amazing. I cannot describe how my family and I feel about this.
What Sylviu and Steve are doing is just amazing.
After all of this, I was able to align my brain, my ideas and go forward. Thanks to this program, I was able to easily identify my purpose.
I know that is a journey. It's not easy but thank God I was able to identify this. And that's why, for me, it was easy to now say – ‘this is my purpose’. "
"I've never had a clear idea of how I am professionally. I think that's why it's always been a matter of changing one course to another or one avenue to another.
I'm creative. I'm outgoing, I like talking to people. I feed up other people's energies but I've never had a clearer idea of what I want to do in my life.
And so that's why I think finding a career that really fits me has been a very hard to quantify thing. That's why when the pandemic hit, I did have a lot of questions in my mind.
Before I joined the academy, I was working for a sustainability consultancy. I was working as a senior consultant for a lot of hours. I was probably doing 50-60 hours a week.
A lot of pressure, getting in early trying to get ahead of deadlines. Working late, sometimes working through the night. A lot of pressure dealing with young trainees and junior consultants as a senior consultant trying to manage 10, 15 projects and a lot of pressure and feeling often overwhelmed.
I was doing a role that I wasn't really recruited for. I was meant to be out and about visiting and working with companies and those projects weren't coming through. I was doing primarily a project management role, writing a lot of reports, being very desk based, which I hate doing, and then being pressured into that role as well. Then I got furloughed.
I had so many limiting beliefs about what I could or couldn't do or what I should and shouldn't explore even to the point of who could or couldn't help me.
So I've done crazy career change of different things and then I was thinking about who I could approach to ask about lecturing.
Before joining the program, Silviu said, ‘Don't judge who can and can't help you or who will or won't be the people to open up the doors for you. You tell me what you're working on and we will see where we can support you. All I care about is that I will have enabled you to professionally flourish.’
After hearing his words ‘If you have professionally flourished, then I will have done my job.’,
Joining the program, I was afraid that the money I was paying for is not going to deliver. I had quite a lot of expectations. Whether it was going to be something that would really make a difference.
And looking back, I would say it was absolutely worth the investment. It was worth the investment on not just a get another job but an investment in terms of my mental health.
What was really important for me is to have a family and to have a support network to say that this was something I could use as a positivity.
And having an outside perspective and Silviu’s advice - ‘if you do the same thing, you get the same outcomes’, is a proof that taking alternative approach is definitely worth it.
I know what I can say yes to. I know what my manoeuvrability is meant that I was still hated doing the negotiation. I still found it really difficult. But I think I had confidence that I knew my worth and I knew what I was and wasn't willing to accept.
To do a 12-week course where the structure of it is far more about who you are and what you want to do and what makes you happy. And then the career element to that, you've got so much out of it.
I’ve got so much out of it that I think I realized what I needed to do. It was more of how would I really keep the motivation and the focus.
The best word I can about the program is energizing.
I've been so glad of the support and the network and the structure and the solidity. That's given me an energy to feel this is doable and I can work on this.
Also, it is empowering because it's gives you the ability to think I can do this. And so often it feels insurmountable.
There’s always reasons not to do something. But I think having someone who's an expert and is going to give you a hug when you need a hug, and also gives you a bit of a kick when you need a kick. And it's hard to do that on your own."
I just moved to the UK from the Philippines, and I was struggling a lot in terms of career. I had the career in sales and it was probably about three years I've been in sales already.
However, I was just feeling a little bit awkward with myself. This is what I want to do but why am I unhappy with what I'm doing? I was just trying to get a grasp of it.
It made me question myself a bit: ‘Am I going in the right direction?’ ‘Is this what I really want to do?’
I became comfortable in the position: 'I need to put money on the table' - the usual norms that we get from our parents or friends.
I’ve come so far from where I was originally.
How I'm going to navigate myself through the rest of my life. Because I was feeling very lost at that moment.
I could feel that there is something and I've been feeling this call for some time prior to the program.
But I could never really sit down and put it into some frames or vocalize it or I didn't really know what that is.
I've been trying different things but not really getting the results.
And while I was doing the job, that was never really much time to focus on myself and figure out what I really want to do.
