When I turned 30, I literally fell into a job as the assistant to an extremely successful Portfolio Manager in South Florida. As it turned out, the financial industry was a good fit for my skills and he was a terrific mentor. I learned everything I could and when I moved back to Pennsylvania, I continued in the advisory business… as Operations Director, then Chief Compliance Officer and finally, as Vice Presdent and Chief Operating Officer.
Eighteen years of hard work, drive and tenacity had gotten me an impressive title, a respectable salary and a short commute but I felt more unfulfilled than I’d ever been in my life. The only satisfaction in my job came from working with the firm’s recently widowed clients. Most of them were women in their mid-to-late 70’s who had never handled the family finances. They were frightened and overwhelmed. And you know what? They didn’t care about their annualized rate of return or their portfolio allocation. What they needed was someone to support them through the biggest transition of their lives and they turned to me.
I realized I had always been that person for the women in my life. I was the one they confided in, the one who asked the tough questions, the one who encouraged them to figure out who they were and go after what they wanted in life. My personality and life experiences made me a natural “coach” and it was the one thing that always gave me great joy.
I finally decided to ask myself the tough questions… and I quit that same day. Some thought it was crazy, some thought it was brave. Perhaps it was a little bit of both but, ultimately, we must each recognize our true potential and find our own path.
I walked away from a career that was lucrative but spirit-crushing because I don’t believe that professional achievement and personal satisfaction are mutually exclusive. I think you can have it all… success, fulfillment, abundance, freedom. As a Certified Life Coach, I get to spend each day helping others discover their life purpose and find their own path to happiness and fulfillment. I’d like to say it doesn’t get any better than this… but I have every reason to believe that it can.
Everything is possible!
Kelly McDonnell, CLC