In pursuit of a more fulfilling career, Irina Tarasova made a bold decision to leave her corporate job and become a business coach. Her new role enables her to make a positive impact on her clients’ lives, which gives her a sense of meaningfulness. Irina’s experiences have led her to share her views on entrepreneurship. While Irina has made the decision to leave corporate and is so far happy with it, she cautions against the glorification of an entrepreneurial life and highlights the importance of understanding one’s own objectives and motivations in order to decide what path is right for you. Both corporate and solo careers can be fulfilling if they are pursued for the right reasons.
Corporate jobs or freelance? Avoiding the feeling of being trapped
While many people perceive corporate jobs as being restrictive, Irina points out that this often depends on the company. Some corporations have dynamic workflows that allow employees to train different skills and enjoy a sense of autonomy.
On the other hand, entrepreneurs may feel even more restricted, as there are no limits to how long they can work. They may overwork themselves, especially at the beginning of their business journey, and feel forced to take on clients they don’t want to work with just to keep their business afloat. This can create a great deal of pressure, leading to burnout and a sense of feeling trapped.
The key to avoiding this feeling of being a prisoner is to always know your personal “WHY”. This means understanding why you want to do what you do and staying true to that purpose. Many people work certain jobs because of societal pressure, family expectations, or the feeling that they should be doing something specific. However, deep down, they may know that this is not the right path for them.
“To escape this trap, it is essential to understand yourself and what truly matters to you.”Irina Tarasova
Irina’s own journey is a perfect example of this. She had always been a competitive person and thought that climbing the corporate ladder was the game she wanted to play. However, after achieving this goal, she realized that it was not meaningful to her. Instead, she found that her true passion was helping others grow.
One of the biggest challenges for coaches, Irina has found, is turning their passion into a business. While coaches may be naturally good at helping others, they also need other skills such as marketing and sales to make their business profitable. This is true for any business that comes out of a passion, and it is an important factor to consider when turning your dreams into a reality.
Advice for job interviews
As a coach, Irina has also helped many people prepare for job interviews. One common mistake she sees is the mindset that people have when going into interviews – that they need to sell themselves. This puts a lot of pressure on them and can be uncomfortable. Instead, Irina suggests switching your mindset to think of the interview as a conversation where both sides are trying to understand if they are a good fit for each other. The focus should be on finding out whether your values align and if you can both meet your interests by working together.
Another common issue in interviews, particularly for women, is speaking about accomplishments. Women are often wired to be more humble about their achievements, which can hold them back in interviews. They may use the term “we” when speaking about things they achieved, even if they did 90% of the work, and may not attribute the achievement to themselves. To overcome this, Irina advises focusing on specific results and achievements rather than simply describing previous job responsibilities. She also suggests thinking about how to quantify your answers and showcase attitudes towards things. Even if you are just out of university and have not yet accomplished anything significant, you can still talk about university projects and demonstrate skills such as time management, project management, and problem-solving, to name a few.
What makes a leader?
Leadership is another topic that Irina coaches her clients on. She believes that:
“Great leaders take on all the responsibility but give away all the credit.”Irina Tarasova
A leader’s success is not about them personally but about their team. It requires a lot of self-awareness and empathy to understand how your team members work and what they need to succeed. As a leader, your role is not to provide knowledge and resources, but to help each individual to apply and grow their unique talents, while working together as a team in a way where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
One of the most important things a leader can do is help their employees understand themselves and find the intersection of their personal values and the values of the company. When employees feel that their work aligns with their personal values and beliefs, they are more motivated and engaged in their work. As a leader, you can help your employees discover themselves in the workplace by providing opportunities for personal and professional growth, and by creating a culture of transparency, trust, and open communication.