“I have started a new journey of my life and I really look forward to going all the way”
Case study: Akos Gyarmati
Consultant in a leading management consultancy firm in Banking and Risk
I am Akos Gyarmati, living in London since 2015, having moved from Hungary, I met my now wife here and we have a young son.
I’ve been working for 10y+ most recently as a consultant in a leading management consultancy firm in Banking and Risk. I was trained in Quantitative Finance and previously worked for large investment banks and consultancies.
At the time I met Tomas, I was facing multiple challenges: severe burnout, overwork, worse than expected performance reviews, negativity in life outlook, relationship struggles, huge impact due to Covid.
In hindsight, I am now grateful that these events piled up as they pushed me over the pain barrier and encouraged me to act.
I was not happy with the work I was doing. I felt that I won’t be able to continue doing the same type of job for 30 years as I am not intrinsically driven by it. I didn’t enjoy my work anymore, at times I was having fundamental concerns about the value add I was having. I was also very upset about what I perceived as very unfair feedback on my performance.
I was lost as to what to do. I was trained and had all my experience in this field my whole life, I was progressing well in my career, yet I found myself in this situation. I was “winning the wrong game” and I couldn’t figure out how to break out of it. The question of “if not this then what?” became very pressing and I had no idea how to answer it.
I couldn’t figure out what my bigger purpose could be. Something bigger than myself. Something that I truly enjoy. Something that keeps me going no matter what challenges I face.
To find a bigger life purpose and thus put myself on a sustainable track towards a fulfilled, content life – this was what I primarily wanted. More specifically in the intro session with Tomas, we managed to break this down to several more actionable items.
Below is the original list we came up with:
1) Finding what I love and what your Purpose/Vocation is and set myself on a more fulfilling path in life.
2) Creating a strategy to get there and stay on track.
3) Learning to manage my mindset and focus better, which will make everything easier.
4) Improving my relationship.
5) Creating a better balance in my life.
I wanted Tomas to help me get an independent perspective and to help me see my situation clearly so that I can find the best way forward. Then subsequently I wanted to start moving on this new journey with a clear purpose/end goal and actionable next steps, cf. my primary goals above.
Beyond that, I was hoping to find understanding and caring. Somebody who listens to me emphatically, who wants to learn about me and is willing to support me. Someone who believes in me even when I may not believe enough in myself
This was one hell of a journey.
I wanted to keep regular interactions with Tomas so that I force myself to engage and move forward. We talked every 2 weeks and followed what I now see as a well working structure: discovery, creation, commitment (shifting between the phases as needed).
We started off by focusing on “tactical” fixes: how to improve my ability to focus and how to have a less negative perspective.
We moved on to exploring what I could be driven by on a longer-term. This included sharing Tomas’ own perspective on his journey to coaching and brainstorming with me on a lot of different ideas. We then started to become more concrete, in particular I went on to research possibilities and specific opportunities at my current place, gradually narrowing what could be my best next move.
We ended the work at a point where I had clarity and was convinced about how I should move forward.
What Akos found most helpful:
The personality assessments are extremely useful tools that stay with me even after our work. I still use these to reflect on myself.
Although I am very much a big picture person, I have to admit having practical tools and suggestions I can implement on a daily basis was also very helpful: daily positive reframings and focus score assessments, book suggestion and daily reading, meditation, timeboxing and framing actionable tasks to improve productivity, daily idea generation of what I would like to do, synthesis of learnings about a topic (effective teamwork) along with a nice framework – these all helped me to start actually doing things not just stay with thinking.
In hindsight, and reflecting on the personality assessment, these all relate to some of the key weaknesses I needed to work on.
Although at times I felt we were stuck and not moving forward, eventually the persistence and consistency paid off.
Tomas had a great role in this by always being there for me, but at the same time, I always felt that I am in control and this is essentially my doing.
In other words, he held me a mirror and also told me what he saw but let me take the next steps and come back with a new picture of me to continue.
I got clarity about what I am truly interested in and enjoy: working with people and helping to create an exceptional environment for individuals and teams to thrive. I managed to find a way and support in my current workplace to pursue this.
Along the way, I found that there are many people who have gone through a very similar journey and share this passion. In other words, I believe I have found a “home” within the firm.
I have also managed to improve my own internal state and be less affected by external circumstances: I can keep my cool/have better inner peace, manage stress better, I improved my ability to focus and importantly I can see things a lot more positively (including seeing things as shades of gray rather than black and white)
I have a better balance in my life. I worry less about work. I am more content as I believe I will work on something better aligned with my internal drive. There are still some improvements to be done in my relationship, but I believe getting the work right was the necessary first step.
What’s Akos up to now?
I am about to start my new role in Professional Development.
I haven’t been this excited about a new role in a very long time. I feel also grateful for all the support I got from Tomas, my colleagues and my family.
I am also happy that I faced the challenges earlier as they pushed me to make such a big change of track.
And I am amazed that all this could happen in one year: When I started working with Tomas I never would have imagined that I would be at this stage a year later. I feel I have now started a new journey of my life and I really look forward to going all the way.
I watched how Tomas paid attention to really get to know me without having any agenda of his own. He gave time and listened patiently to all my rumbling even when I now think it must have been annoying. He was available and was not always a “pure” coach only asking me questions, but rather offering his perspective, giving me suggestions and tools.
And most of all, he was always honest with me and I felt he never stopped believing in me.