By Kirk McCarley,
Coaching has been a blessing for me. Through it I’ve had the occasion to encounter clients from a variety of walks of life that I might not have otherwise. Engineers, Attorneys, Division I Sports Information Directors, Entertainers, Private Business Owners, and Social Media Content Moderators have been among those connections.
It’s said that the essential ingredient to becoming an effective Executive Career or Life Coach is possessing a healthy measure of curiosity. Dan Barry, New York Times Reporter remarked, “I listen, I observe, I ask questions, and try to ward against world-weariness. I want to be eternally curious.” Dale Carnegie shared, “To be interesting, be interested.”
We tend towards those similar to us: common values, interests, and outlooks. And although I have had clients who represent a wide zone of personalities and professions, a successful business is generally going to have a target niche. That does not necessarily correlate to an uncompromising “hard line” as to who to serve, but it does offer guidance as to targeted “fit.”
For me, my focus is basically two distinct and unrelated client markets with an empathetic commonality in that they represent paths that I too once walked.
The first are those who are late in their careers and searching for their nirvana, that place in their work and personal lives where self-actualizing dreams are realized. The second group represents individuals early in their careers. They may have just completed educational or training requirements, but are more likely a segment that has been out of school for a while and is either in an initial or second career job. Like those who are late in their careers, they look for something called “more” or ways to make an “impact on the world.”
In both groups I find that career objectives intersect with life goals. “My parents are elderly and I need to stay where I am to take care of them.” “Extensive travel and irregular hours are difficult for my health.” Career starters: “My fiancé has a great job that will require us to remain where we are.” “I feel led to do worldwide mission work, but debts demand greater compensation.”
I belonged to the late career client fraternity myself not long ago. In fact, I hired a coach to help sort through what was next for me. I had been an HR professional for over 30 years and knew I did not want to retire, but rather wanted to transition to something else. For me, what would that be? That coach helped me evaluate not only my talents and interests, but also brought some clarity to what I wanted. My breakthrough moment came when I looked him in the eye, wagged my finger at him and proclaimed, “I want to do what you do.” And so that journey began.
Time passes quickly. It seems like only a few blinks of an eye ago that I was newlywed, financially challenged, often feeling insufficient. For sure there were some mentors and advisors along the way for whom I will always be indebted. Still, at that period of life, I wished that there could have been an objective person, “a coach,” who might have created a “safe” place where I could explore possibilities and really dig deep for what I wanted. The HR career that I spent most of my time in laid the foundation for what I now do. Although I am proud of that career, if I’m honest, it has not been until these past several years in coaching that I found my capstone.
I am curious as to where you are on your journey. We each have within ourselves the capacity to achieve even beyond what we dream. It would be my privilege to learn more about helping you get there.
A graduate of the University of North Texas, Kirk McCarley is a Certified Professional Coach as well as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP Certified. He also is a Production Assistant for both college football and basketball for ESPN and leads group cycling classes as a Certified Spinning instructor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, theseedsowercoach.com, or call 314-677-8779.