Are you exhausted just reading that outloud? For a really, long time, my career made me so, so happy. Sparked with curiosity and incredibly passionate, I was the clear-headed, goal-oriented PR pro. Until one day I wasn’t.
In my climb up the corporate ladder, things started to feel shaky and unclear. Add on becoming a mom and a new job and a lot hit me at once.
Career consumed passion
I have always been very linear in my approach to my career: work hard, have a healthy dose of ambition, be organized. Show up.
Being the kind of person who also had many big goals, I felt that I needed to discover what I liked—and what I didn’t—on my own; I needed to explore and try out different jobs and industries to learn where and how I wanted to put my communication chops to work.
An insatiable sense of curiosity served me well; I accelerated through roles in the broadcasting industry carving a clear path and upward progression for myself along the way.
Beyond that, my career and my job were always more than a place to go to work; I was wildly passionate about it. It was part of my identity. And I never approached work and life as two separate things — I always made friends in my career, and that sense of belonging as a team and a community fuelled my work. It was a non-negotiable; that work and personal life were integrated.
Where lines become blurry
"It was after having my second baby when I started to really question myself and my choices - something I had never done before."
I was at a crossroads: freshly back from maternity leave, trying to figure out how to make it all work. I had never had so many layers of life to knit together.
On top of having the new addition to the family, I had just started a fresh job where I couldn’t seem to get my footing. I wasn’t connecting with the team the way I had in previous jobs - and that disconnect gave me an immense sense of pressure. That powerful, non-negotiable work-life integration was missing. The sense of clarity and focus I’d previously had was now blurry.
It didn’t take long before I noticed myself changing; I was becoming a different person. I had a sense it was unhappiness brewing...but didn’t know what path I could take to reroute myself.
Which is when I remembered Janet; a woman who had left a very successful career to take up coaching.
Instead of my old, independent, self-reliant ways, I reached out to her for guidance and it effectively changed everything.
More than work/life balance
I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect in all areas of my life. I had been sitting with the massive question mark of how I going to find that ‘perfect’ way to fulfill myself and my career while also balancing the other roles in my life.
My coach helped me see things differently. She got me out of the practical day-to-day needs of money and surviving and nudged me towards an understanding of what makes me really, truly happy - in an integrated way, beyond work and career.
And she gave me space to be honest—mostly with myself. She helped me understand what brings me true joy and how I could allow myself to be curious. She guided me to understand my own insecurities and be vulnerable in them. In short, I became much more self-aware. Lastly, while it wasn’t a ‘lesson’, I understood the power of patience...and how impatient I had been with myself to have the answers, get things right, and keep things moving.
As a result of that, I was able to cut away the clutter and understand how I could prioritize all aspects of my life - allowing me to become a better person: a better daughter, a better mom, a better wife and a better professional. A better, and more full, me.
So, I didn’t stay in the job that wasn’t working. And we picked up the family and moved across the country. And every leap, every step forward since has been less linear, and more driven by the want and the courage to chase happiness across the board.
Not just in the boardroom.
PS - If you've read this piece and think coaching is something you'd like to try, sign up for an unlimited trial and book your initial sessions for free.