Embracing Change to Have the Career You Want

Changing careers, going back to work and going back to school is a wonderful place to be. Yet it can be so scary leaving what we know and are familiar with. This place is often called your “comfort zone.” Strange, isn’t it, to use the term “comfort zone” when being there can cause us to experience so much discomfort doing those things that cause stress and even illness? I felt the tug and pull of wanting to move on to something new during my tenure in marketing and administrative positions. The tug to stay put is strong. “Don’t rock the boat,” I was told by family and friends who were only trying to think what was best for me. Getting a regular paycheck and maybe some benefits is seductive. And to be pulled toward something new is also seductive with its own series of concerns and doubts.

I was the Director of Marketing & Administration for a medium size company as the Millennium approached. There were good points like getting a regular salary. There were some negative points like working for someone who was overbearing to say the least. This was not the first time I worked for a high powered individual terrorizing those who worked for him. Through my ongoing development, I was seeking answers to my inquiry of “there must be another way.” I became more knowledgeable regarding the power of thoughts and what we attract. I kept attracting difficult men. While working I was also getting radiation and chemo for breast cancer. I scheduled treatments surreptitiously to avoid letting anyone at work know. There were other circumstances woven in-between, however, these are the Cliff Notes.

What helped me through all this was my coach. I was also doing some volunteer coaching outside of work. Several months after my cancer treatments, my coach told me about how coaching is advancing to higher levels of accreditation. Certification programs were being offered. I wasted no time researching them and enrolled in a program. The program dates and logistics worked smoothly with my work schedule and taking the certification program (the law of attraction in perfect harmony). It took me about a year and a half and at that point I was a certified coach.

Following certification I enrolled in the year-long Co-Active Leadership program, which fosters “leadership potential and skills through the development of an international community of peers and leaders.” By continuing to work, I was able to afford the certification and leadership, and save money for when I would be developing a full-time coaching business. A plus was that I coached several of the staff in my office who moved forward by enrolling in higher education doing what they loved and earning more money. The company was going through downsizing at the time, so this was perfect timing for those I coached.

I developed a part-time coaching practice while working full-time. In mid-2003 I became part of the downsizing. As much as I was looking forward to building my coaching business full-time, it was still scary with unforeseen circumstances taking some of the focus away from business. However, it was my dream in doing what I love and never giving up which has gotten me here today. I believe that when we become self-aware of what we are attracting, our talents and purpose, anything is possible! It is a courageous act to dig deeper down the self-awareness rabbit hole.

Moving toward unfamiliar territory without a map is a hit or miss proposition. You want to make a change, you may have an idea of what you want to do and the map is blurry. There are many ways to create your map.

Coming from certainty is empowering. You are more attractive when you are grounded in what you want to do and how to do it. Even a slight change in posture is attractive. Walk with your head held high and then try to feel depressed. Walk with your head held low and notice how you feel. Which is more attractive? Which feels more empowering?

It is my goal to have you embrace change with comfort, passion, and skills. Eleanor Roosevelt once said: 'You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.'

Nothing stands still. Even as we breathe our cells are changing. Webster’s definition of change is:

a: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another;

b: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

Changing careers, going back to work and/or going back to school are passages. Change is full of possibilities and opportunities in the exploration of creating what's next for you. Will it take courage? Yes, but I wager to guess that you don’t have a shortage of courage. Knowing where you are headed and believing you can get there is a beginning.

My passage from a corporate position to following my passion in getting certified as a personal and professional coach had its challenges, with a life threatening illness as a kicker. I know what it is like to follow a dream with all the detours and celebrations in between. Was it worth it? You bet it was!

One of best ways to explore change is to go deeper down into your awareness by being curious through questioning. There are many questions that only you have the answers to. They will help you create your map in following what’s next and on purpose for you.

For example, these questions hold the answers:

* What do you want? (practice wanting)

* What do you think is waiting in the wings of your life to take flight?

* What is it you secretly wanted to learn? (art, music, new career opportunity)

* What permission do you need to give yourself before moving forward?

You are the dreamer of your desires to live life fully. It's time for you to have the career and life you want.


Theresa-Maria (“TM”) Napa – of Right Track Coaching - is dedicated to helping professionals and executives increase their winning percentage while taking fewer steps and producing better results. Her career has included positions as executive assistant, vice president of operations, director of marketing & administration, and business owner with substantial experience in leadership, marketing, client development, and execut...

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