Coaches Corner/Jane Cruz
I grew up and began my career in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Los Angeles to take a job at Universal Studios. That move exceeded my wildest dreams and reflects what has been a fairly consistent theme in my life. The daughter of Portuguese immigrants, I was the first member of my family to get a college education.
How did that happen? Through a friend, I ended up by sheer chance landing my first job in human resources at Viacom Cable where my managers strongly encouraged me to go to college. That heralded the beginning of two completely unplanned careers—in human resources and as a lifelong student! After earning my undergraduate degree in Economics, I decided that as long as I had the work/school balance figured out I might as well keep on and ended up going straight into working on an MBA at Berkeley. During this time, my human resources career continued where after a long stint at Viacom, I went on to build and head a human resources organization at a rapidly growing engineering consultancy. After that I made the move to LA and Universal where I was for several years, working extensively with executives on business integration and international challenges.
I left Universal to head human resources at another rapidly growing company, although this time in retail. After several years, I made the decision to return to school to get a doctorate, a goal I had set when I finished my MBA. Given my strong business experience and education, I decided to focus on the humanities to further round myself out. It was while I was working on my Ph.D. that I started focusing my attention on doing the part of human resources work that consistently inspired me most—coaching and organizational development; a track that was also the focus of my doctoral dissertation.
It has been several years now and I have had the good fortune to successfully work with a wide variety of people and organizations across many industries. What I love about my work is the variety and complexity. Because each client is unique, each coaching experience requires a fresh lens from which to work with identifying and accomplishing the goals of the assignment. To do this I balance the development goals of a client while taking into account their business and industry. Those factors require me to be creative in how each assignment progresses and access to a wide range of tools, including assessments, feedback and other methods that will resonate for the individual being coached. I’m so gratified when I see the change that people achieve when they carve out time to be coached and focus their attention on their development. Clients and their managers have told me that the tangible benefits they have received from such a personalized coaching experience include increased self awareness as well as better communications, relationships (at work and home), teamwork and time management resulting in better decisions and job satisfaction. The resulting increased productivity and effectiveness has positioned them to take on greater responsibility, which several have done.