Finding the clarity for Career Change

Big Decisions Are Hard, But A Professional Coach Can Help


Sometimes, it’s just time

John Stewart had a dilemma. He’d been working in corporate accountability at the same organization for 13 years, had a very impressive track record, and moved up the ladder efficiently. Despite the seemingly obvious success, something was missing. Stewart relates, “I loved my time there, it was important work, but I was just done, I was ready to go.” 

This isn’t an uncommon sentiment. A 2023 GOBankingRates survey of over 1000 American adults found that 57% are planning a major job change in the coming year (Nasdaq, 2023). What’s driving this phenomenon? Experts cite the desire of employees to get more out of their work and life. A recent Randstad study (Reuters, 2024) found that the majority of survey participants “would not accept a job that would negatively affect their work-life balance.” This indicates that in today’s economy, employees want more from a job than just a paycheck.

Regardless of Stewart’s job stability, the idea of moving on in his career was firmly in place. Not being in the job market for more than a decade led to some immediate challenges, however. Updating resumes, drafting cover letters and reading job descriptions was overwhelming. “The bigger picture was that I’ve been on this path for 13 years and I just don’t know where to go now. I just knew I needed a coach. I needed someone to walk me through every single little step,” says Stewart. As luck would have it, Stewart already knew the right person: Erica Mattison.

The Business of Coaching Exists to Provide Support, Motiviation and Guidance

Erica Mattison is an executive coach and certified career advisor specializing in career transitions. After 10 years of coaching experience, Mattison has developed a system based on self reflection (to clarify strengths, interests and goals), as well as utilizing and increasing one’s network to find or create new opportunities. With an impressive resume that includes working in non-profit sectors, state government and higher education, Mattison made several pivots in her own career. Drawing from her vast experience, she helps clients find opportunities they might not otherwise know were available to them. “I understand what it’s like to feel you have these decisions to make, you’re not sure what direction to go in, and it can be hard to figure it out on your own,” Mattison says. 

When faced with the challenge of rising up the ladder or making a complete career pivot, questions will arise and they can be daunting. Experienced career coaches like Mattison can help. “What I’m able to do with my clients is figure out what these questions are, and answer them through reflection and clarification. From there we move into intentional exploration to find possibilities they are genuinely curious about,” Mattison says. This approach is not just about finding a job; it’s about seeking an impactful and fulfilling opportunity. 

Through his work with Mattison, Stewart was able to assess his strengths and compile a list of job descriptions that would serve as data to find specific patterns of interests. They used a few different online assessment and storytelling tools. One favorite tool Mattison uses is the online storyteller by One Life Tools. This platform gives users the ability to add their life experiences in a digital sketchbook. Using simple prompts, the site guides users into highlighting certain aspects of their life stories that might be worth thinking about, thereby, gaining clarification in their interests. Mattison’s coaching is built upon highlighting her client’s goals, expressing what they feel their talents are, and what they want to do more of in their lives. “When I help clients find opportunities that tap into their strengths, that’s when they’ll be able to shine and thrive,” Mattison states. This is similar to the zone of genius theory, coined by author Gay Hendricks, where the intersection of one’s unique talents, passions and strengths come together. By finding a career that brings out joy and passion, one can actually become energized through work.

Your Own Human Resources

After reflecting inward to bring out personal interests and setting goals, Mattison’s work takes her clients outside into their network. Personal connections, no matter how close, are incredibly important to finding new opportunities. Stewart explains, “She had me do some networking, which was awkward because I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I know I’m looking.” Mattison believes that the more people you get to know, the more opportunities will find you.

Despite the awkwardness, Stewart found his next opportunity from a lunch meeting with an acquaintance. His new position as a Senior Gift Leadership Officer at a major public radio station is challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Stewart directly attributes his work with Mattison to getting him through this process. “She worked with me to get me through my blocks and move through the process with love but also gave me a kick in the pants, when I needed it,” Stewart says. 

Get Unstuck

Usually, job seekers look to career coaches like Mattison when they are stuck or having a mental block. Mattison understands that both internal and external factors can contribute to this  confusion or a need to make a career pivot. With calm demeanor and relentless optimism, Mattison is able to breathe confidence and resilience into her clients. From her perspective, nothing is impossible if someone is determined to invest in themselves and do the work. 

Change is difficult, period. Having professional support makes it a lot easier. Successfully navigating this type of situation requires motivation and accountability. Doing this on one’s own isn’t as easy making a to-do list. Having a thought partner who can provide guidance is so valuable when making any big, life changing decisions. “Helping clients become more resilient, believe in themselves, and figure it out, is something that I take great pride in and consider it a true honor,” Mattison relates. Coaches, like Erica Mattison, create a safe space for individuals to look inward, express their desires, challenge their own beliefs, set goals and make plans that will elevate their professional and personal lives.


Nasdaq. (2023, December 26). Over half of Americans are planning for major job changes in 2024. Nasdaq. Retrieved from

Reuters. (2024, January 17). Workers view work-life balance as more important than pay, study finds. Reuters. Retrieved from

About Erica Mattison

Erica has a passion for helping people create meaningful careers and lives that make a positive difference in the world.