What is a Transition Coach?

As a transition coach, I help you create a vision of the future that you want, then support you as you pursue it.

Say you’re a lawyer, and you're good at your job, paid really well and yet...you're feeling malaise. You feel like you’re destined to do something more, more impactful. At first, you are aware that you are uncomfortable where you are -- your career feels like a jacket that just doesn’t fit anymore. The style is wrong, it’s uncomfortable and you want out.

And you feel like you want something more. You want to make a more meaningful contribution. Well that’s clear, but it’s also vague. (!!!!)

You're ready for coaching, and you're ready for a transition coach like me. You've accomplished something difficult, and you've outgrown it.

But more importantly, you want more value from your career. You want meaning and impact, and you want your career to better align with your personal values.

So we work together to assess and prioritize your values so that we can better create a new reality for you.

As your transition coach, I work with you to collaborate to build a vision of this reality -- kind of the way an architect will design a rendering of a new home. We co-design this concept, this idea of what your life will be like. 

So say this lawyer is engaged and she and her partner, who both grew up in the NY metro area, want out. They want to move -- maybe to Colorado.

We put Colorado on the map, and I look at my client and ask her about the attributes of the life that you are envisioning. Why Colorado? What’s the change you are seeking from that place? What does it represent? We’ll start to think about her career -- does she still want to practice law, or perhaps she’d like to move into advocacy?

We discuss, we plot, we test out ideas. And more importantly, a key way to I work as a career coach, life coach and transition coach is that I help my clients move forward on multiple paths concurrently to decide what works and what doesn’t.

Crazy yes. But more importantly effective. Crazy effective. We don't talk and hypothesize and wonder. I help you move forward to take concrete steps on multiple paths you envision. As you walk on these paths it becomes clear, very quickly, which ones are right and which ones are not.

Your transition is iterative process. As your transition coach, I partner with you and coach you through it.

I’ve developed an expertise by coaching thousands of clients over the last 15 years. I’ve seen a lot of dreamy “it’s so crazy it might just work” ideas become reality, and I know how to work with clients to support you toward a future that delights you, and has the meaning and impact you crave.

Coaching Process Diagram

There are many terms for this: transition coach, personal development coach, change coach, personal coach, life mentor, professional life coach.

I am your coach, your partner, your friend during this intense time of focused work and transition. Your expertise is you, you are responsible for knowing yourself. My expertise is powerful questioning, and change management. I am your accountability partner during this time. My skills and training as a life coach, career coach, personal coach, and wellness coach all come into play here.

In order to deliver outstanding coaching to you, I am a student of neuroscience (how the brain works), mindfulness, transition and change theory, and behavioral economics. Scroll down to the section on industry thought leaders to see how I nourish my brain.

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What does a transition coach do?

As a transition coach, I partner with you to effectuate change. I use the same process with all clients, whether they are seeking services for career coaching, life coaching or transition coaching. 

We meet regularly in my office (or via Zoom or phone) for the duration of your program. These are your strategy sessions, these are 50-minute sessions where you move through stuck points and clear out any limiting beliefs that keep your thinking small. I help you focus on options, one at a time, so that you can zero in on the one that is a fit for you . These one-on-one strategy sessions create a regular structure  for change during our program. These meetings, like a steady drumbeat, create the steady, dependable structure for your change.

And throughout your coaching program, I am available via email between sessions. Some clients email me every morning and night to plan out and review the day’s accomplishments. Others will write a long “here’s where I am” note in the middle of the week so that we can explore their thinking together. 

The in-person strategy sessions are where we strategize, the time between sessions are where you execute the strategy we’ve discussed. And I’m always there for you -- celebrating your wins, and encouraging you to do that thing we discussed if you might just be overthinking it.

When I say I’m there to celebrate your wins I mean it; celebrating wins is a key part of our work. As a coach, I often receive wonderful letters and images at key life moments, whether it’s “I quit!”, “I’m pregnant!”, “We just got engaged!”, or -- and yes, even, “They offered me a $50,000 signing bonus we talked about!!” 

It is a great honor to be part of the celebration at these key life moments. You are me to effectuate change, to coach you through a transition. and It’s an honor to share in and celebrate these moments with my clients. And I hope I get to do it with you!

What does a career transition coach do?

As a career transition coach, I support you as you make a significant career change. You may have recently been laid off, or are returning to work after a five or 10-year hiatus. Maybe you took leave to care for a loved one, maybe you started a family. Perhaps you’re in a job and “doing well” according to traditional metrics of success, but it just doesn’t feel right to you.

Clients reach out to me when they are in transition (recently fired or the writing is on the wall), or when they are stuck and want to get unstuck and move forward towards something different. 

Some call this a career coach, a transition coach, a life coach, or a career transition coach. Call it whatever you like. You can find more details on my coaching process here.

What is the difference between a transition coach and a transformation coach?

Not to be a grammar nerd (though I am), it’s about nouns and verbs. I use transition as a verb and transformation as a noun. Transition is an action. We transition to achieve a transformation. I verb. We verb. Your result is a noun. You want to hire a coach who can verb. If you want to make change, you want a coach who sets strategy and focuses on action. Insight, action, results.

