By Shea Ki
Did you know I'm celebrating 15 years of an amazing rollercoaster ride in the career development field? The ups and downs that have led to success stories or to new detours along the way have all been worth it.
Although I've seen much progress, I think there is a long way to go so that being happy at work is the new norm. I often feel like my colleagues and I are doing battle against societal forces that want most of us believing a fulfilling career is only for a lucky few. It seems to be a revolutionary act to not agree that work has to be a dull grind every day or to refuse that constantly feeling burned out from how you make a living is normal.
In a world where it is easy to feel lost in the daily turmoil, connecting people to meaningful work they enjoy is needed more than ever.
I offer this letter with gratitude to all coaches, counselors, and other career development professionals who are fighting the good fight along with me. Be sure to share it with someone who has supported your path or pass it along to a career development professional you want to see continue making a positive impact.
Dear Career Development Professional,
Sometimes there seems to be endless obstacles in our clients' paths blocking them from work that lights them up. Often the workplace can feel more like a minefield than a place that appreciates people for the talents and contributions that they bring.
We followed this calling to help others find a better path. We were never promised that it would be easy or result in fame and fortune. We do it because each time we see a person challenge the status quo and move closer to work that feels good, it makes our hearts do an inner cartwheel.
To the newbies just beginning to help others- your enthusiasm, fresh insights, and contagious positive energy are welcomed here in the career development field.
To those more seasoned and who may be wonder if your effort is making a difference- your skillful approach, experienced guidance, and impact on those you serve matters more than ever in the stressful world of work.
To the mothers and fathers of this profession who birthed the foundation of what career coaching and development is today- your best practices, mentorship, and legacy will not be taken for granted.
Thank you for-
The hours of commitment that go into preparing your sessions and following up with your clients to help keep them accountable and encouraged.
Staying on top of the latest research, trends, and assessments in our field so you can serve your clients best.
Reconnecting so many to the joy work can provide but that heavy responsibilities and the pressures of "I should's" may have buried.
Helping to change the awful labor statistics which say a majority of people are dissatisfied at their job but feel they must stay stuck anyway.
Committing to take good care of yourself so you can offer your best energy, actively listening ears, and pure presence that so many need.
(Give yourself those well-deserved breaks. And PLEASE nudge me when it looks like I need to do the same.)
You are a lighthouse for more than you may know. Never forget that your impact is creating a ripple effect beyond those you serve.
We are a caring witness to our clients' transformation that they worked so hard for.
A genuine cheerleader to their accomplishments.
A soft place to land when they get kicked down by layoffs, bad bosses, rejection, or other professional challenges.
A dose of inspiration on the tough days.
A trusted resource that gets results.
A giving service professional when maybe their wallet can't meet our rates.
A certified and well educated guide to help them navigate the new, the overwhelm, and the stress.
An objective listener who has their back and helps them more deeply hear their own inner voice.
We must hold faith that more employers, hiring managers, business leaders, and recruiters will also get on board with the career happiness revolution.
Let's keep sharing our success stories and what we see that is working.
Let's continue encouraging the tired, the frustrated, the scared, the doubtful, and the wounded.
Let's always lift each other up while we do this challenging, evolving work that we got into because we BELIEVE.
We believe in better Mondays for all.
We believe in the power of a career that fits.
We believe in joy and work both being possible at the same time.
We believe in the incredible results that are possible when strengths + values + personality + skillsets are aligned with a person's intentional career choice.
Because we choose to believe, the future at work looks bright for so many more.
I have deep hope that the standards and expectations of our field will continue to rise and we will meet them with excellence.
Even after 15 years, my spirit ignites when I think of how we help shift so many from being unhappy in the workplace to thriving in their career journey.
Bottom line: Together, we got this.
Most of all, believe in you.
(Yes, even career development professionals need to have someone remind us of our gifts from time to time.)
Much love and light,
Shea Ki is on a mission to help end the interview struggle. Sign up for her free newsletter to get her latest tips on shining in the hot seat and attracting work that lights you up.