The results I had after three months in the program were:
(1) Now I know that I have a lot of control or at least I have a choice. And I'm motivated. I'm much more motivated.
Just getting to know myself and there's this strength inside me that I didn't see in myself before which is amazing.
Just like getting to know my skills, my abilities for all the tools that you've provided from the choice, from payoffs, from knowing that you start with a 10%.
(2) The big part was about the beliefs and assumptions that we tell ourselves. Whether there are career assumptions, money assumptions, lifestyle assumptions.
And then actually believing and started to see that you have the power to change them.
It's not to somebody else. It's not to external conditions. You make all the choices around that. That's why that gave me lots of strength.
(3) And also helping me to find the essence or basically reconnect with the essence with my core.
It was suddenly a change. When you're aware of it and that you can act from the core of yourself.
Suddenly anything is possible. It's like, wow, there must be an amazing feeling.
It is brilliant because that gives you this strength and belief that I can actually do it.
And even if those beliefs will come back again because it's like a work in progress, then you know that like once you've learned the tools. Once you kind of start applying them.
There's no way back because you have some compass and you can help yourself to navigate for this. At least that was my experience.
One word to describe the program was CLARITY.
Just like that program, it gave me a lot of clarity.
Why? I think because what I've just said with all the tools, with all the support and having the space to explore. It is also about the environment that you provide and with other people that are on the same path and journey.
I remember before the program, I have some visions or some dreams that would be like, ‘No, you don't want to go there. No, you don't want to try it. Don't go in there in the front row. Don't try too hard’.
But now it's like, ‘Yes, I can do this. I can actually do this and whatever.’
"I've always seen work as a tool to get money and then live and be happy kind of thing. And that's like how I grow up also in my country and my culture and everything. And now it's more like I'm not very happy with our landscaping job.
I have always been a fighter against myself like I don't find my purposes. I don't have a passion. I like a lot of things but I don't have one thing that I'm super passionate. That's super selfish actually because I'm just thinking about my happiness.
I really want to change that and have other career paths for myself and to come back to my background in Columbia. I need the mindset that I'm going to work this season with them. I am here because this is going to give me this opportunity to save some money and then I can pay for this study.
Now I have a better mindset that this is not forever. The other thing is learning how to appreciate work as a way to contribute to others.
It's a totally new concept for me and I'm learning a lot with that. And that helps me also with the mindset because that makes sense.
The whole mindset is giving me another view to come back. I'm going to keep going with all this adventure I guess of searching in myself and hopefully I will get a good plan at some point.
For now, just work and make money and serve people in their houses with their lawn and their gardens.
The best learning that I have had in this course is to rethink about what's my relationship with work or job."
But then when it came for me to write down my work purpose, I started second guessing myself wondering if I'm good enough.
When I finally discovered this course and I started doing it, I kept at it because I felt within myself that this is the direction I should have been going in to begin with. I have been doing the modules and it has been an eye-opener.
At first, I felt I was feeling so depressed. So out of place because I have been out of a job for over a year and when I found this course I'm like, ‘What the hell was I doing before? Where was this course?’.
All the while, I wasted so much time and so many opportunities to learn something.
And I kept telling myself, ‘You know what? This is for my benefit. This is for me.’
When I am done, I will be done. I will feel so much better.
And my time has been shifting in so many directions for the last couple of weeks. I'm applying for jobs. I'm trying to get in the hours for this. I'm trying to manage my home, life and trying to work out and keep my mental state in check.
Growth is happening.
And I'm almost done. It's just for me to just pack in the last 10% of that thing and get it done.
I appreciate this course. I have learned, and I have grown so much."
Agencies are such fun environments to work in. It attracts the outgoing and wildly creative people. Very stimulating environments to work in.
But I had begun to become discontent that there wasn't enough socially redeeming value in the work that I was doing and I wanted to be of more direct help.
And then boom… I got laid off due to Covid!
I thought this is my opportunity to make that change, to make that shift that I've been feeling coming on for a while.
Well, and it's too easy to do that when you're relatively happy. I was making very good money into six figures.
You know, I had nice benefit package. I had vacation. I was, um, at a managerial level. So I had a seat at the boardroom table in terms of the direction of the company. And I was training people, and I love to train and teach and mentor and pour into managing an administration.
