Do you know your employment value? I learned about the emotional benefit of getting an unbiased opinion when I helped someone write her CV around 30 years ago.

On International Woman’s Day, I stop and think of these many women I have met who remind me how we can transform our lives when we take a few different actions.

In my new home typing venture in 1989, my first client worked at a local bank. She was a lovely, nervous woman who wanted to know if I could provide a confidential service and help her write a new CV.

When we shook hands, she gave me the dead fish version. I offered her a cup of tea and asked about her family. She loved her kids!

Getting Started

When I asked her what she did, she had a really hard time verbalizing her responsibilities. She didn’t know where to start. So I asked her to explain to me what a basic day looks like. What she loved / what she hated.

Here’s what I discovered. She was being paid and treated as a very junior and dispensable person by this branch. However, she essentially did the job of a controller. She did it all without any of the benefits, recognition, or paycheck.

My interview with her was about an hour long as I tried to get a good grasp as to who she was, so I could demonstrate those qualities and capabilities on paper.

I also showed her how to give a good handshake. 😉

Taking Action

Three days after she had picked up her CV, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a gushing thank you note. Obviously, I called her to find out what happened.

She was thrilled. When she saw her accomplishments in black and white, she realized I was right about her being an acting controller for the branch.

She was sick of getting lunches for people, making coffee AND being responsible for financial data reporting and risk assessments. This made no sense.

She had a very long conversation with her husband that very night and she decided that she was ready to leave these circumstances or to be paid what she was worth.

Armed with her CV and a newly minted confident handshake, first thing the next morning, she told the branch manager that she needed to talk to him.

She announced she was ready to look for a job elsewhere since this wasn’t working out anymore.

He was very surprised. He asked her what it would take to keep her.

She offered her CV and said “this is who I am”. Clearly, this was the CV of a highly qualified, senior individual.

Then she simply outlined what she would be looking for in her next job. She shared her new salary requirements, being home in time for her kids at 3 o’clock after school, and not having to do any of the stupid grunt work.

Getting Results

She was really surprised when he said “Okay, we can do that. Is there anything else?”

She paused, and said she wanted a better office space instead of being stuck between the checking accounts department and the vault. He offered her a brightly lit, prime location by the window.

After accepting, she confidently shook hands with him and told him that since she wasn’t giving her notice, she would be taking that day off to go shopping for better clothes, go have lunch with her husband and be home in time for the kids.

Her boss was happy she wasn’t leaving.

During that follow up call, she told me to expect calls from her whole family and a bunch of friends. She was thrilled with the results and said that she never felt more confident.

My plans to do office overload typing unexpectedly turned into a CV business overnight.

Know Your Value

Many years later, my role as a helper still remains empowering others to confidently shake hands and feels good about themselves and their relationships.

Because it is singularly the most self-empowering work a person can do on themselves, I purposefully weave knowing what you value most into my private coaching .

So here’s my recommendation: Don’t try to be your own unbiased expert. Whether it’s to write a fresh CV or to breakthrough family / business relationship patterns that do not serve you well; look for someone experienced with getting results to move the needle more quickly.

Do you wonder how to start a conversation with a difficult person in your life? Maybe it’s time for a conversation.


Monique Caissie x150Monique works with organizations who want to reduce conflict to create a culture of collaboration, engagement and productivity. The most successful leaders are not infallible when faced with someone who “drives them crazy!” Her strategies to empower people to better understand each other and have better outcomes, while having fun, are appreciated by all who meet her. She draws from 30 years of crisis intervention work, she is a Level II Accredited Trainer for DISC as a Human Behavior Consultant and a Certified NLP Professional Coach. She loves meeting people and getting to know them and their industry. So feel free to reach out.