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Terry McDougall

Terry McDougall

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am an Executive Coach and author of "Winning the Game of Work," a new book about how to maximize the intersection of personal happiness and professional success. Prior to becoming a coach in 2017, I worked in the corporate world as a marketer for more than 30 years.

Over the past 10 months, I have been focused on finishing my book which launched in April. Now I'm continuing with my coaching business to help high-achieving professional be effective in their current roles while also staying in touch with their personal motivations so they can balance happiness and success. I also work with professionals who want to pivot towards a career that is more fulfilling and that aligns more naturally with who they are.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

My favorite Ellevate memory is attending an "Improv Skills for Networking" in Chicago. There were about forty women there so I got to meet many great women and the event was just a lot of fun. It helped me realize how staying present and being open to possibilities is what networking, improv and Ellevate all have in common!

How would you define your professional mission?

My professional mission is to help high-achievers optimize the sweet spot where their personal happiness and professional success intersect to an optimal degree. I do this by helping individuals recognize and appreciate their own superpowers, and by teaching skills to help professionals be more effective in the workplace.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

It's important to be a good listener, to have faith in the capabilities of my clients, to be empathetic and to encourage (and expect) my clients to take action. I believe everyone is capable of making their visions become a reality, but it doesn't happen unless they take action!

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

One of my most memorable accomplishments was supporting a new director to learn to use the power and authority that she'd been entrusted with in her new position. When we first started working together she managed a department of 50 people and was working 70 hours a week. It was clearly not sustainable, but she wasn't sure what to do differently.

We discovered in working together that she was trying to manage a department of 50 as she'd managed her previous team of 8. By using "leverage" (prioritization, time management, delegation, etc.) she was able to cut back to a manageable 50 hours per week and reduce her stress and increase her satisfaction. It was so satisfying to see her step fully into her potential.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

One of the biggest challenges I face as a coach is a misunderstanding of the profession. Some people think coaching is only for the C-suite or that it's too expensive for someone at the middle management levels. Coaching can be helpful for anyone who is facing a challenge that they are having a hard time addressing on their own. I've had clients get raises and promotions or get a new job within a short time of working with me that paid for the engagement and then some.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

LinkedIn is my favorite social media site because as an Executive Coach, it's where my clients are. My mission is about helping people be happier and more successful in their careers which aligns perfectly with LinkedIn.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

My personal superpower is my intuition.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

When I graduated from college, my boyfriend's mom bought me the career planning book "What Color is Your Parachute" and told me to read the book before looking for a job. That was the best career advice I received because that book is all about KNOWING YOURSELF first then FINDING A JOB that aligns with who YOU ALREADY ARE.

Her advice empowered me to start my career on a path that worked for me and not just go out and take the first job that was offered to me.

Helping people find that alignment between who they are and what they do is the foundation of my business!

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Do what works for you, ask for help when you need it and don't compare yourself to other people.

I have three kids (ages 16, 20 and 22) and I worked during their entire lifetimes. My husband and I had our kids in daycare and before/after school care for a while. I had a flexible work schedule for a while that allowed me to take every other Friday off. When I got a big promotion, my husband stayed home with the kids. Now he's back at work and I work from home now that I have my own business. We always just figured out what we needed to do and did what worked for us in whatever phase of parenthood we were in.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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