Career Coaching for
Every day is Independence
Many countries hold annual
celebrations of independence, with picnics, parades, and fireworks.
Some people celebrate their own independence, every day.
As a consultant and coach,
I like to work with people who are just discovering their freedom
to change cities, homes and careers. Like the colonies, they
experienced a last-straw moment and they rebelled. They stayed
and fought back or took off for friendlier shores, as the colonists
had done in the first place.
And, like the colonists, they don't have the advantage of power,
royalty or colorful uniforms. Their advantage lies in purpose
and determination. Face it: the British were fighting for another
outpost to fly the Union Jack, but the colonists fought to be
recognized and counted as human beings. No contest.
I collect Independence Day stories.
Ken, a former colleague,
left a lucrative job as a finance professor to enter medical
school at age 29. His department head predicted he'd never get
into medical school and lots of people predicted he'd never get
a residency. Last year Ken graduated from a highly-regarded medical
school and began a surgical residency at a prestigious medical
center. He's in debt and very happy.
Jim a high-paying bank job to take flying lessons. His friends
thought he was crazy as he worked long hours at minimum wage
to get commercial flying hours. After ten years and a series
of jobs, Jim now flies jets all over the world for a major airline.
His banking friends wish they could trade places.
What worked for these people? It wasn't just change, but realizing
they didn't like being owned by a career, a city or a house.
Their awareness generated energy as powerful as rocket fuel.
Some ownership is more subtle: we can be owned by cigarettes
or clutter or friends who carry wet blankets to smother our dreams.
I once asked a woman why she was living in an overpriced, underserviced
" I have a large dog," she said. "I have no choice."
Since that encounter, I've met lots of people with large dogs
who are renting nicer, cheaper places. Some have two large
dogs. This woman was owned by her own belief system.
Being owned can be fun, which
is why most of us don't take a vow of poverty. .Right now, I
like being owned by good coffee, two temperamental cats, and
a great dog. I used to like being owned by an academic career
and a house.
Transformation happens when
people realize their ties have become chains and somebody else
is holding the key. It may be worth a fight to get the key back.
Often people are stunned to realize the key's been in their hand
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*