These days whenever I talk to my friends and ex-coworkers, one question comes very often: “How did you decide that you wanted to be a coach?” Someone even asked, “So how did it happen, one fine morning, you just decided on this?” Some commented, “I wish I knew what my passion is”. My short answer is, it took me a few years of dissatisfaction and trying out different activities, and finally one year of rigorous thinking to find out my passion and the next endeavor.
There was a time I truly enjoyed my software work; I was very proud of my contribution, which in turn satisfied my soul. At the same time, my social activities expanded beyond organizing Saturday night parties and potlucks. I got actively involved with a growing non-profit organization and played a vital role in the very first project of size 30K. On a personal level, I somehow demonstrated qualities that made my friends feel comfortable talking to me on troubling issues on career and relationships – I became an unofficial counselor. In the meantime, I became a mom; I started researching how to be a good parent. As I learned more, I thought about how I could share it with other women who have the same questions as me. Luckily a friend of mine had an organization focusing on women empowerment. With a few other like-minded friends, I started a community blog on her site, writing articles on various topics – soft skills, relationship, parenting, career, and social stigma.
Deep inside I started feeling a significant shift; I realized, I wanted to learn more about people, how they act in one way or other, and how I can motivate them to live their personal best. In my job, as I became a manager, I got an opportunity to learn more about the people side. I noticed this is where my passion had shifted; I found more satisfaction empowering people than solving technical problems. I was not happy. I didn’t know if I belonged to this high tech industry anymore. Only half of my job duty was people related, and the other half was draining my energy every day. I spent sleepless nights thinking over it. I researched, read books on psychology and management hoping to find out where my passion was. I was devastated – a career change meant all my educational investments in computer science would become a big zero.
Around this time I bumped into (actually did a google search using some keywords like “career change,” passion, people skills, etc.) a testimonial from another woman mentioning her career change from a high tech field to coaching. Wow! I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. After that, I read a book on coaching, talked to a few schools offering coaching courses, and finally made some financial plans with my husband so we could live on his paycheck. A big heavy load shifted off of my head. I started my new journey of learning and discovery. Today, I am glad that I honored my dissatisfaction and took the initiative to find a more satisfying path for me. I wish I could work with a coach and find my answers much sooner and with much less confusion!
If this article resonates with you, let’s have a chat. email me at sbanu <at> greenleafcoach <dot> com