I had a meeting last night with an amazing group of women who inspired me to take some more risks with my business. Show my personality more. Share my journey with people. When I lack confidence, am stuck, or am afraid to try something new, it’s amazing how much I welcome feedback from people in my life who push me to do things differently. Do things better. They can see where I get my passion and push me to share that with as many people as I can and I can’t thank them enough!
I am often asked how I came to be a career coach. I don’t have an HR or Organizational Development background. Heck, I don’t even have a career coaching certification. How can I compete with the other amazing coaches out there? My answer has many layers and there are twists and turns in my career that got me to this point. It comes down to experience and passion. Knowing what you are passionate about and what your strengths are can help you in so many ways – taking on new projects at work or home, finding a new job or just be more engaged in the job you currently have, or find a new hobby.
The question is, how can you determine what your passions are and do more of them?
Clues to Passions
The way we conduct our lives every day gives us many indicators into our personal strengths. A strength is passion combined with ability. When you know what you are passionate about you can begin take steps to lead more with your own personal strengths. I want to share a few of these clues and in doing that, I will share some insights into me and my journey as a career coach.
- What activities are you naturally drawn to?
Do you notice certain situations where you automatically raise your hand to do something? Is there work or tasks you will take on even when you plate is full? Remember back in school when a teacher would ask for a volunteer. Was that you? Throughout my career in corporate America, and even looking back at my youth and college years, I constantly said ‘yes’ when someone asked for my help. I specifically remember how much I loved to help if it involved solving a problem or coming up with the solution to something a friend was stuck on. There were times I knew I couldn’t handle taking on ‘one more task’ in my day to day job but I never stopped to consider ‘should I’ when someone needed my help. I am naturally drawn to helping people when I feel they need it. As a corporate team leader for over 15 years, my best days were when I watched a team member succeed by using my suggestion with their talents to overcome an obstacle!
- Doing without thinking!
Try this simple activity. On a piece of paper write your full name in cursive 10 times. Next, switch it up and write your name 10 times with your non-dominant hand. What differences did you notice? Most people will realize that they didn’t even think about writing their name the first time. They just did it. When asked to use their non-dominant hand people will say they had to pay more attention to what they wrote and how they wrote it. Many people will even verbally share their frustration with doing this exercise! This frustration is common since unless you are blessed as ambidextrous, using your non-dominant hand takes you out of your comfort zone.
Now think again about that feeling of naturally doing something without even thinking about it. In these moments, you are using your strengths!
- When can I do that again?
When someone does something they are passionate about they want to do more and more of it!
As I progressed in my corporate career, I became responsible for larger projects for bigger clients that could potentially impact millions of people. But even as I gave countless hours to these projects, what mattered the most to me was who was going to reach out to see if I could help them. I would constantly shift my work schedule to free up time to help coworkers figure out what they loved to do and how to do more of it.
When I left one my first corporation to take an exciting opportunity in another I didn’t take into account my passion for helping others. In my new role I was no longer a team leader. I no longer had a role in helping great people continue to do great things. I wasn’t someone’s mentor, someone’s go-to person. My soul missed that. When asked if I would volunteer my time as a career coach I immediately raised my hand and began a 5 year journey as a career coach and mentor.
When I left the corporate world to begin working on my own I again neglected one of my great passions. It wasn’t until I was plodding through some of my consulting work that I realized that my work was leaving out the very thing that energized me. When an old colleague asked if I would be willing coach her as she looked for a new job, I immediately said yes! After our time together, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted to do that again and again! I realized that this was the missing piece in my new career. Thus began my journey jumping feet first into building a business around my passion!
What do you learn when you start leading with your passions? You are more aware of who you are. When I started this business I was able to see more clearly my strengths. My strengths are what connect me to clients. I have to articulate to them how I can help them reach their goals. I have the ability to listen to what people are saying and intuitively connect the dots to complete the picture they were initially unable to see. As my sister-in-law Jes says, I am a logistical goddess to get people to where they want to be in their career.
What will happen to you when you lead with your passion? I challenge you to find out. Think about the energy you would create doing the things you love!!
To your growth, development and amazing potential,
Career Development Coach