Sometimes finding a job or career that really makes us happy is hard. We have so many voices around us that keep us busy focusing on what we think we should do rather than just listening to our own voice. I’ve been doing this for years.
I don’t think I have one specific job that I am meant to do. There are several things that I enjoy doing and that I plan to incorporate into my career over time. Creativity and brainstorming is huge for me, so that will always be part of everything I do. And I love to learn, so research and any opportunity to increase my knowledge base is in there, too.
As for coaching, its been a slow process to realize that this is what I want to spend my time doing. I have been coaching for years without ever realizing it. If I was to really think back to my first career coaching moment I would say I was in high school.
My dad finished high school right before I started high school. He didn’t stay in the first time, but made valedictorian the second time. (If this isn’t a great example of try until you get it right I don’t know what is). He got his high school diploma and we couldn’t have been more proud of him! It is not an easy thing going back to high school as an adult.
As the years progress my dad still had trouble finding his job path. He worked in factories, convenience stores, a grocery store, an ice cream factory, and even tried his turn at being an entrepreneur. They were all jobs he could do, but none seemed to fit. All while doing this he was part of the the Canadian Forces Reserves. He would work mandatory shifts and then be back at his ‘day’ job, since the Reserves was just to offset some of the financial burden.
My dad has been part of the Reserves since before I was born. He likes being outside, working with his hands, teaching new recruits, knowing what he is doing is meaningful. When he was given the opportunity to do a peacekeeping mission overseas he took it. And yeah, it sucked that he was away. We missed him, and he missed us. But he did it because financially it helped our family… and he is always one for a new adventure. (If you know his vacation history you know how true this is).
Between a few overseas deployments, weekend exercises and summer training my dad was busy working hard at this part-time job. The other jobs weren’t working out for various reasons, so it was this one long struggle to figure out his path.
While talking in our backyard one day my dad was sharing his struggles and his uncertainty of what to do. He was planning to instruct at another summer course away in New Brunswick. I just listened. I’ve heard him talk about his travels, about the courses where he learned to build bridges, his pride when he certified schools clear of hazards overseas. If you put it all together he loves this job. Not everything about it since that is pretty rare. But overall, this seemed to fit. After he was done sharing I tell him “Maybe this is what you are meant to do”, more as a question than a statement.
He didn’t say much. And I am definitely not taking credit for him leaving the Reserves to join the Regular Force. He made his own decisions and put his own plan into action. All I did was ask a question after everything I heard. And no, I don’t always have amazing insight with a single question. But I did realize then, and many times over the years that I love listening to people’s stories. I love hearing what they have to say and then helping them connect the dots between the things they have told me.
So yeah, I think I always had it in me to be a coach. But even for a coach sometimes it can take a while to listen to that inner voice. But it’s never too late to go back and try again.