Do you ever wonder if you’re in the right place? Doing the right things and on the right path? These are things that I used to question a lot – and sometimes still do. So, what do you do when you find yourself questioning the path you’re on?
Welcome to my story. I’m Shellie Deloyer, professional coach and trainer, entrepreneur, wife, mommy and serial idealist. This article is all about my journey into career development work, and how I am crafting the career and life of my dreams.
Let’s start by backing up a few years.
I was following the path I planned. Why didn’t it feel right?
I haven’t always been in the coaching and professional training space that I love so much now. I began my career as a high-school teacher. I worked in the Ottawa area and taught a variety of subjects including science, geography … and careers! I was desperately trying to get a permanent position, in a very saturated market, and would teach any class they would give me.
Why was I doing this? I thought it was what I was “supposed to do.” I had worked hard and persisted through much uncertainty to get my university degrees, so this was the logical next step. I thought I was doing all the right things: I was working hard, committed to my job and my students, completing my master’s in education, volunteering to coach the school rugby team and supervise school activities. Yet, at the end of the day, I felt like I was in the wrong place.
“I wanted to work with these students and serve them on a much deeper level, to guide them through these transitions and big decisions in a way that would make a real difference in their lives.”
I had that voice in my head and that feeling in my stomach telling me that this wasn’t the best fit. I thought I was doing everything right – everything that I was “supposed to” do – but I knew that there was something else out there for me.
My students always wanted to know how everything they were learning was relevant to them. They needed to know why they should care. Many of them were very unsure of their future, much like I was at their age. We had the most insightful and engaging conversations when we talked about their possibilities for life after graduation. They wanted to know what jobs were out there, what career paths they were well suited for, what education options they should be considering, and how being in school now and in the future was relevant to them.
I wanted to work with these students and serve them on a much deeper level, to guide them through these transitions and big decisions in a way that would make a real difference in their lives. I stumbled across the idea of becoming an education and career coach by chance. The coaching industry was really starting to grow and I discovered this way to use my background in education, which I am extremely passionate about, while working with people in proven and effective ways to help them find the direction they’re seeking. For the first time in my life I could say, “I absolutely love what I do!”
Deciding to leave teaching raised a lot of eyebrows. While I knew, without a doubt, that it was the right thing for me, there were many people around me questioning my sanity. Why would I leave such a great job, with all the perks that came with it, to risk starting my own business that could totally flop? Sticking to my decision to invest in myself, follow my dreams and create the career I wanted took much persistence and dedication.
There are times that I question and doubt myself, and times when I think getting a regular job would be so much easier. But those thoughts are fleeting and quickly displaced by the truth in knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Lessons learned in crafting my own path
On this journey, I have learned so much about myself, and how to create the career and life of my dreams. The first lesson is recognizing that there are no straight lines in the universe. There are always going to be obstacles and roadblocks that take us off the path we chose; these are our greatest learning opportunities. Pay attention to what you’re meant to learn in these moments and embrace being uncomfortable, because that’s where growth happens.
I also learned the importance of creating my path in alignment with my values, wants and desires. This is my journey. It’s not about what other people think or believe I should do. I get to define what’s right for me, and also empower others to do the same.
Finally, one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is that anything is possible. This requires you to look outside of your self-imposed box. When you allow yourself to dream and recognize that your potential is infinite, you create space for new possibilities.
This has been, and still is, a very personal journey. I can relate to the position that my clients are in. I know what it’s like to lack direction and clarity, and now I get to help others discover their path. Everyone has their own story, their own personality and their own vision for their future. I’m thrilled I get to help them bring it to life and also get to share my expertise with other career professionals.