Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! When Natasha came to me in 2010 (!) to be part of a coaching group, she was deep into questioning whether she should continue her PhD to “study lions” (!) or, um, not. I can’t wait to share with you where she is now!
Why did you decide to work with a creative career coach?
I was effectively a cross between desperation and a whim. My good friend Angelique had known of Michelle’s work for a long time, and when one of her scholarship opportunities became available, she suggested I throw my hat in the ring. I couldn’t imagine being at all appealing to Michelle, but I also couldn’t see the harm in trying. And while I didn’t win the one on one sessions, the group sessions I took with her afterward were great for helping sort out what I didn’t want to do.
What were you doing work-wise when we started our sessions?
Honestly, the best answer might be the one on the When I Grow Up site from four years ago. For those who want the snappier version: I was in graduate school working toward a doctorate in Ecology and Evolution, and it wasn’t working toward me.
What was your biggest takeaway from our work together?
Sometimes it’s ok to seek. Sometimes what we do not know is more telling than what we do know. Six long years after graduate school? There’s a part of me that says, “Man, I shoulda known that. ‘Eureka’ isn’t the best phrase in science. ‘Huh, why did THAT happen?’ is the best.”
Of course, it took working with Michelle and a lot of years since to realize the other piece she was working with me on: Get used to discomfort.
Was there anything else you tried to do as a career between the time we stopped our sessions and what you do for work now? If so, how did it inform your current career?
Oh goodness, I mentioned in the above guest post that I tried a million ideas on for size. Nothing fit. And nothing fit. And nothing fit.
So, currently? I’m a “beertender” part time. My blog went on a hell of a hiatus, but I’m picking it back up. I’m working toward becoming even more of a beer expert and I’m plotting out a business that will launch in 2017.
What would you tell someone now that was in your shoes when we first started working together? What’s your best “tip” to allow them to make a grown-up living doing what they love?
Don’t fall into the sunk cost fallacy. I don’t care how long you’ve been in it (whatever “it” is), next year you’ll have been in it a year longer. In 2026, it’ll be a decade. The chance you’re happier a year or a decade more in than now seems unlikely if you’re dreadfully miserable now.
My best tip? Get comfortable with discomfort. Remember that growing is hellaciously uncomfortable. This isn’t to say life should be permanently uncomfortable, but to point out it probably shouldn’t be permanently comfortable and easy either.
If you have your own biz, what’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!
Launching. My big goal is getting off the ground this year. By April, I hope to have my business off the ground and going. It’ll likely still be pretty small by that point, but that’s my current aim for “not just in my damn head”.
(Oh gods, why am I admitting that so publicly?? Deadlines are suddenly loooooooming.)
Thanks for everything, Michelle. And thanks to everyone who read through this. I raise my tulip to you all in gratitude.