My friend Alison Cardy invited me to participate in her “Career Grease Blog Tour” in celebration of her new book Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career. Her book is available for free on Amazon for this week only. Click here to grab your copy and read stories about how (and why) real people move through obstacles to successfully make career changes. This blog tour is a series that pulls back the curtain on what it really takes to move through a career change.
When I graduated
from law school ten years ago, I wasn’t sure what I’d do with my degree. But it wasn’t “become a life and business coach,” that’s for sure! I didn’t even know what a life coach was and certainly had no intention of starting my own business. But life has a certain way of planning itself sometimes. And I, for one, and glad that it did.
Four years ago when my youngest daughter was about nine months old, I had gotten just enough sleep to realize just how unhappy I was. To make things worse, I really didn’t have any reason to be discontent. I had a wonderful husband, two beautiful children, a lovely house in a lovely neighborhood, and a terrific job at one of the best firms in the country just waiting for me to come back from my extended maternity leave. But none of it felt like enough.
That’s when I knew that something had to change. I didn’t know if I’d ever be happy like other people would be happy, but I knew that I had to fight. For my husband. For my children. For my self.
I had to fight.
So I found a therapist, I threw myself into my faith tradition, and I started exploring all the questions my busy “successful” life hadn’t allowed me to ask before. Questions like: Who am I? What kind of legacy do I want to leave for myself and my children? What kind of difference do I want to make in the world? What kind of parent and partner and person do I want to be?
Fast forward two beautifully messy years and I finally was ready to let go of the law. I still didn’t know what was next but I knew that it wasn’t the stress and strain of my old job no matter how much I liked the work. I wanted MORE from my life. Not most stuff. Not more money. Not more prestige. But MORE.
More love. More joy. More laughter. More freedom. More lightness.
That’s when I found life coaching, or rather, life coaching found me. I had entered something cheesy into Google like, “What’s my life purpose?” and ended up reading an article by Dr. Martha Beck. For the first time in what felt like forever, I felt truly seen and truly heard. So I looked up how to work with her and did a little math. Life coaching training would cost less than a year of therapy. With a little prompting from my husband, I was in.
Even then, I never thought I’d be a life coach! After all, I didn’t go to Yale and study law at the University of Virginia to do that! No, I just thought I’d learn a thing or two and see what happened next. Slowly over time, I realized that in fact I did want to coach, but I didn’t think I wanted to start a business. It all felt too weird and too strange to me. I didn’t want to sell things! I was a coach, not a salesperson.
Then I met my mentor Dr. Angela Lauria. She helped me to understand that if I wanted to help people, then I had to build a successful business. Then she taught me how. Within months, my years of struggle, anticipation and experience came together to form a completely new, and deeply successful, path. Now, I help determined moms start business and build lives that truly matter to them. And I continue to work everyday to keep growing a business and life that truly matters to me.
The path to meaningful work is never an easy one. It requires commitment, dedication, perseverance and above all, a lot of help from people who believe in us even when we don’t. But there isn’t a day I’m not grateful I chose to believe that there was MORE to this life than the typical path to economic and professional success. Given the choice, I’d leave my six-figure associate’s salary all over again for this crazy adventure I’m blessed to call my life.
If you would like to hear other perspectives on career change, hop aboard the “Career Grease Blog Tour“. Be sure to read Ginny Wright’s post from yesterday and stay tuned for Anna Kunnecke’s post tomorrow!