April 7, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by Eilene Zimmerman, a journalist who writes for many national publications including the New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and FORTUNE Small Business. This interview was for her personal blog, takingmyownadvice.com, which is a warm and engaging chronicle of her journey through transition, as a mother and soon-to-be ex-wife, as she avidly seeks a career and financial education.
Here is an excerpt of our discussion as she quizzed me about my experiences and the Professsional Destiny approach:
“Here it is April 1st and it’s no joke, I can’t figure out if I really need to talk to a coach. I’m torn, probably, because I spoke last week with Valerie Hausladen, and that felt like a coaching session in and of itself. Of course it wasn’t, it was an interview about her new book, Professional Destiny: Discover The Career You Were Born For. Her take-away is this: ‘Anyone can make a change at any time.’ But she also realizes change takes time. Her book is about transitions, something I’m interested in myself, as I’m in transition at this very moment.
Hausladen’s story is anything but straightforward, and that’s the rub. Making changes in your life can be tough, can take a while, and the path isn’t always linear…
Hausladen hadn’t changed her life overnight–it took a decade. She had always wanted to write a book and finally did it. She became a coach and started her own management consulting firm–Edge Communication Group in Austin.
She’s not suggesting that people up and quit their well-paying (or, in this economy, even their not-so-well-paying) jobs, but she is saying take that first step. ‘If you can’t leave your job, start doing one or two things a day towards what you really want to do. Connect with others in the industry where you want to be, get some more information about changing jobs or careers, ask for resources. Just do something towards that goal every day,’ she says. The first step–whatever it is–doesn’t have to be right, says Hausladen. It just has to BE. You have to take it and then if it’s wrong, you learn from it. But many of us are almost paralyzed by the choices we have–or think we have. You have to pick something or you’ll never pick anything.
Even if you haven’t worked in fifteen years and your teaching credential has long since expired, or the last time you worked in HR they didn’t have computers, don’t be discouraged. Maybe start by volunteering. Or by simply going online and researching the industry. Calling a school to see what that nurse practitioner program entails. Etc.
Maybe it sounds just a little corny when Hausladen says, ‘Take the first step and the next one will show itself.” But she’s right–you just can’t see the whole destination yet. In time though, with a little luck and hard work, you (and me) will.’”
To read Eilene’s full post, including more details of my personal transition, click here.
Eilene Zimmerman is a journalist based in San Diego, Calif. who writes about a variety of topics, including business, social and political issues and family life. Her work has been published in national magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Glamour, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, FORTUNE Small Business, CNNMoney.com, CBS MoneyWatch.com, Wired, Harper’s, Salon.com, Slate.com, Psychology Today and others.
Once a month she writes the “Career Couch” column in the Sunday New York Times Business section.