Something was missing.
Leading the Human Resources department at a fast-paced, award-winning software company exhilarated and fulfilled me on many levels. The highest point in my 25-year career as an HR professional, also consumed me completely. I allowed it to happen, though I didn’t immediately take ownership of the concept.
A gnawing feeling grew inside me. I should probably spend more time doing x. I wonder what so-and-so is up to … I haven’t heard from her in what seems forever, though we used to talk every other day. Gee, honey, I’d really like to attend your awards ceremony for that really great thing you did, but I have to head to Europe for two months to interview executive candidates for that new company my boss just bought. My lifelong connections with family, friends, and community was slowly slipping away – and I was too immersed in my job to see it and know how to change it.
As this realization became increasingly apparent, hopelessness and a strong emotional conflict simmered inside of me. To think that I could disconnect my work, even slightly, to reconnect with my personal life seemed impossible. At the same time, as an extreme optimist I believed wholeheartedly that I could have it all. My reality and my perception battled intensely within me. What I didn’t know was how close to the surface this conflict raged.
“What’s the matter with you, Susie?”
One day my boss stopped by my office and told me the imbalance in my life – embarrassingly, obvious to him – was negatively impacting my team. I was stunned. Then relief came. My internal conflict had been recognized and acknowledged by something outside myself. It was no longer an idea, but a real thing. As a real thing, it could be evaluated, addressed, and ideally, corrected. Luckily for me, my organization supported me in hiring a coach to fix it.
At our first meeting my coach warmly welcomed me and created a safe place for me to enter into the experience. Over the next year, my fabulous and powerful coach worked diligently with me to deepen my awareness of what aspects of my life mattered most to me while transitioning my focus towards living a more balanced life. How fantastic it felt to be able to unburden myself so completely. No judgment from my coach. No caution, no need to couch my statements for fear of imaginary repercussions. Just an honest assessment of where “I” was and what I needed to do to get to where I knew in my heart I wanted to be.
Coaching had a significant impact on me. I began to embrace the process so much that I had an epiphany. At our next session, I blurted out, “Someday I want to be a coach!”
He saw promise in me and supported me in this quest. First up, earn my certification as a Professional Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). The program was rigorous, expensive, and a full year long. On top of my demanding work and family commitments, I don’t think I’ve ever been busier. And I loved every minute of it!
On launching Propel Coaching and Consulting
Throughout the certification process, I had no thoughts of leaving the incredible company I worked for over the last decade. Honestly, I would have been too scared to make such a leap. Sometimes all you need is a little push at the right time. Because of the many acquisitions our parent company was making, consolidation and organizational changes, particularly in the back office, became inevitable. Just two months into the coaching certification process the position at my company ceased to exist.
Sometimes the universe can be brutally direct.
Propel Coaching and Consulting was born as much out of personal necessity as it was out of excitement at taking the leap I previously believed I couldn’t. The opportunity to help others, individuals or corporations, identify strengths, establish goals, and move toward new levels of success as my full-time job energized me beyond measure.
Little did I know that first encounter with my Professional Coach would result in me recognizing, pursuing, and achieving a dream!
Focusing on helping others better themselves and improve their lives and careers, I wake up each morning with renewed energy and commitment. My days now end with more fulfillment and satisfaction than I have ever experienced. My confidence in my training and in the tools and programs in my arsenal continue to grow as I work with each new client. The results are tangible. And helping others uncover and achieve their true passions? There’s no better feeling!
Did I create a memorable career? Absolutely, without question. Was I happy? I was not, at least not in the ways I realized were truly important to me.