I could also call myself a transformation coach. I think it sounds bigger and bolder than a transition, which is why other coaches use it. I like the idea of a transition because it's graceful, elegant and understated. Like a superhero changes his costume subtly, while no one notices. Or like an octopus. They transition and sure, they transform but they don't like to brag about it 🙂

As a transition coach, I coach you through a change. The obvious metaphor is a butterfly -- your caterpillar self calls me, and we build the chrysalis. It might look quiet in there; but it’s not. No more quiet than growing a baby. We’re building! Doing work! Making the moves, growing wings...we may appear dormant to the outside world because change isn’t visible yet. But believe me, you’re working your tush off and a big change is about to be revealed. But first, the work.

The transition is the act of making change happen. The transformation is the result, the goal, the reveal. I’ll help you build the chrysalis and evolve inside it. On the other side of that evolution is the reveal, the transformation. Our coaching work, the transition coaching, is the work that drives the transformation.

The work is in the chrysalis. It’s un-sexy, not-instagrammable hard work. This is where we sit, side by side and roll up our sleeves together. We strategize, then do the work. This is where I live and provide the partnership to you when you’re doing the work that needs to be done.

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What are your life coach qualifications?

I hold myself to the highest professional and personal standards. I am continually pursuing my best self so that I can help you pursue your best self.

Have a look at my bio and you can read all about where I’ve been and what I’ve done, before, after and during my last almost 20 years as a professional coach.

Are you one of the best life coaches?

I am a member of the International Coaching Federation. This is the leading global organization of coaches. As a group, we set the gold standard for coaching, globally.

I am certified at the PCC (professionally certified coach) level, which is the penultimate level of achievement for coaches. I am pursuing my MCC (master certified coach) certification, and I plan to sit for the MCC exam in 2022. There are fewer than 1000 MCC coaches in the world; I intend to be one of them. It is the highest level of coaching certification in the world.

I take my continuing education seriously, and realistically. I can fill up a resume with lots of education, and the rubber hits the road in sessions with clients. It’s my coaching presence, our connection, and our collaboration that will help push you over the finish line.

If we have that strong coaching relationship, we can move mountains. I strive to develop that relationship in collaboration with you.

Have a look at my Google reviews and see what former clients have said about me. Please note that these were voluntary reviews; my clients felt strongly enough about their experience with me that they took the time to leave a review and put their name on it. No one was paid, coerced or harmed in the writing of these reviews :-).

Transition Coaching Mentors and Thought Leaders

I stand on the shoulders of giants . To follow is a list of historical and contemporary coaching, personal development, neuroscience, happiness, transition, behavior, and positive psychology thought leaders. These individuals are my teachers. I have read their books, seen them at conferences, taken their classes, and listened to their podcasts and Ted Talks. These are the experts I’ve chosen to learn from.

As one client recently shared with me:

“Wisdom is the mix of love and intelligence. It’s one thing you can never have too much of. It’s what [I as a] client pay [you] for and value most and helps create the powerful emotional reality that you hold for [me].”

Paul, Living Globally

On that note, as a curious learner, I am open to suggestions and eager to learn more, so send me the names of books and authors you want me to know about!

Neuroscience, Mindfulness, Happiness, Positive Psychology

  • Norman Doidge
  • Richard Davidson
  • Daniel Goleman
  • Tal Ben-Shahar
  • Brene Brown
  • Rick Hanson
  • Robert Wright
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • Martin Seligman
  • Dharma Singh Khalsa
  • Atul Gawande
  • Ellen Langer
  • Christine Carter
  • Daniel Gilbert
  • Sylvia Boorstein
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Sharon Salzberg
  • Robert Thurman
  • Jack Kornfield
  • Anne Lamott
  • Eckhard Tolle
  • Martin Seligman
  • Kristin Neff
  • Dacher Keltner
  • Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Robert Sapolsky
  • Alex Korb
  • Sarah Wilson
  • Rachel Naomi Remen
  • Jon Kabat Zinn
  • Loretta Graziano Breuning 
  • Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman
  • Jeffrey Schwartz
  • Shawn Achor
  • Hans Selye
  • Kelly and Jane McGonical
  • Melanie Greenberg
  • Lisa Feldman Barrett
  • Abraham Joshua Heschel

Business Leadership / Behavioral Economics / Personal Development / Finance / Marketing / Motivation

  • Simon Sinek 
  • Dan Pink 
  • Dan Ariely
  • David Rock
  • Brendan Burchard
  • Hal Gregerson
  • Ron Leiber
  • Farnoosh Toorabi
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • James Altucher 
  • Adam Grant
  • Charles Duhigg
  • Tim Ferris
  • Jeff Walker
  • Susan Jeffers
  • Jen Sincero
  • Rachel Hollis
  • Gary Vee
  • Amy Morin
  • Mel Robbins 
  • Melissa and Dallas Hartwig 
  • Angela Duckworth 
  • Nicholas Lore
  • Sarah Petty

Relationships & Human Connection, Parenting

  • John Gottman
  • Robert Bly
  • Dale Carnegie
  • Christie Hartman
  • Esther Perel
  • Wendy Mogel
  • Erin Clabough
  • Wednesday Martin
  • Judith Martin
  • Thomas Phelan
  • Marjorie Ingall
  • Susan Douglas
  • Pamela Druckerman
  • Amy Chua
  • Dale Archer
  • Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson
  • Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Malala Yousafzai


A Final Word on Transition Coaching

One important value I have is that I’m not turning you into something that you are not. When we work, we drill down deeper into who you are. I think of my work as helping you return to you, a returning to your self not a re-creation or re-invention. We’re not creating something new, we’re coming home.

To paraphrase Michelangelo, we’re chipping away at the marble to reveal the you that’s already there.

Kneeling Angel

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