I can’t quite believe that it’s been over a year since I first met Michelle Krasny at Fresh ADK, a coffee shop in Glens Falls, New York. I was settling in with latte and laptop, feeling both excited and daunted by my new freedom from an unwanted job. Michelle asked me if I wanted to join the coworking group she was hosting. I was in a fog of burnout, convinced that all I had going for me in that moment was being open to new experiences. Sensing Michelle was friendly and genuine, I took a seat, not having any idea what an impact she would make on my life in the coming months.
Fast forward to the following May. Through my work with Michelle, I launched a dual career in writing and teaching that exceeded my expectations in fulfillment. I felt I had achieved my “dream career,” like I had heard about in popular media. When I proposed to Michelle the idea of writing an article on the topic, she was on board, but with one important change.
“I think it’s appropriate to talk about, because I think we all have this idea of a “dream job” that will make us happy, fulfilled, rich – all that jazz. But,” she explained, “it’s something I try to steer my clients away from. For instance, you’ve got this growing business right now, and it’s probably going to be an awesome fit for the next, let’s say 5-10 years. And then something might shift in your life, where this is no longer your “dream job.” And if we’ve called it that, you’ve now got all this extra baggage of dealing with what it means for your dream job/career to no longer fit.”
I mulled her words over, my perspective shifting as it often did after a discussion with Michelle. What did this mean for me; was I wrong in perceiving that I had finally achieved my goals? I was hesitant to accept the concept of a “journey,” for fear that it might take away the sense of finality I had worked so hard to discover
As I thought more about it, I realized that being open to new possibilities didn’t jeopardize the achievements I had made thus far. Being open to new risks (just as I had been when I first sat down with Michelle) empowered me to continue my exploration, and to build upon lessons I was learning about myself.
“Your career is a playground for self-discovery,” explained Michelle, “A place where you can uncover all of your superpowers, learn what your mission and passion is, and practice combining those in a way that brings you the results you crave and allows you to take good care of yourself as a person.”
Yup, she said all that. Michelle’s pretty great when it comes to expanding my perspective and encouraging me to try new things.
It turns out I’m not the only one who has had a life-changing experience while working with her. Alexandra Walters, former Training Coordinator at the New York State Defenders Association, and Derek Kessinger, writer in Denver, Colorado, both shared their stories in having developed self-awareness while being coached by Michelle. I’ve yet to meet both of these individuals in person, but feel a connection with them in our shared stories of comparable success.
In this series of blog posts, I’ll be telling the story of how, through explorations in creativity, strength and acknowledgment of ourselves, the three of us have overcome roadblocks, developed confidence and cultivated new outlooks while working with Michelle as our coach.
The author of this blog series, Haley Van Bellingham, is a writer and editor who curates content that highlights the unique nature of businesses and their services. Get in contact through her LinkedIn