I remember thinking “This is the type of work I want to do for the next 30 years.” In reality 30 years turned out to be two and a half. I started my career as a high school science teacher. I taught two full years as well as a summer school session, and I finished out a year for a teacher who was let go. The lack of support I received from administration as well as from parents led me to dread Monday mornings. As that final school year went on, I was in tears earlier and earlier on Sunday not wanting to go back to work on Monday.
Once I left teaching I had two other “careers”. I found certain aspects of those jobs to be interesting and challenging, but overall I was not using my gifts. When I began health coaching for patients with chronic diseases, I realized there was something special about having those conversations, but I had not yet hit my sweet spot in terms of using my God-given gifts.
Six years ago I found myself asking that same question I had asked myself when I left teaching, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”. It was around that time that I discovered the research on using your strengths, or what I call your God-given gifts. The process I went through to discover my gifts and how to use them to determine my vocation is the same process I share now with other professionals.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to recognize the gifts you have within you and to use those gifts as often as possible. That's when work stops feeling so much like work because you are living in the zone of genius that was planted inside you when you were created.
While it was difficult to go through those periods of uncertainty in my career journey, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned through them. I am grateful to be able to share what I have learned with others who are at a crossroads with their careers. And I am grateful to use my God-given gifts on a daily basis to serve others in their journey.