I didn’t come to the Handel Group to be a coach. I came, like many of the clients with whom I now work, because I needed help with my career.
I had just left my big-firm job to work as a part-time, in-house lawyer for a Fortune 500 company. This was the job that I had always said would make me really happy. You know the line, “I’ll be really happy when (fill in the blank).” Well, I had filled in my blank and guess what? You got it, still not happy.
So, I searched for someone to help me with my career, and thankfully I found my coach. She started asking me to deal with what I really wanted in my career. My answers started out pretty lame:
- I don’t want to work too hard.
- I want to make a decent living.
- Whatever it is, I have to use my law degree because I still owe money on my student loans.
Over time and with probing from my coach, my answers changed to things like:
- I work with nonprofits.
- I make a huge impact in the world.
- I am an expert in my field.
- I build an empire around doing good.
When I came to the conversation with, “Yeah, but what I want doesn’t exist,” she challenged me. And you know what, I didn’t really know that my dream career didn’t exist, I just never bothered to look. Instead, I chose to stay stuck, unfulfilled and grumpy. So (with my coach”s prodding) I started looking. And within a few months, I met someone who practiced law in the exact area that I wanted to practice in. Then, I did something completely out of the norm for me, I reached out to him. When I asked if he would be willing to talk to me about his job, he accepted and the conversation turned into a job interview (no kidding). I took that job almost 5 years ago, and I still get goose bumps when I think about how easy it was to make that dream happen.
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Yes, I said make it happen.Because the biggest thing I learned was that I was the thing standing in my way.
I had never truly admitted what I wanted in a career. Instead I aimlessly wandered down a path and acted confused when I was lost. When I finally started to dream, I was full of excuses and reasons why my dream was impossible. And it was impossible because I wasn’t willing to do more than complain or make excuses.
Once my coach had me commit to actions instead of complaining (we call that making promises) I was shocked at how quickly things started to move. But she wasn’t. Because that’s what we see all the time with clients – that there is just something that happens when you figure out your dream and then get out of your own way.
In what ways are you standing your own way when it comes to having a career that you love? I encourage you to admit it, then make a promise to do something bold. And watch how quickly things will unfold.