Compass with gold chain laying on patterned fabricAs a manager and coach, I have been fascinated when looking at the career paths people have chosen. I have heard stories of people who knew from the age of 3 what they wanted to be – firefighter, doctor, or engineer – and they stay with that for their entire career. I saw a recent example of this highlighted in an article about a doctor who is retiring at 95 after 70 years in practice.

However, not everyone is as crystal clear on what they want to be when they grow up. Even if they were certain circumstances may have changed, bringing them to an important choice point. There are also individuals who are crystal clear about what they love to do for work, but life throws all kinds of obstacles their way so they need to reinvent themselves.

The following are some examples of how life events can impact someone’s career direction.

Change in Focus

One of my coaching clients had worked her way up becoming a Director in the financial industry and then decided to pursue her undergraduate degree in psychology while still working. She liked school so much she opted to go for a Masters degree and then decided to take a leap of faith. She left the financial world and entered the world of mental health, finding fulfillment and success in that industry as well.

Health Issues

The husband of a friend of mine was in the construction industry and then he developed back issues. He proceeded to re-invent himself. Combining his architectural, artistic and construction background together, and became director of office design for a major retail company.

Tragic event

A friend of mine was enjoying a successful corporate career and then experienced the tragic loss of his older son who was on a track to become a professional photographer. Having gotten that son into photography in the first place, and then being confronted with his son’s equipment and through his healing process, he decided to move to a new, second career in photography, leaving corporate America behind. For more about his story, checkout

There is no single recipe for getting to your end vision. At times, having a mentor or coach can make all the difference in how easily you achieve your desired dream. Coaches ask powerful questions and can support you in gaining access to answers to questions such as:

  • How do you know when you have arrived in your right place?
  • How open are you to trying different things?
  • How clear are you on what you want?

Whether it be a change in circumstances or moving into retirement, having clarity and commitment is key to stepping into the next evolution of yourself. If you find yourself in a shifting time in your life, please consider the transformational coaching offered by Systems of Change, LLC –

© March 2017 Systems of Change, LLC