“Strange fascination, fascinating me; Changes are taking the pace I’m going through.” David Bowie
For me 2012 has been a year of changes. I left an organization I’d been a part of for 15 years. I wrote about that, as a well as a brief mention about going back to school here. And I started a small business which until now I’ve only shared via the creation of a Facebook page. So perhaps it’s time to tell my story about this coaching thing. Basically I’d been on two concurrent paths that met to create the professional life I am enjoying today.
Path One: Last November, before I’d made the decision to leave my 15 year run, I was talking with a colleague of mine who was in the same field (development). She was telling me about her job and I immediately told myself, “I want her job.” I never dreamed she would leave her post, but in late May I discovered she’d decided to resign so that she could pursue her own business interests. I interviewed for and was offered the position. I’ve been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2002. I love working in the development profession and I am grateful to have joined the FiftyForward organization.
Path Two: Sometime late in 2011, before I made a conscious decision to leave my job, I was hit smack upside the head (that’s Southern-speak for having an epiphany) with the understanding that I was to pursue the coaching profession. I was basically bombarded with signals that I have no doubt were Higher Powered. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this revelation, so I reached out to eight Life and Executive Coaches and picked their brains. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for their generosity; each shared with me options for training and education. After all of this info-gathering I had a heart-to-heart with hubs. I told him about this path I felt led to follow and told him what it would cost. We’d be making a heavy investment in tuition and text books. Added to that, I would be hiring my own mentor coach. And so early in 2012 at the ripe young age of 50, I re-entered the world of academia and I have loved every minute of it.
The Paths Meet: I joined FiftyForward in August of this year. My salary and benefits package is based on my working 36 hours per week and I have the flexibility to work four nine-hour days. Working four days a week has created space for me to begin my coaching practice. It’s also meant setting tight boundaries around my time. I don’t allow myself think that my FiftyForward schedule has given me an extra play day. I don’t spend that day hanging out with friends or catching up on television. I spend it on client calls and studying.
I consider the professional life I’m living today to be wonderfully eclectic. FiftyForward allows me to use my knowledge and skills in development in order to improve the lives of our agency’s clients. My coaching practice allows me to work with fabulous people who are creating strategies to build the lives they want. My practice is phone-based so I have the joy of working with people across the county.
I don’t yet have a website, but I’ve set up a dedicated email address for those who would like to make a confidential inquiry about the benefits of hiring a coach. That address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
My mentor coach recently gave me a beautiful coaster. I think it sums up my year…and my life pretty well.