So, let me begin by saying: Here's some irony for you... For years, I've struggled to properly explain what I do for work. Funny, right? The gal that has spent the last 15+ years of her life helping professionals with their personal brands, job searches, and career planning doesn't know what to label herself. Saying I'm a "career coach" has never seemed to properly convey the job. I feel that title makes light of the important work myself and my Work It Daily teammates do every day. And, I feel the term "career counselor" really speaks to those folks you find at high schools and colleges. But recently, a conversation about the evolution of Work It Daily provided me with a big ah-ha moment. Ever since that, I've wanted to post the following... "My name is J.T. and I'm a Career Therapist." (Finally! I said it.) I've known for a long time this is really my job. Each day, myself and a team of trained career support specialists give people a trusted, secure, and private place to talk honestly about their careers. This is no small thing. As humans, our identities, and subsequently, our happiness are tightly tied to what we do for work. When you spend 40+ hours each week doing a job, it can't help but define you and impact your ability to feel successful and satisfied in life. So, while I'm not a doctor (and I don't play one on TV), I am a career therapist. And, I'm no longer ashamed to say it. Why would I be ashamed? Glad you asked! Because getting career support is still seen as "taboo". When I decided to leave corporate America to become a career coach, my friends and colleagues thought I'd lost my mind. One former college classmate asked me if I was going to become some sort of new-age-hoohey-type (his words, not mine). I lost the respect of some people who thought I was throwing away a perfectly good career track (six-figure female HR executive), to do something weird. To them, people who used career coaches were "broken" and "unemployable." But over the years, these same people circled back, many of them asking to chat with me about their own career challenges. Still, those early years of criticism from my peers gave me doubts. But, fast forward to today and here's what I know... School teaches us a lot of things, but learning how to identify and pursue a meaningful career throughout our lifetime is not one of them. With more than 70 percent of the working population feeling disengaged and dissatisfied with their career success, we have an epidemic of professional happiness going on right now. And sadly, people don't seek the help they need. Even though we use trained professionals to fix all sorts of problems in our lives i.e. doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, physical therapists, etc. we still naively think we should be able to figure out our career problems on our own. The good news is, I think the thousands of people who have become members of Work It Daily in the last year would tell you: getting a little career therapy isn't a sign of weakness, it's a path to greatness. We refer to them as #WIDwarriors, and they're changing the world, one dream job at a time. So, to the millions of people sitting in silent disgust and desperation with their careers and failing to get the help they need (you might be one of them?), I say:
I've been a professional career coach since 2002. Over the last 10+ years, I have learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to be an effective career coach. [Click here to learn more about becoming a career coach.] Back when I became a coach, the concept wasn't as widely accepted as it is today. In fact, my clients were afraid to admit they were working with a career coach because they felt like it indicated there was something wrong with them. Today, we now understand career coaching isn't a sign of weakness, but a path to greatness. It's why all the top pro athletes and business executives use them. If you want to optimize your performance and achieve new levels of success and satisfaction in your career, it's more than likely you'll work with a coach at some point. Why? If you could do it on your own, you would have by now.