Have you ever felt stuck in your career? I certainly have and I want to share with you the journey I took to get unstuck and start my own business.
If you told me in my early 20’s that I would one day start my own business and become an entrepreneur; I would have said “no way”. My goal was to go to college, earn a graduate degree and have a safe, steady job. So, I did just that! I went to college, got a BA in Psychology, a Master’s in Counseling Education and became a school counselor. Very safe, steady and it allowed me to follow my passion of helping others.
The part that I love most about my job is being able to guide and motivate my students towards their path of self-discovery when it comes to their college and career goals. I discovered that when I was able to guide them through the college application process or help them towards their academic and career goals, I was in my element. However, due to the nature of the role, as a school counselor, I have many other duties that did not allow me as much time as I wanted to the academic & career counseling aspect of my role. After eight years in this role, I started thinking that although I loved my career, I wanted to do much more of the career guidance piece. I started to think, “Now what?”, “What direction should I take next in my career?” I was at a point where I did not feel excited about it anymore and felt stuck. I hated my Sunday nights and felt like my life was over once the sunset every Sunday. I thought to myself, “I did not spend 7 years in college and take out student loans to feel this way.” I used to have random daydreams about quitting and becoming a cashier at a coffee shop or doing something completely different. I spent two more years feeling stuck, complaining and trying to figure things out without taking any real action.
The idea of starting a business and doing something completely different was always appealing to me but I had no idea what type of business I could possibly start or where to even start if I did. I thought that in order to start a business I had to have a “special skill” such as how to style hair to have a hair salon or bake cupcakes and open a shop. I saw having a talent or owning a business as needing to have a tangible skill or sell a physical product. I wasn’t really thinking about what skills I already possessed in my career that can be transferable into starting a service based business.
I started to do more soul-searching and joined networking and coaching groups on social media about career, personal and business development and one day it became very clear that career coaching was my ideal business to start. It was as if at that moment I had an epiphany and thought ‘Oh my God, why did I not realize this before”? Career coaching brought all the elements I am passionate about together. I already loved helping and mentoring others towards their career goals and it was something I could start and grow alongside my current profession. My vision was so clear that I immediately started to seek out others in the field for informational interviews, I enrolled in a coaching certification program and invested in help from coaches and courses throughout my early planning and implementation stages. This was one of the best investments I could have ever done for myself and my business. It helped give me direction and solidify all my systems.
Having this new career goal and drive renewed my energy and motivation. I now had a new sense of purpose and direction which changed my attitude towards everything. I knew I had a lot to learn and discover through the process but whatever I did not know I would figure out. Due to this new sense of direction, I structured my schedule and blocked out time before and after work to dedicate to my business and self-care. Most importantly, I also changed my attitude and perspective I had towards work. I started to feel a renewed sense of purpose and motivation at my current employment as well. That’s when I decided to step back from some of the administrative duties I was doing and focus more on the actual duties that brought me joy and aligned more with my passion. So I shifted my focus more on doing workshops on academic planning and career exploration with students.
Where am I now? In a much better place! I’m happier in my current role as a School Counselor and I’m growing my career coaching business on the side, one day at a time. I’m passionate about helping others who are feeling stuck in their careers and who are ready for a life change. Even if you’re not sure what that change is yet, just keep taking action, be willing to invest in yourself and most importantly, get out of your comfort zone. Switching careers or starting a business is not easy, you will be forced to get out of your comfort zone and learn a lot along the way. At times we get stuck in comfort and convenience but we ‘re all here for a greater purpose and sometimes it takes time and putting yourself out there to realize what that purpose is. You’ll be faced with obstacles along the way but you need to be resilient and keep moving forward. I believe we all deserve to have a career or business we love and look forward to; we’ve worked too hard to not be excited about our Mondays.