Back in my late 30’s whilst trying to pick which Open University degree I could cobble together whilst studying, I was struggling to fit into one particular study stream, I came across the term ‘generalist’ which gave me permission to delve into understanding my own unique motivations for personal development. I had found a concept that was something I could embrace, it totally encompassed my interests in developing myself within a career, the skills I held so far and my work experience as it let me look at myself from a wide spectrum, whilst not pigeonholing my options.
I was actually paralysed within the choice within the OU prospectus as it had a wide variety of different subjects, yet still they were held within moving towards specialisms, the Open degree should have worked for me yet it didn’t meet with my commitment to study areas that inspired and motivate me and I felt there were other areas of life that would suit my investigation to feel myself working at my full potential to study.
At this point I decided I didn’t want to move forward after 4 modules of study with OU as it was not going to meet my particular seemingly peculiar drive (when comparing to others!). It also opened up a frustration with going for particular employment roles that looked for set qualities/skills/qualifications which I could have carried out yet were missing key attributes around how you engaged with people, successes in motivating myself and others, being responsive, being adaptive to change and new learning. All of these skills are fluid, maybe mercurial due to the nature of what is needed, yet offer forward pacing, meeting deadlines, whilst also capturing the passion of wanting to achieve a particular target or goal.
So, I have always been looking, reading, watching, researching other concepts or disciplines which bring a sense of connection to who I am, how I work congruently to my inner passions & drivers and I came to Life Coaching! More about this iin a short while, as my career prior to this has encompassed being a professional who helps people through a variety of roles working in Social Care, Education & Health primarily with children, young people and their parents.
As I learned more about being a generalist, I adapted to incorporating more of this wider spectrum of me and my skills. A good example of this was when I was a foster carer as I could dip into my skillset in a non-prescriptive manner to meet the individual needs of the child I was caring for at a particular period of time. This person-centred approach developed stronger relationships with the child and the wider network around this child as I could advocate for them more securely as I had taken time to listen and hear their voice. This gave them confidence to feel valid as so often their voice is not heard. I also felt fully authentic in how I interacted with this child to believe in them and the choices they may have. I had to work within strict safeguarding processes yet felt free within how I nurtured this child in my own manner to offer therapeutic fostering.
I progressively worked in another couple of jobs where I had been identified within my potential personality, attributes and skillset to carry out the role, there were few defined elements other than key targets that had to be met over a set period. There was a freedom to coordinate, collaborate, explore whilst embracing key elements to how to make the journey and goal my own pathway. This opened me up to seeing a new part of me in play, it was extremely successful for both myself and all the team as we were working to our best assets — ourselves to set our own methodology.
This is where Life Coaching appeared for me, as this current role changed after the target had been reached, the work became monitored, case work, feeling like we were making people try to fit into a set way of behaving, living & functioning. I found this a suffocating experience for me as a professional, how tough was it for the people that we were working with who had few choices, so knew I had to develop further and make change, which is where my research led me to becoming a Life Coach
Life Coaching to me encompasses working with someone to be able for them to really see and be seen as how they want to live their life.
I fully thrived and embraced this, as I am 5 years into my journey and now a Coaching Supervisor as well, I am now in tune with the generalist part of me that can work with anyone! This then leads to the very current marketing conundrum ‘How do I then find my niche’??? Which is where we are all told by marketing gurus is where we are supposed to head!
My niche does not fit within a short bio, it is overlong for an Introduction, it is too wordy for a blog, yet it encompasses people, their quirkiness, their barriers, their personalities, their processes, their histories, their futures.
I believe in people, that everyone deserves to find their unique approach to life — if they want to! I can work within mental health as a listener, advocate, challenger, wellness seeker. I can work with key transitions in life that encourage ownership and choice whilst supporting vulnerability.
I am an expert in my life travelled alongside others as well as my own experiences as a professional which gives me a wide breadth of application to be alongside a client or supervisee to see them fully for how they want to be seen.
We are encouraged to find a succinct niche, a short snappy tagline, an intriguing bio which makes people dive into working with you!
For people that find this process difficult I applaud you, you are wider, broader, bigger than this short snapshot of how you are portrayed to the world. You have depth, experience, passion, interests that maybe do not fit on a social media sum up.
How do you share this with the world? Where you are being you, where you feel comfortable with being yourself, it is worth really exploring the options around finding how you shape your own media presence whilst feeling you are being authentic.
I am really comfortable in stating I do not fit within mainstream media and whilst I enjoy visually sharing on Instagram and writing, I otherwise find it really hard to be continually harassed to sign up to this or be like this within media sales, marketing gurus talk and how I should perform which takes me away from being me online.
I hope I have triggered some thoughts around how you fit with social media and is this true to who you are?
Embracing the different ways I interact in this world