yes, even 1 coaching session is worth it!
4 min readApr 10, 2021


Written by Helené van Tonder

In December 2020, I started working with a coach (Shweta Handa-Gupta) for the first time, and it’s been an incredible journey. I’ve also had lots of conversations with fellow members about coaching — why they started coaching, how they went about picking a coach, how coaching is helping them, etc.

I’m a firm believer that we always have a lot to learn from each other. Sharing one’s coaching journey, however, can be a little personal. Members are nevertheless generous enough to share their stories, and I’m very excited to start sharing them with the rest of the community!

Some stories, like this one, will be anonymous. I hope you find it insightful and encouraging! I definitely did.

Why did you decide to get a coach?

In the course of 2020, I started feeling a little stuck at work. I was thinking it’s time to change jobs. But as you know, the job market was rather tumultuous at the time.

Eventually, in December, I successfully interviewed at a company and we were in the final phases of the discussion. They asked me about my current salary and salary expectations. For some or other reason, I gave a very high expectation. I immediately realised that this could ruin the opportunity for me, and it also did.

I was quite puzzled by my behaviour. It was kind of self-sabotaging, but I couldn’t figure out why I did it. I felt confused and also hesitant to continue my job search. I mean, what was happening here? Do I even want to change jobs? If not, why am I feeling stuck? What should I do?

That’s when I decided to chat with a coach. I thought it might help me. After three chemistry sessions, I booked a session with Surabhi Bikhchandani.

Can you tell us more about the session(s) with your coach?

So far, I’ve only had one session with her. It was around early February this year, and it’s helped me so much.

We chatted for about 90 minutes, and covered (or uncovered) two core things.

First, the session helped me realised that I’m actually quite happy in my current job. I like the range of work I get to do, and I like the company. But the problem is that my profile is getting a little monotonous. I’m ready for some growth, but my relationship with my manager was the issue.

If I want growth, the first thing to do is just to put it on the table and ask for it. But because of the difficult relationship with my manager, I didn’t feel comfortable walking up to him to discuss this. That was something I had to fix.

On a deeper level, she’s helped me to define what a good opportunity looks like for me. I feel like I have a game plan now, and one that allows me to also be happy in my current situation. I now know that I definitely don’t want to make some or other bold or drastic move. I’m still exploring, and if a good opportunity comes, I’ll take it. But changing jobs is not the only solution — I have more options than that.

Second, my coach helped me to understand what happened when I supposedly sabotaged myself during that interview in December. I’ve come to terms with the outcome, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.

The thing is, while I was interviewing, I chatted with the outgoing person. She didn’t have a very positive appraisal of the company. At the same time, the role I was interviewing for, was rather narrow. I’m someone who enjoys diversity in my work. Given this, I think I started to doubt whether this is a good opportunity for me — without acknowledging that doubt. So I must’ve thought that a high salary might make it worth it for me. It wouldn’t have.

I feel less freaked out by my behaviour now. I have a much better understanding of what it is that I really want.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with others?

Yes, indeed. Until I came across coaching on leap, I didn’t know that I could benefit from it. I thought it was for senior people and that I don’t need it yet. But because leap made it so accessible, I wanted to try it out.

I’m so happy I did! It helps to have someone who asks you these tough questions and helps you uncover things. My coach has been in touch with me since our session, and next month I’m planning to sign up for another three sessions with her.

I know picking a coach can sound difficult. I did three chemistry sessions before I picked my coach. But honestly, in the end, I just went with my gut. I didn’t exactly understand what I should look for in a coach, or how I would know if a coach is right for me. I didn’t make a pros and cons list, or anything like that. I just went with my gut, and it turned out great.