Career Counseling As A Way To Enhance Your Life

“I know you don’t call yourself a life coach but that’s what you have become to my sister. I think I need your help.” so began a phone call from Evelyn, a thirtysomething New Haven based freelance graphic artist. She was right on all counts: I don’t call myself a life coach as my work is focused on the practical work of shifting careers.  Evelyn’s sister, Jessica, and others often get coaching well beyond the contours of career counseling and Evelyn needed similar help.
In Jessica’s case, I met her when she was in her early twenties and contemplating graduate school. The problem was that she didn’t know what type of graduate school. Jessica needed to relaunch her life because she was stuck in a dead end job in Killingworth, CT. But she didn’t need to go into debt simply to escape. Eventually, she moved to Boston based partially on my advice that living with her friends in a great city, even if it only meant getting a different dead end job, was better than living at home in the deep suburbs feeling sorry for herself on the weekends.  This moved proved a good one from a life experience as she had a wonderful social life.  It also proved better on the job front as she eventually gained a full time job at one of Boston’s many start ups. Years later, and now in her early thirties, Jessica contacted me again as she was torn staying at her job (a different one than the start up) or stay at home with her first child.  Jessica’s husband earned enough to support the family, his family also was reasonably affluent so there was a backstop in case things went downward, he was fine with whatever made her happy, and it seemed clear that Jessica would really struggle if she had to work during her first year of motherhood. Her reason for staying was fear based – she remembered her days of unemployment.  But I helped convince her to stay home. 
As Evelyn pointed out, my advice – to move to Boston and to quit her job – were more of the life change variety than career coaching. True. I also know that quite often my career advice impacts family systems and I take such impact more seriously than other career coaches. I also suppose that as my hair is turning gray on the edges my life experience and years counseling have created a brain bank of life wisdom that I readily share.
So, come see me for career counseling but if you are thinking about a life retreat then maybe I can help there as well.