You’re a successful career woman looking for meaning
You feel stuck and unfulfilled in your career. You used to enjoy it; you used to feel challenged and inspired...then one day you didn’t.
You’re continuing a pattern of being busy and rationalizing that everything is fine (when you know deep down it isn’t.)
Your mind draws a blank when you consider what you can do to change this.
You fear you could choose the wrong path and end up precisely back in the same situation.
Busyness and overwhelm
In 2015, I walked away from a 10-year successful career in corporate America. I loved my job...until the day I didn’t. The decision wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. Amidst the busyness and overwhelm of supporting a 40,000 person organization with ever-changing priorities, I lost myself, my dreams, and my joy.
When a new leader stepped in and dismissed everything I had accomplished, I was left doubting my talents, my skills, and ultimately my self-worth. Something had to change. I couldn’t repeat the phrase “hang in there” to myself anymore. This was my sign to go!
Searching for answers - trying to figure this out
My story and how I got here, to coaching, isn’t quite so simple and linear as: 1) girl quits job; 2) girl starts coaching business; 3) girl is wildly happy. Let’s back my story up a bit first. My entire life I had been searching for answers. Answers to life’s big questions. Why did my older sister die at the age of 15 from cancer? Why was my Mom often passed out drunk when I came home from school? Why couldn’t we talk about any of this in my family of 6 brothers?
I turned inward and shut out others in order to figure this out, and I held on to one belief: there has to be something more, something better in life than this constant struggle.
The belief sustained me. It also set me on a path of curiosity. A path of searching and searching for answers. I read, I took classes, I worked hard, I read some more (so many books), I acquired certifications and degrees...always learning, always searching. This curiosity and willingness to learn opened unseen doors.
The first of many doors was an opportunity to transition from a number-crunching type job (because my undergraduate degree was in math - if you can believe that) to taking a leap into facilitation and training. Honestly, I was scared to death to take this leap, but it was too late, I already said I was interested.
My first leap into fear and excitement
This leap of faith required me to slay dragons, like public speaking and facilitating teams through a problem-solving process (I had never attempted either task before and I thought “who am I, a scared person in my 20’s, to lead anyone?”). It was both scary and exhilarating at the same time.
Being in training and development, putting myself out there day after day, and helping others brought out feelings of joy and awareness of core values I didn’t know were there (they certainly weren’t developed through a degree in math.) It tapped into values such as creativity and making a difference (to name two.) To this day, they are both strong filters I use to make big decisions, like career choices.
Knock and doors will open
I now know, that when I am feeling both fear and excitement at the same time, that I am on the right path. If there’s no fear than I am probably staying in my comfort zone, and if there is no excitement, then why do it?
Now that I was aligned to values and experiencing joy in a career for the first time, many doors started to open . Fear was still there, but the positive feelings and impact I was making made the fear worthwhile.
I spent three years teaching a personal transformation course. I taught how to overcome self-imposed limitations, how to clarify your core values, how to set and achieve goals. It was exhilarating for my own growth, and rewarding to share this with others
I was enjoying teaching and facilitation, I was growing in skill and impact, I was creating and making a difference on a daily basis, and yet, part of me felt something was missing - that there could be something more.
The first time Coaching tapped me on the shoulder
The “a-ha” moments the participants would experience happened during the training. But what about after they left the class? What then? Did they put their dreams into action? Did they break through self-imposing limitations? Did they find the courage to have that conversation with their boss? I never knew the “rest of the story” because I was focused on the next class and the next group of participants.
I wanted to be present for the current class, and I also wished I could have continued the conversation with each participant after the previous class. This was coaching tapping me on the shoulder saying “hey, look at me.”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but those subtle taps on the shoulder are hints of what’s possible. Later, a course in coaching during my graduate program ignited a new curiosity in my brain. I love when that happens, don’t you?
Detoxing from corporate America
When I quit in 2015, there were successful and trusted executives who advised against me leaving without another job. I know, this path is not for everyone, but it was the only option I could see at the time. I knew I would be no good for another employer right away.
So off I went on a 500-mile backpack walk across Spain. I recognized the familiar feelings of fear, as I went to a foreign country by myself without any knowledge of the language except to say “cerveza, por favor.” And, there was definite excitement - I had a guide book, I had read a gazillion website posts for advice, I had seen the fantastic pictures that lured me there, and I had watched the movie The Way.
Fear and excitement, once again, I must be on the right path! And what a path it was. 35 days to let go, unwind, not care about emails; 35 days to just walk, breathe, connect with other travelers, meet the local people, sit inside gorgeous churches, and take in the endless beauty. Ahhhhh.
When I returned I had made a shift. Really it was a decision. I did not want to work within corporate America again, or at least not at this time. This was my time to create a business my way, aligned to my strengths and my deepest core values.
Patty Miller, Certified Professional Coach
So, here I am today, speaking with you, and I couldn’t be happier. I am passionate about helping others discover their something more, get unstuck from the thinking that makes you feel like there is nothing you can do about the situation, and get on a path - your path to freedom, joy, inspiration, excitement, impact, meaning, (insert your awesome word here: _______________.)
You’ve read this far (thank-you), I think it is important for you to understand a little bit about what drives me to work with people who feel stuck and unfulfilled in their careers. I am motivated and passionate about you figuring this out without the years of books and school and drifting I did before I focused on asking better questions.
Questions are my specialty - I told you about my curiosity, well, it comes in handy in coaching others. I want life to be joyous and meaningful - for me and for you! I let 10 years fly by in a flash. Not all of it bad, but still, not all of it on purpose.
What's Your Story?
I’d love to hear it. Connect with me here, and tell me one thing that resonated with you and why? Or tell my anything you want to share from your career journey and the path you are currently on. I love to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly - there are no wrong stories here - it’s how we connect and grow!
I look forward to having you be a part of this tribe of women who are asking the big question, “What is my something more?”, and then sharing their “more” with the world - honestly, isn’t that what we are all here for?