All I knew was that I wanted to offer more direct help.
I can write a resume that I look good on paper, but to compensate for that lack of post-secondary, I need to get in front of someone.
Everything from computer skills to resume writing, to cover letter writing, and, and so on and so forth.
I'm not 25 anymore. That makes employers consider me a liability. I have to overcome the object, all the objections, and there's a whole list of them to being a mature worker. I'm in a market with 25% unemployment, and I don't have any post-secondary education.
I was trying to get happy about being a barista, and that wasn't working.
And then along comes the Academy and says, ‘Did you know about seed jobs? Did you know about purpose hacking?’
And then also gave the actual templates of the emails and the scripts of what to say when you connect.
And I really fear for short of a lucky bounce how they're going to succeed. Because they're not equipped, their eyes aren't opened, they don't have the tools, they don't have the strategies.
"Prior to joining the academy, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was suffering from imposter syndrome, and couldn't see a clear path of progression because I never stopped to understand what elements of my work I actually enjoy and what brings me value.
This made me feel frustrated and anxious that I didn’t have a plan. It made me lose the feeling of value within myself. I had tried self-help / motivational / find your purpose books.
The initial interaction with Silviu was a moment where I felt a connection with him and that I’d be able to work with him.
I was debating and trying to work out which path of permanent employment / contract / consulting would be the best path for me, and through this academy I got there.
The academy doesn’t try to make you fit into a path, instead it enables you to understand your journey, and yourself and hone in on what feels good for you and where you as a person get value from the work you currently do or things your not doing yet.
I also felt I gained some clarity and perspective on myself, understood fully why my journey had taken me to where I was and felt empowered to be in control of my own future & destiny.
If I didn't have this as a starting point I wouldn't have made this decision and embarked on a new way of working which suits my lifestyle, allows me to give back and contribute to my purpose.
Had I taken this academy 10 years ago, I truly believe I would have had much more of an idea on how to approach my plan on how to get to where I want to, and would not have fallen into the trap of making some of the same mistakes over and over again.
To everyone who are on the fence of investing to this program, just do it.
Its gonna feel tough at times, but this is one of the best investments I've made in myself.
If you want to feel like your work in life and your purpose are connected and get to a point of clarity from chaos in your head this will definitely help you.
Best investment you are going to make is one in you."
"Before the program, I'd owned my own business for
about seven and a half years. It was just a small retail shop. I just felt like
it is time to move on for several reasons. I've been working hard at trying to
actually sell the business and get out of it, and then I finally got out of it
and I thought I would know what I was going to be doing. And it ended up that I
had no idea what I was doing.
The first couple of modules were probably the most challenging in the program.
Going out and talking to people and exploring a lot of those personal assumptions was very difficult. And it wasn't exactly the most fun. It was hard to get through, it was challenging.
And looking back, there were surprising
amount of things I didn't expect. Some of the actually smaller exercises that
we did like the five clicks for me was really weird but that was probably the
biggest AHA moment of the entire thing. It was like everything just snapped
By the end of it, I feel like I have a completely different outlook altogether with just how I approach things is dramatically different than before.
Before it felt like when I was applying for jobs, I've just got the kind of get this done and hurry up and just get whatever you can and just go for it.
Whereas now, I need to actually take the time and think about what jobs do I actually want.
And then it is a much more almost I get to the enjoyment of choosing now instead of being maybe they'll choose me. Now I get to go out. I can thoughtfully and very carefully plan my application and I have trust that I know what I'm doing now and that I can actually get the job done.
Also before, I thought I knew what I was doing and what
people were expecting of me, but now I have a much clearer understanding of
where I'm going, what I'm doing and getting rid of a lot of those personal
assumptions on this whole process.
So rather than trying to assume that I know what I'm doing or assume I know what they're looking for, I actually go out and actually explore and understand what they're looking for.
Having the clarity and having the tools to go through those assumptions feels awesome. The best word to describe it would be just freeing.
I recommend the program because it really does build on everything that was in the beginning and it's very difficult to see how it really comes all together at the end, but it's absolutely worth it. A hundred percent worth it, and it will be hard, but you should definitely do it."