Five questions with the AlixAlumnus, Executive and Team Coach and Talent Development Strategist

Meet Carrie Holtz, Former Director and People Business Partner

Read Carrie's thoughts on professional goal-setting and her career advice for the AlixAlumni community
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Five questions with AlixAlumna Carrie Holtz

AlixAlumna Carrie Holtz worked at AlixPartners as a Director, People Business Partner – Corporate Services and Turnaround and Restructuring Services from 2008-2021. Since leaving the firm, she has launched her own professional coaching firm, Carrie Holtz Coaching and serves as an Advisory Council Member for the Harvard Business Review as well as a Core Guide – Executive and Group Coach for Chief, a private network of women executive leaders. In this post, Carrie shares her thoughts on professional goal setting, “The Great Resignation”, and a recent piece of career advice with our AlixAlumni community

What is your approach to professional goal setting?

One size does not fit all when it comes to setting goals. While employers often have a defined methodology, I recommend taking a more tailored approach. Specifically, organize your goals into manageable pieces that fit your personal working style and career ambitions. In addition, take the time to get really clear on your personal vision—both professionally, in line with organizational and departmental goals, and personally, in line with developmental priorities that you are committed to achieve.

How do you create a plan to achieve those goals?

The key is to break down goals into achievable steps. Some clients I have worked with like to set quarterly or monthly milestones. Others prefer weekly or daily targets. Ultimately, “you do you”—try out different approaches to determine what works while remaining agile and ready to shift, as needed. I always recommend identifying a team of colleagues, mentors, and/or a professional coach to keep you accountable and support you through the challenges that you will face on the journey to achieve your goals.

What advice do you have for goal setters who are looking to make a change in their career?

Those looking to make a major change in their career need to clearly understand what is driving this desire for change. Further, to ensure success, make sure the expectations of the new role and the cultural implications—whether it’s a new internal team or a brand-new organization—are in alignment with their values, purpose, and desired career path.

What are your thoughts on the “Great Resignation”?

I think that for many of us, the “Great Resignation” is actually a “Great Awakening,” as so many individuals are rethinking their priorities, establishing new boundaries, and identifying what truly excites them professionally. I’ve seen this with my coaching clients who are focused on increasing their leadership impact, in part by understanding and supporting members on their teams while driving collaborative transformations across their company.

What is the best piece of goal-related career advice you have come across recently?

I was recently coaching a group of C-level executives when we collectively came to an “aha moment” that really changed the thinking of the group. The leaders were sharing their challenges in achieving their goals during these past few years of uncertainty and constant change. They were exhausted by the unexpected twists and turns of the pandemic and frustrated by the unprecedented stress placed on their organizations. While discussing this as a group, we arrived at an analogy that the way they were leading their businesses was like running through a labyrinth where it is nearly impossible to see what was ahead. Ultimately, they agreed that they needed to gain even greater perspective to be successful by looking at the journey from high above the labyrinth. As challenging as it may be, we often need to hit pause and step back to reevaluate the journey with a wide-angle lens. A new perspective will often provide the foresight to clearly differentiate between dead-ends, roadblocks, and opportunities that lie ahead.

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