When I started working with Jill, I was stuck in a job of 8 years in an industry I wasn’t passionate about at all. I had “fallen into it” and didn’t know how to get out. I could not fathom how I was going to do anything different. I had really lost confidence in my skills and in myself in general. I had come to believe that I really didn’t have much to offer to my current job or any other. And that way of thinking really kept me in a tough place, a place that I wasn’t going to budge from without some help.
I spoke to Jill about these issues and she listened and the first thing she told me to do was to NOT start looking for another job. Not yet. It was as though I was wanting to start on step 10: the job search, without having done the previous nine steps. So she suggested we back up. And breathe. And relax a little bit.
And then she suggested that maybe I had some qualities that not only would other people like (and find useful), that maybe I also might like. She suggested some readings and asked me to do some exercises and before long, it became clear to me that I actually did possess some strengths.
Once I became comfortable with (and excited by) the idea that I did have certain strengths, it became clear that I simply wasn’t using any of them in my current job. No wonder I felt so out of place, I wasn’t able to be “me” in my own job!
It also became possible to begin thinking about what I might *really* want to do with my career. We did some brainstorming about possible jobs and it turned out that I had considered becoming a therapist several times over the years but never gave it any credence. “Nothing could be further from what I’m doing now” I’d tell myself, “you can’t just start a career that you have no experience in.”
Turns out I had something more important than experience, I had passion and strengths that lined up very well with those needed to be an enthusiastic and engaged therapist. That was the most important part. The skills could be learned by pursuing a degree in the field, something else I could do!
Over the course of four months, I went from having very low self-confidence, especially where my career was concerned, to being quite confident of who “I” was. Today, I’m wrapping up the third of three prerequisites for graduate school and moving toward a career as a mental health therapist. Only with Jill’s help did I find the path (and find the courage to walk it).
With Jill’s encouragement and my new-found confidence, I applied for and was offered a new job that will take me through graduate school. I’m reenergized in my new position, able to collaborate and be creative with a great bunch of people. I am rediscovering me every day.
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