Kay Lock shares the story of how she leveraged the skills that she had built up in her life and career to become a Scrum Master and eventually an Agile Coach with the help of Bruna De Palo coaching.
You should read this interview because…
- Kay shifted her mindset and consequently her life through coaching
- Kay showed that persistence through obstacles can help unlock a new career
- You will see Kay take her insights and use them to support and help other people
What you will learn from Kay's change of career:
- That a crisis can also be an opportunity
- To always consider the silver linings in what might be seem like challenging situations
- How to become unstuck and persist in difficult scenarios
Hello Kay, great to see you!
Could you please tell us what’s your career now and what were you doing before?
My current career path is that of a Scrum Master with a view to becoming an Agile Coach, the role aims to support and guide teams in the Agile ways of working, as well as ensuring they are all happy in their work and have all the tools they need to get things done! I have been doing this now since Sept 2020 and have never been happier.
Previously I was a Finance Manager and Lead Commissions Analyst responsible for managing the compensation plans for the 7000+ global salesforce within a large global software organisation.
What made you think you wanted to change your career? And when you realised a change was needed, did you already know what you wanted to do? or did you have no idea what else you could do?
I wasn’t happy with the type of work that I was doing for compensation, and when the office closed and everyone was made redundant I decided that now was the time to change my career.
I was encouraged to apply for jobs elsewhere in the company and I decided to do that but on a different career path. At the time I thought a change in career path to Operations Management was what I wanted, but I was unsuccessful in my applications. I found this a really difficult time, but I always try to find the positive in each situation.
Deep down I knew that I wanted to go back into software development, so I decided to use training funds available before I being made redundant to get some Project Management accreditations, starting with Prince2.
When you decided to change your career, what obstacles and challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I thought Prince2 would help get a new role within my existing company, but it didn’t.
I wanted to take full advantage of the training budget available to me - so I booked on to Agile PM and Scrum Master courses.
When I had been made redundant previously, I had really struggled to get a new role - I had been in my original company for 26 years and had a lot of experience but no accreditation certificates. I wanted to ensure that wasn’t the case this time!
Please describe the steps you’ve taken to land the new job:
I didn’t manage to get a new role before my redundancy date, so I was unemployed for a few months. During this time, Bruna gave me some really helpful tips on updating my LinkedIn profile to get my profile visible.
The first Scrum Master role that I secured in September 2020 was due to those changes made in my LinkedIn profile; someone saw it and approached me to see if I was interested in working for them.
In order to make the change, did you take a salary cut? If you did, what helped you afford it?
Yes I did take a pay cut for my first Scrum Master role - but I felt it was worth it to get back into software and having been out of work for several months I was just about desperate to be earning!
That first role gave me the experience to then move to my current role that is a higher salary than my original role within 1 year.
Bruna encouraged me to see something in myself that I hadn’t previously.
How did working with Bruna help you?
Bruna encouraged me to see something in myself that I hadn’t previously. For example, she told me about Agile coaching which I have since started training in and it has already proved really useful in my role as a Scrum Master.
Bruna also helped me with my CV and my LinkedIn profile and perceiving just what my true strengths were; and that was leading, guiding and supporting people.
I had always known I loved to support my teams, but Bruna made me realise that I could actually make a career out of doing something I really loved!
I even applied to be a career coach for the same company as Bruna, but there were no current positions available!
In what way did Bruna help you get unstuck?
She encouraged me to see that we have a choice in life as to how we deal with every situation, we decide within ourselves when to move on and look forward.
Describe three or more things you enjoyed about the process of working with Bruna.
- Bruna asked me the right questions that enabled me to finally realise what career would make me the happiest and follow my dreams
- When I was struggling to remain positive she encouraged and helped me see the positive in each situation
- Bruna made me smile every time we spoke
How do you feel in your new career path? What benefits are you experiencing in terms of happiness, aliveness, fulfilment, finances, mood and so on?
- I look forward to work every day
- I feel fulfilled by the positive feedback I get from my current employers
- I love to see my teams succeed
- I have never been this happy
What is the major benefit in your life from this career change?
I feel that at last I am working in an environment that I love, doing something that I love.
Thinking about the future, would you consider using a Career Coach again to progress or change a part of your career? Explain your reasoning.
Yes I would consider using a career coach if I decided that I wanted to progress higher into more senior management roles, mostly to get guidance on dealing with stresses of more senior roles.
On top of your career change, in what way this coaching journey helped you grow in other areas of your personal life?
The coaching courses have helped me to go out and help my friends in their career journeys and even in entrepreneurship. For example, I helped one friend build a team environment within her new business which is a beauty salon.
What have you learned about yourself through coaching with Bruna?
I have learnt that I have the ability to bring out the best in other people in the same way that Bruna did for me.
Finally, what is your top tip for people who are stuck in the wrong career?
- Never be afraid to take a chance and follow your dreams
- Take every opportunity to undertake training that is offered to you
- Listen to your heart not your head
Thank you very much Kay, your story will surely inspire others find their element!
As you can learn from Kay's career move:
- Don't shy away from opportunity
- You can turn adversity into opportunity if you're willing to open your eyes to it
- Coaching can give you a different perspective on who you are, and what you are capable of achieving
If you, too, want to change your career and feel great as Kay does today, choose the career change programme that best suits your budget and learning preferences!