So on to the 35-year-old scientist I am working with right now… I alluded to him in my last post as someone who was working successfully at his chosen profession in a lab at a prestigious university, but was wondering about the rest of his life. Will he ever marry? Have a family? Have a satisfying life?
Robert found me as a result of a conversation he had with a friend, in which he revealed that after 15 years of higher education and training, he was beginning to wonder if he had chosen the right career path. While he had achieved all of the goals he had set for himself at a very young age, he was beginning to experience a sinking feeling that he may now be stuck in a lonely corner of his own making. Life might be passing him by. His friend, who had worked with me a few years ago, urged him to contact me for help rather than try to sort through all of these thoughts and feelings alone.
It’s several weeks later, and we’re still sorting through thoughts and feelings together, but we are both pretty amazed at how quickly clarity has begun to emerge. After two sessions, it became clear that there was nothing at all wrong with Robert’s career choice. Being a scientist did, indeed, fit his gifts, talents, skills, abilities and love of scientific research. He settled into a newfound peace with his path and position.
In the third and fourth sessions, it became clear that this work was actually going to be fun. We spent a fair amount of time identifying all of the other things he loves to do besides science, and guess what? It is a very long, interesting list.
His “homework” since that time has had to do with actually doing the things he already knows he loves to do but hasn’t been doing – like riding his bike, exploring his neighborhood, reading for fun, cooking for friends, spending time with close family, and resuming a dusty martial arts practice. I insist that he calendar these things in, be disciplined about leaving the lab at a decent hour in order to do them, and to plan great weekends.
The most exciting thing that is happening with Robert is that he is beginning to remember who he is. Doing the things he loves is giving him the energy he needs to get clear about the next important question to tackle: What does he want?
Our dear Bonnie Bonetti-Bell was the force behind our Career/Life Coaching services, until her passing in 2019. As a principal of our firm, Bonnie had an innate talent for seeing the best in people. Moreover, she helped others see the best in themselves. Bonnie is fondly remembered and deeply missed.