I hear friends say, “I don’t love my job, it pays the bills and I have security, but I’m not challenged or excited about work anymore.” But, they feel stuck. They’ve already committed a ton of time and money to this career.
This is a familiar story for me. In my mid 30’s I felt that same way. I had started a career in Early Childhood Education as a preschool teacher, then as a community college teacher and finally ended up directing childcare centers. I had spent over a decade working hard to be what I though was at the pinnacle of my career.
Instead I had a lot of school loans and was feeling unfulfilled. But, I thought how I can I leave this field when it’s all I’ve done.
And then, I knew that it wasn’t all I’ve done. I’ve taken risks, challenged my supervisors to do things differently, advocated for my employees, managed hundreds of thousands of dollars and a staff of up to 60 people. I developed skills and used my strengths in capacities I didn’t realize….until I did, and I left my job, my career and I started something new.
This was not an easy decision and I’m a person who thrives on change, loves adventure, and is comfortable with risk. I spent 8 months working part-time to pay the bills while I figured out what to do next.
I searched job boards, researched parallel careers and talked to my friends. But, I wasn’t making any progress. I need to change my strategy. So, I did a few online assessments, including strengths finder 2.0, and a skills inventory. I did a deep dive into my values and what I really wanted to do. And I realized that I still want to help people, advocate for and empower others, teach, mentor and guide to make an impact.
I did some networking in Higher Education, and after many many informational meetings, I spoke with a career counselor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She talked with me about my resume, and how I can use my skills in a new career. And boom, it was my “aha” moment. I looked at her and said,” I want your job, this is the career for me, as a career coach. I was so excited I found my calling, my purpose.
I enrolled in a certification program, volunteered with a local non-profit, and got a career coach mentor.
Looking back, I realize if I would have hired a career coach to guide me through this pivot, I could have done all this in half the time. Instead it took much longer.
Seven years later, I’ve gained diverse experience as a career coach in non-profit program management, outplacement career consulting, and starting my own business. I’m happier than I could imagine, living a fulfilling life, loving my work, and feel so grateful that I took the leap.
And, you can too.
Is is enough to just have an okay work life, or do you want more? What is your legacy? What do you want to leave behind?
That’s my career story. I would love to support you in taking a leap of your own to re-invent your career. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org