“I am a STAR”

By Pratishtha Purohit: Migrant Career Coach

How and what we communicate with ourselves in the privacy of our own minds plays a massive role in shaping how we perceive ourselves and how we wish to be perceived by others.

This internal dialogue is key to create and manifest our future. Training our minds to use words of encouragement act as a powerful tool to transcend our limitations and empower ourselves to achieve what we desire.


A Migrant Career Coach

Here are some of the many questions that kept surfacing my mind when I came to New Zealand 7 years ago.

Today, I have a very responsible position as a Career Consultant with Work Connect where I coach migrants and Graduating international students to be New Zealand work ready.

At the beginning of our coaching sessions, I see the same self-doubt, lack of confidence, fear and anxiousness in my client’s eyes.  Everything I say or do can make a huge difference in the way my clients perceive themselves and make sense of the new world of work around them.

I soon realised there was a strong need to implement a robust transformative coaching practice to get sustainable outcomes, where my clients can find a way to take these learnings beyond our coaching relationship.


Bringing the Star to Life

I have the privilege to coach freshers to senior level professionals. There is one thing that is the critical ingredient that can make them successful, what is it?  The belief in what they do and why they do it. We are all passionate, we all love what we do then why is it that we fumble and step back from expressing who we are? I had my aha moment while recording the video for Work Connect on STAR behavioural questions, which I have now integrated with ‘I am A Star’

As a coach, I partner with my clients to build confidence, to flaunt their soft skills and prepare them to conquer that job interview. My migrant clients are new to behavioural questions in interviews. Back home interview questions were framed around how much you know and what will you bring to this job (targets, sales, qualifications, networks, technologies etc.). Asking them to memorise 4 or 5 situations is adding to the pressure they are already in.

For example:

  • Question – ‘Tell me a time you dealt with stress?’
  • Answer – ‘Well, every day. Which day should I talk about?’ 

Now, my clients in New Zealand learn how to answer these questions differently without getting stuck in the structure.  Before they come for an interview preparation session, they must complete some homework (the teacher in me loves accountability). The task involves some deep thinking in flashback, ‘share 3 happiest days in your work life, it can be anything, what did you do/ not do?’

Our interview session begins with an invitation to share their experience of making the big decision to move to a new country, and one of the questions I ask is ‘What is the one thing your heart told your mind when you said goodbye to your loved ones at the airport?’

Moving on to sharing the happy 3 days for our mock interview.

For example:

  • ‘I got 2 promotions in 6 months’
  • ‘I was awarded for introducing new methods’
  • ‘My team achieved the highest sales 3 months in a row’

These examples open up the conversation, and when we dig deeper, I see that sparkle in their eyes. Together we focus on these achievements, look back on how far they have come, and that’s what helps them change their perception of the situation, identify the positives and pick up the learnings from the negatives.

Then we look at the job description, understand why the employer is interested in knowing how they think and behave and find ways to use these experiences as examples.

Now the interview feels like a cake walk. They are my STAR, and I make them say it loud and repeat after me ‘ I AM A STAR’ ‘in any given Situation I complete my Task, take necessary Action and achieve excellent Results. Some of my clients ask for a hard copy for the bathroom mirror.

I love it when they call me after the interview and excitingly say:

‘I was smiling when I said how I handle stress. that was fun, and I don’t mind doing it again!’

Most likely they don’t get a second chance. They are hired 🙂

The STAR in me strongly believes that a mind stretched by new learnings and awareness can never go back to its old dimensions. Don’t forget to have a dialogue with yourself and say out loud: “I AM A STAR.”


Pratishtha Purohit

Pratishtha is an ICF certified coach and is currently working towards her ACC accreditation. She works as a Career Consultant for Work Connect with Tertiary Education Commission where she partners with migrant clients and international students to make them New Zealand work ready. Pratishtha is passionate about making a real difference in people’s lives and believes her clients are awesome; she just helps them prove it to the world.

Pratishtha came to New Zealand in 2012 to pursue her Master’s in Business and after over a decade of experience leading international luxury brands both in India and the Middle East. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and is a qualified educator/trainer for Māori and Pacifica learners. She has won various scholarships during her time in New Zealand, is an active member of the Golden Key International honour society where she volunteers as a Professional Development officer for the Waikato Chapter. She is proud to be an associate member of CDANZ. Pratishtha needs assistance of hearing aids, but is a great listener 🙂