It's Working Project

The Coached Becomes the Coach

Liz McGrory never thought she’d leave her corporate job. The benefits were incredible. The people were incredible. And she was moving up. On her way out for her second maternity leave, McGrory scored the best performance review of her life, and was verbally promised a promotion upon her return.

When she got back, though, the promotion had been given to another colleague.

“I did everything in my power to prove I could move on to the next level. I didn’t understand what I did wrong,” she recalls.

To make matters worse, her manager was focused on a new project, leaving McGrory with little guidance when she got back from maternity leave.

“I couldn’t quit,” she recalls, “I would tell myself, Mary down the hall can do it, why can’t you suck it up? To give your kids the same kind of life you had? But I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Around that time, the company sent McGrory to a leadership training. “I didn’t know what I wanted. I had no plans, just two kids and a mortgage. I kept thinking, I signed up for this, now what?!” she recalls thinking.

Through the leadership training, McGrory met a coach who gave her the confidence and tools she needed to make the decision to leave corporate America, “I realized through coaching that management wasn’t the answer. My coach gave me a new perspective. “

McGrory was so inspired by her coach, and coaching in general, that after 8 months of working with him, she went back to school to become a coach herself. Now through her coaching and writing for’s Working Mom Expert, on the Mommy Energy blog and E-Zine, and through her book, “Igniting Mommy Energy,” McGrory is guiding other moms through the emotional and logistical minefield of motherhood and working.

“The high I get from helping people is ridiculously, incredibly good!” she says.

When we asked her if she could imagine what life would be like if she hadn’t left corporate American, McGrory jokes, “Well that just wiped the smile off my face!” She goes on to explain, “Our family would be in trouble. I wouldn’t want it. I would be constantly trying to prove myself. The company was flexible, but I would be a perfectionist, making decisions based on what other people wanted.”

Recognizing the importance of letting go of the need for approval was the key to McGrory finding a happier and more fulfilling life at work and at home. It is also the message she impresses upon the working mothers she coaches, “I tell my moms they need to stop the disease to please because it drains personal energy.”