Coach Sam, ICF, PCC, Career Coaching, Executive Coaching

Coach Spotlight - Coach Sam

April 5, 2023

Posted by BOLDLY

Coach Sam has partnered with BOLDLY over the years as one of most requested Career Coaches, as well as featuring frequently on our blog with her insightful works. This month we are pleased to welcome her to our Coach Spotlight series, and to introduce her to those who have not yet been lucky enough to work with her!

Welcome Sam and thank you for joining us! Lets begin:

1) Where are you based and what is the most unique thing about that city?

I am based in Singapore. Singapore is a culmination of many different cultures, race and religions. We are taught from a very young age that everyone is equal. This is even emphasised in our National Pledge, which by the way is recited by all school going children every morning before school. There is a Racial Harmony Day that is greatly celebrated with children wearing their own traditional dress or their friends’. We are a small country and it is so important that we are united in our hearts and minds, even if we have different roots and backgrounds. This I believe is the most unique thing about Singapore. It is also something I am extremely proud of being a part of.

2) What does your typical weekend look like?

As I do not work on weekends by design, the time is spent with my family and close friends. We spend time with each other at meals and special occasion celebrations. There is also the occasional virtual call with family overseas or a nature walk with friends. Mostly, it is a time of rejuvenation from the work week. I love to cook so weekends are precious times to try different recipes.

3) How did your career progression lead into Career Coaching?

After 2 years as a pharmacist and 15 years in a global healthcare technology multinational, I experience a period of not knowing if my future includes staying there until retirement age. I was definitely not the same person who graduated from pharmacy school in university! I felt lost and confused as to how the path will look like. I am someone who has a plan and this was difficult for me. It was then that I started working with a career coach. Through the coaching sessions, I got to know myself again. I have grown tremendously in my career so being able to really think about my values, strengths and preferences again, gave me confidence to navigate the path ahead. It was then I realised that I had a lot of transferable skills. Together with my preference to work with people and how I love supporting them, I ventured into the career coaching arena. Once I started to get training as a coach, it became clear to me that my next steps was to help others like me.

4) If you had to describe your coaching style in 3 worlds, what would they be?

Intuitive, Creative, Pragmatic

5) Career Coaching can make a huge impact on individuals and organisations, what kinds of changes or development do you routinely see after coaching?

Coaching brings about a higher quality of thinking through creative questioning and reflective dialogue. It allows the individual to engage higher level thinking and tap into their creativity. This brings about a focused clarity that motivate them to make the changes they need to get to what they desire in their careers. Leaders I coached start to see their own professional brand, the value they can bring to the table and the alignment to their own core values. This is a powerful force in creating the career they want.

When you have leaders who are focused, convicted and strong in execution, it transforms their teams and in turn, transforms entire organisations. 

6) Can you please tell us about the coaching engagement that made the biggest impact on you/ you enjoyed the most?

One of my clients went through a particularly difficult year in her life. Some of her relationships did not work out and she was distanced from the people she loved. Her job was literally draining her and she felt stuck and stagnant. Because of the tremendous stress, during her weekends, she feel sick, nauseous and unable to do anything that she enjoys.

She finally had enough, and started working with me.

She dug deep and rediscover her core values, and what it means to her to live a life that is aligned to her core values. She worked on visioning her most ideal life and what it feels like to live every single day relaxed, energetic and focused. She started to change her habits, spend time with people who give her energy, and distanced herself from things that doe not fit into the life she had envisioned. She also started to hold firm to her personal boundaries, say no even when it is difficult and learnt to let go when things are not perfect.

At this point, she received a role offer that was beyond her dreams. The journey was not easy as old ways of thinking a being resurfaced as she felt her past insecurities coming back to haunt her. During our sessions, she expressed worries that she might not be good enough. All the what if’s started to overcome her and she wanted to run away from it all.

I reminded her of all the work that she had done in our sessions, all the difficulties that she had overcame, and everything that was important to her to live her ideal, values-aligned life. Instead of going through this every single time she hit an obstacle, we worked together to design a system; a system of affirmations that she will carry with her every single time she goes through a transition.

She has since moved to her new upgraded role and living her ideal life. With every obstacle that she faces, she now uses her system, the system that will remind her how good enough she is, how resilient she is and how she is able and empowered to take the action she needs to fight for the life she wants.

7) Over the years you have been a powerful advocate for women's coaching. Can you tell us a little about the unique challenges  women in business face?

Role of Women

Women traditionally held a more domestic role. This means that society also has expectations that women look after children, cook, clean and often the caregiver. This is still the case now even when women have been in the workplace for decades now. The deep seated thinking is still quite prevalent. At work, some women do what is called “office housework”. They are the ones who book restaurants for company meals, expected to take notes, bring coffee and makes sure the pantry is well stocked. This is irregardless of their roles. Women are still expected to get home to cook or clean or caregive. I know a high powered female executive who had to order food for her family even when her partner was available at home to do it. The good news is that things are changing, but it is not quite at the ideal speed. 

Motherhood Penalty

Once women becomes a mother, they feel like they are not as respected or considered for promotions to high profile roles. There is an assumption that they would be distracted, less dependable, less committed or not able to do the stressful work. They sometimes experience a greater wage gap, or even less than ideal performance evaluation. 

Imposter Syndrome

While both gender experience imposter syndrome, women are more likely to experience it. They often feel not enough or not able to take credit for the work they do. They worry that if things are going so well, that there may be something they missed. They also think that they are not as good and one day will be found out as a fraud. 

8) In 2018 you were the President for the International Coaching Federation (ICF)- Singapore. For those who are not aware, can you please share with us the work the ICF does to ensure integrity through their Professional Certified Coach, and Master Certified Coach accreditations?

If you check into the ICF’s website you will see the following - 

"Anyone can call themselves a coach. But ICF-credentialed coaches are professionals who have met stringent education and experience requirements, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Additionally, they adhere to strict ethical guidelines as part of ICF’s mission to protect and serve coaching consumers.”

ICF have teams of coaches and staff who regularly review and check on the standards, requirements and accreditation processes that ICF credential coaches, coaching schools and coach supervisors have to meet in order to stay credentialed. This applies to all levels of credentials. Recently, with the increase awareness of team coaching, they have added on the standards for team coaching as well. Their sole purpose is to raise the standards and awareness of the coaching profession in the world.

9) Can you share with us your thoughts on the importance of professional development and continuing education in the coaching industry?

The world is ever changing and there are always new challenges and problems to solve. Professional development and continuing education is extremely important in the coaching industry to keep up with industry and world trends. If we keep doing the same things, we will have the same results and sometimes, even results that no longer help. Thus, to keep up with the growth of the world, coaches have to keep up with their own professional growth. It is not a nice to have, it is imperative in our professionalism as coaches.

10) Lastly, what would you say to a employee offered coaching, who is hesitant about engaging with a Career Coach?

Engaging a career coach is like putting high octane fuel in your car. Your performance is improved, your perspective broaden, and your mind will get the clarity it needs. Engage in coaching with an open mind, open heart and ready to take action and see your life transform and change.

Thank you Coach Sam!

To connect with Coach Sam for a complimentary chemistry meeting, or to learn about any of BOLDLY's services, including our new Coach Marketplace, contact

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