Having worked for over 17 years in marketing for some of the biggest brands in the world, I found that over time, the core work was repetitive and becoming more political management than truly externally focused marketing.
Over the years, I had also found that I had the highest satisfaction in developing people and the organization, and volunteered very often for projects that allowed me to interact with more people. The part of my marketing job that I best loved was talking to consumers and seeing how I could truly improve their lives with the brands I was building.
So here I was, on a two-year stint in India, after spending the previous 15 years living around the world, wondering why I was so anxious about my future and trying to figure what to do next. I was clutching at straws – doing consulting projects that gave me little satisfaction and even less money, considering various jobs that came my way, even those that involved a career change.
When a friend of mine mentioned that she had just completed her training to be a coach – I signed up immediately for her to be MY coach. I wanted her to give me the answers, do a battery of tests and tell me what to do next.
What happened next has changed my life!!
First, she took me through a visualization that helped me identify my core values, my life purpose and my natural gifts and talents. These were clumsy words that I carved out, but felt right at the core of my being.
Over the next several months, she then guided me through my thoughts – essentially, I was expected to take the lead in conversations, come up with options, process these, and follow through to take these forward. Through the process, I evaluated multiple “career” options, dropped most of them, and moved towards a closer idea of what I wanted to do.
However, at the end of the process, I didn’t have a job or a career defined. What I had instead, was a deep sense of peace – that I had found who I was, and what I wanted to BE, and what I wanted to DO would reveal itself in due course.
One of the starting points of my discussion with my coach was that I also wanted to explore becoming a coach. Not because she was doing it – but based on my own understanding of what I loved – investing time in people to see them achieve their highest potential.
I have since completed my coach training, and am taking small steps towards establishing myself as a coach. There is still a long way to go – defining the spaces that I want to work in, building my client base, building my skills to serve my clients in the best possible way etc.
None of these things feel scary or impossible, as I always have my core values and life purpose to go back to – the foundation of who I want to be. These will be my bedrock when I feel the building shaking around me.
So if you have thoughts or anxieties about where you are, and somehow don’t feel comfortable in that space, and don’t know where to go next, reach out to me or to any coach that you might be comfortable with – invest in yourself and reach your highest potential.