My Visit to a Life Coach

christinas_world

In 2010, I was feeling stuck at my job and thinking about making a big career change. I was the marketing manager at a small business in the urban forestry field. I loved the people I worked with and enjoyed some of my responsibilities, but not as many as I wanted, and I was concerned that I wasn’t very passionate about urban forestry. But I was having a deeply fulfilling experience doing something else: For two years I’d been volunteering in my free time with an animal welfare non-profit, and I considered pursuing a full-time, paying job in the field. A big change was exciting to contemplate, but it was accompanied by concerns that I would end up utterly consumed by the work, emotionally fatigued, and not earning enough to make a living. I decided that I wanted to see a life coach for guidance.

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The Art of Starting a Career Group

La Gerbe, by Henri Matisse

Steph was once described to me by a mutual friend of ours as someone who made you feel that anything was possible. And it’s true—whether it’s undertaking a complicated recipe for chocolate babka, reupholstering chairs, or taking impromptu trips, Steph is someone who has a lot of ideas, and a big, enthusiastic smile for every one of them. It makes you want to join her in whatever it is she’s proposing. After finishing a graduate program last year in urban planning and feeling somewhat dissatisfied with the freelance consulting work she was doing, she came to me with her latest idea: a career group for women. We sat down to plan. (read more…)

Do You Look Forward to Going to Work?

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“I should wake up excited to go to work,” we tell ourselves. For many people, this feeling is so essential to our definition of what it means to have a great job that we don’t even question it. But is how much you look forward to going to work in the morning a barometer for how good your job is? This topic came up at a recent career group session and led to a really interesting discussion.

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Namesake: On Being Small (Or, How to Name a Blog)

Wisława Szymborska, Kraków, 1980, photo: Wojciech Plewiński / Forum
Wisława Szymborska, Kraków, 1980, photo: Wojciech Plewiński / Forum

We struggled to pick a name for this site. We wanted to give a sense of the topics areas we’ll be addressing without being too literal, too self-helpy, or too limiting since this site focuses on career and work, but also greater life choices. We brainstormed, researched, and tested out ideas (the runner up was “The Sounding Line,” after a nautical tool for measuring depths). We thought about literary references (James and the Giant Peach), biological themes (equilibrium, symbiosis), and object analogies (Newton’s Cradle). (read more…)