I’m not sure what I was expecting as the economy worsened, but I have been surprised. Part of me expected (worried) that people might decide that now wasn’t a great time to hire a personal coach, or that it is best to just keep one’s head down and survive until things clear up a bit. Boy was I wrong-I should have known better. I deal in matters of the heart (or soul, depending on how you look at it), and it shouldn’t have surprised me at all that many have actually been emboldened by this time.
Here’s what’s happening: I’m seeing many, many clients who were able to stay very busy for many years. Their busyness allowed them to forget or escape the feeling that, deep down, they just weren’t that into their work. Now, things have slowed down. There’s a lot of empty space (read: time and quiet). They’re suddenly noticing all the feelings of discomfort they have managed to suppress for a long time, and the discomfort is so intense that they are ready to make a change. Or maybe they notice that they haven't felt creatively engaged in their work for quite some time, and now, with more time and space, they have the chance to reevaluate how they work and how they might bring more spark into their existing job.
Many people have noticed something else: all their energy has been focused in the area of career. When they become less successful in that area due to economic downturns, there is nowhere else to go. They have few hobbies, friends, or relationships, and sometimes don’t even know how to spend time alone. They don’t know what to do with themselves. Life has been out of balance, and now is a perfect time of opportunity to reevaluate how they spend their time and energy, and what is most important to them.
Here’s another thing that’s happening: making good money was an excuse for a long time. For many, it’s hard to justify making a big change to follow your dream when you’re making lots of money in your current situation. Well, for many, the pressure is now off. No longer making the money they once did, people find it easier to admit, for instance, as one client did last week, “You know, I’ve always wanted to be a chef anyway.