Almost one year ago I chose to step back and reevaluate who I wanted to be professionally. I dove into this process because – despite successfully supporting my clients through empowering changes in self-perception, and in how they lived their lives – the purpose of my business felt murky, and my identity as a practitioner felt increasingly fragmented. To make things even worse, my inner critic kept flinging epithets like “flake”, “dabbler”, and “unprofessional.”
What made me really uneasy, though, was the lack of a clear reason for my confusion. The usual culprits – burnout, overwhelm, family crisis and the like – were not an issue. I loved my work and my clients, there were no crises, I consciously practiced good self-care, my resilience was not being unusually tested by any life events. So, what was up?
I finished with my existing clients, closed my practice, sent a “Thank you and farewell” email to my newsletter list, took a part time job with my local library to stopgap our finances, and spent a lot of time staring at birds in our backyard feeders.
I needed time and space to figure out why work that had inspired me nourished me no longer. And, since it wasn’t the first time this had happened, I needed to figure out what caused this cycle of passionate engagement/disengagement.
I’d been in business for eight years becoming a serial discoverer of a string of strangely different “one true purposes.”
I also needed to find a new way to work – something that met our financial needs as well as my spiritual, psychological and intellectual needs – for my own sanity and for my family’s financial stability.
After some fruitless weeks of spinning around in my own head, I reached out to a career counselor. I’m so glad I did.
She listened to me tell my story. She heard me talk about my fears of being rejected by potential employers because my job history leapfrogs among very different industries and occupations – including a long gap for parenting. She heard me worry about how the typical corporate work environment left me exhausted with no time or energy for the ecosystem that keeps me centered and sane. She listened to my worries about how draining the marketing parts of building a private practice can be, if I decided to be self-employed again.
Then, she quietly asked what felt like simple questions and held space as I went off and sorted through what was real, and what was me getting in my own way.
She helped me understand who I was: a highly sensitive (HSP) multipotentialite (also known as a Renaissance Soul, scanner, multipassionate) introvert and intuitive with a set of core values that mean I will always be drawn toward supporting people who are outliers – especially those who want to make a difference.
She helped me clearly see that I had a unique collection of tools, skills and experiences exquisitely made for helping people like me who were facing the disorienting dilemma of defining – or redefining – their professional identities.
After getting clearer about my foundational values, I decided to add a career development facilitator (CDF) certification to my masters in Human and Organizational Transformation. My education plus my years of mentoring sensitive, intuitive women gave me the final set of practical tools and resources to feel confident as a career coach for this very special group of people.
I was so relieved!
So, my starting over … again has birthed a new career coaching practice — as the kind of career coach I am uniquely made to be. Offering a coaching approach I am uniquely qualified to offer especially created to support highly sensitive (HSP), multipassionate, multipotentialites (Renaissance Souls), who, like me, are probably also quite intuitive and possibly introverts. Oh…and…yes…connection with nature will play a big part in the coaching process. (Anyone surprised?)
I’m also restarting my newsletter, seeding it with a mix of practical and spiritual support for self-discovery, resilience, self-care, career/work path strategy, job seeking strategies and more. It will be published (approximately) every two weeks. Real help. No overwhelm. Click here if you’d like to subscribe.