Sounds good, right? Did you know that taking the time to get to know how you are wired, what you excel in, your passions and values can achieve these important things? My own story is a great example of how what you think your life path will be can end up leading you in a completely opposite direction that is much more suited to your gifts.
I chose art education as my major in college. I enjoyed crafts and I had some experience teaching in my Mom’s nursery school so, it seemed like a logical choice. WRONG! First of all, enjoying crafts doesn’t necessarily mean you are good at fine art. Secondly, teaching in a nursery school is much different than teaching in a high school. After four and a half years of college, one semester of summer classes and full class loads, I discovered during student teaching that I really didn’t enjoy grading art and I still wasn’t that good at fine arts. I wish I could have talked to my 18 year-old-self or had someone else to counsel me to give more clarity on my college major choice. After I graduated, budgets in all the schools where I lived were being cut and the first thing to go was the art department. So, I ended up getting a job in sales and marketing in the educational sector. It turns out this was a great career for me. However, despite some career successes, at the back of my mind existed a regret. You see I discovered that I would have really enjoyed pursuing psychology and ultimately a counseling degree. This realization became clearer as more people came to me to help them with various personal or professional problems. Young people would ask me for advice when it came time to choose a college major. Years later after my three kids finished college, I was ready to do something different. That is when I pursued a certificate in coaching because it was a good fit to how I was wired. As well as a lot less expensive and more efficient than pursuing a master’s degree and, I really love it!
Taking the time to truly know myself and receive some guidance before I started college would have really helped me. My parents sacrificed to send me through school. Although having a college degree served me well, I can see how I should have pursued something different. During my final semester of college, I experienced a great deal of stress with the revelation that I really didn’t love what I worked so hard to achieve. However, I am thankful for the opportunities that did come after that. Now I am so thrilled to be working in a profession that assists people of all ages in understanding who they are and what that means for their life. The best part is knowing that it will save them time and money while also strengthening their well-being.