Identify Your Passion…and don’t give up!
Pat Watson sought my assistance after being laid off from a sales job in a pharmaceutical company. Although most of her work experience was in sales and marketing, which she thoroughly enjoyed, she felt it was time for a change.
I had helped her son find a job he loved as a whitewater rafting guide, so she was hoping I had something to offer her.
Pat believed she had an entrepreneurial personality.
She had the idea of opening a consulting business and needed somebody to bounce ideas off.
She thought helping existing companies to expand their markets was a good way to apply her skills, but after seven years she still wasn’t satisfied.
Over the years, she met with me every January to review what she was doing. During the last of those visits she admitted, “I’ve been doing this for seven years and it’s going pretty well. However, I now seem to be having difficulty getting new contracts. Over the last little while, I’ve started sensing that I’m not doing quite what I was meant to do. While I do a good job for my customers, the problem with contract work is that it’s difficult to stay focused on the current contract when I know that I have to go out and secure new contracts.”
There were several contracts she really enjoyed more than the others, but it hadn’t occurred to her that she could turn what she enjoyed into a career. She thoroughly enjoyed working with senior citizens. What we realized was that what she specifically needed from me was coaching on how to get a job in a field she loved without a college degree.
One of the clients of her consulting business was the whitewater rafting company where her son worked. She eventually became the marketing manager for the company.
Later, I coached her through the process of securing a position with a local travel agency. While working there, she thought starting a travel agency specializing in adventure travel for seniors would be a great way to combine her new recreational marketing skills and love for seniors. After thoroughly researching that scenario, she decided running her own business didn’t match her natural inclinations.
Ultimately, the job at the travel agency wasn’t what she had hoped for, but it certainly sharpened her interviewing skills and she acquired a very strong grasp of business. As a result Pat was able to secure a contract with the University of Ottawa interviewing senior citizens for a research project.
She investigated the reasons why seniors fall on stairs. During this contract she interviewed about 100 people and spent a lot of one-on-one time with older people.
Pat also volunteered in a weight lifting program for seniors at Carleton University. As a client group, she likes working with and providing services to seniors. They like her because she is very personable, gentle and a pleasant person to be with. She asks intelligent questions and listens well.
Although the income from working on contract is very sporadic, Pat said she feels, “so blessed” working around seniors. “I could definitely see myself working in the gerontology field.”
Then she heard about a contract job in the marketing department with the Careguard Group – a company that operates four senior facilities, ranging from independent apartments to residential care and assisted living. She was hired as operations coordinator for all of their facilities.
She coordinates the newspaper advertising, designs and schedules ads and maintains their Web site. She also is the administrative support person for one of the owners and for the Director of Operations.
Now Pat says, “I just love going to work. I like the structure of working with people and here I have long-term relations with the residents and co-workers.
She’s been there a year and a half now and really feels that she made the right decision.
Pat identified her passion and didn’t give up until she found a job where she could use it. People often give up too easily. They give up on their goals. They give up on their dreams. They give up on their passions. Pat would have preferred that her Careguard job had happened sooner, but she’s grateful that it happened at all.