Thursday’s Dose of Professional Savvy…
I had always worked during my married life. When I got married I had a career in corporate marketing as a Brand Manager. I loved my career! I had worked in New York City for a few years for a cosmetic company before relocating after our wedding to Michigan where my then-husband had been transferred. Luckily I was able to find a similar job in a different niche after just a few months. I missed the fast-paced energy of New York and I had traded in promotions and photo shoots featuring top fashion models for sponsoring apres-ski parties in Colorado, which were the fun perks of my job and not a bad trade.
Two years later, we were transferred back to New York and I was at a new crossroad. I found out I was expecting our first child, literally at the B&B as we drove east! It was so exciting, but I was torn about going back to work in New York, which would mean two hours of daily commuting by train from Connecticut, and juggling a young family.
We ultimately decided that I would start a business and work from home…after all I had the education (including an MBA) and the experience of creating, marketing, and selling consumer products. So twenty years ago, before I even knew that life and career coaching existed, I did my own self-assessment to figure out what I really enjoyed and what I was good at. I had really enjoyed decorating our first house in Michigan and friends complimented me on what I had done, so after considering a few options I decided to go back to school (again!) and study interior design and hang my shingle.
Fast forward 15 years…I have just gone through my divorce and I have a thriving residential interior decorating business, but I am really just not feeling the excitement or the fulfillment or the passion that I once had for my business. So again, I am at a crossroad…do I take my business to the next level (especially since now all my kids are in school all day) or do I recreate my professional life and go down a new path?
This was a huge decision! I was now a single mom of four and alimony wasn’t going to last forever. I needed to make a business decision that would sustain me financially, but also fulfill me in a way my current business wasn’t.
One of the best decisions I made was to work with a career coach! When I met Nancy Collamer of www.jobsandmoms.com (and now also www.mylifestylecareer.com) at a networking meeting, it just seemed like the perfect fit…I was a full-time mom and businesswoman and needed to figure out my situation. It was great to partner with someone who understood what I was going through because most of my friends were at-home moms who weren’t working.
The process Nancy took me through helped me realize the things I had done in my life that I enjoyed (as well as those things I didn’t), what I was good at, and who I wanted to work with…smart, motivated women! Ultimately I decided to pursue coaching, and trained with CTI, The Coaches Training Institute (www.thecoaches.com).
While Nancy and I first talked about coaching divorced women, it took me a little while to get here. Given my corporate and entrepreneurial background, I started out coaching aspiring and new women entrepreneurs. What was interesting and probably predictable, though, was that as I grew my practice I attracted more and more women going through the transition of divorce. What was holding them up in their lives, was holding them up in their businesses and I realized my gift for helping other divorced women through the transition to become “better, not bitter”(TM) in all areas of their lives (not just business) and I created Savvy Divorced Chicks!
When I look back, I realize that each transition in my life has taken me down a road that has lead to the next. Each transition has created an opportunity for me to grow personally and professionally. Lessons I have learned in developing my “Professional Savvy”…keep your eyes open for the signs or the opportunities (they may not be anything you ever dreamed of!); don’t be afraid to take a risk (maybe take a different turn or learn a new skill); and get the support you need to create and achieve your dream job or business.