Monday, May 07, 2007

A Gorgeous Day in Seattle (Finally!)

The day began with a downtown appointment with another prospective career coach. Last week I had a casual meeting at a coffee house with a career coach who I liked a great deal. She's a former HR executive who started her own work-from-home coaching business to be more available for her kids. She was a great listener, supportive, gave good advice and immediately felt like a friend. In great contrast, I met a professional career coach this morning at his office in a downtown high rise. Instead of it being a friendly, easy-going meeting, it was more like a meeting with a demanding professor. I was given assignments ("describe and write resumes for three to four hypothetical positions that use your experience and skills," "submit your list of networking contacts," "identify three to four niche markets, research companies and organizations in each, and describe how you fit into each"), analyzed in terms of family history and parental and sibling relationships and expectations, and given specific feedback ("you could be a great manager, but you need to let go of the need to be liked"). Now I need to choose between the two.

I really WANT to go with my new friend... but I think I SHOULD go for the demanding professor -- especially since I'll be paying a lot for either one. But I have a day or so to decide. Either way, it's time to identify and really hone in on who I am, what I can offer and what I love. In other words, it's time to brand and market myself. I like this stuff when I do it for others, so why am I resisting doing it for myself?

After my meeting I drove through Seattle and found this orthodox Russian church tucked away in a side neighborhood. I had never seen it before and to come upon it suddenly almost took my breath away! I then met a dear friend and former co-worker for lunch at the Seattle REI flagship store. That place is so much more than a store! With winding trails, a gushing river and cascading waterfall, beautiful architecture, and an absolutely huge climbing structure, it's more like a destination resort experience than a store!

When I got home I barely had checked my e-mail when Kat arrived home from school and suggested that it was such a pretty day that we just had to take Shasta to "Bark Park" (an off-leash dog area) at Marymoor Park, and of course I obliged. (I could get really used to being home!) Shasta retrieved every tennis ball thrown by every and anyone at the park -- much to the dismay of both other dogs and other owners! She could hardly stay out of the river and we could hardly talk her into getting back into the car. But now she's completely out and exhausted!

On the way home, Kat and I stopped to appreciate the fact that "the mountain" (Mt. Rainier) was "out," then went to Starbuck's for ICED lattes. Both are important milestone that surely marks the beginning of summer!

Tomorrow I'll have to concentrate on work -- and finding work -- again. I did land one freelance consulting job for a company that's developing a lifeskills game for teens. No real deliverables, no reports to write; they simply want to pay me for my opinion! But in addition to that I have LOTS of homework to do and need to get moving on that so I can finally be able to say definitively, concisely, and with confidence who I am and what I do.

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2 comments:

Andrea said...

Just reading about a career test, I'm glad I still have a kid in diapers. It'll be a long time before I have to do that!

blackcrag said...

"The mountain is out." -- that made me laugh. Only a west-coaster would understand that. Fortunately, after 20 years in B.C., I know exactly what you mean.

I would go with the carrer coach who you are comforrtable with. The profesor sounds intimidating. I'd rather get along with someone, and work towrds a common goal as long as the work was done, than face the task master.

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