The Power of Career Coaching

With two years of science classes and culinary work experience down, I’m about to embark on the next phase of my journey: two years in graduate school. I started this blog primarily to chronicle my journey into dietetics. This is a unique and privileged phase of learning and growth for me–professionally, personally and socially–and I didn’t want to let it go by without documentation.

I began to draft content for my site, and I realized that I also wanted to use my online space to start marketing myself as a nutrition and culinary expert.  Problem is: I’m not an expert yet! I needed to find a way to write about myself that demonstrated my current strengths and relevant experiences while also explaining that I’m still a student of nutrition.

I had several ideas for blog posts, but I got snagged while working on my About page. I decided to treat myself to some career coaching. I heard about Emily Halpern of Career Hungry Coaching through one of my favorite resources: Good Food Jobs. I hired Emily to help me draft the seemingly disparate parts of my personal and professional life into a cohesive narrative–not just for my About page, but also for the sheer ritual of acknowledging how far I’d come.

Emily is a very talented big picture thinker and she helped me identify the three most important components of my career. I clarified through working with her that when I’m doing what I love I am:

-In direct contact with people

-In direct contact with food

-Provided with opportunities to help, instruct or guide

These are not just guiding principles, but also areas for exploration. For example, what population of people am I best suited for? The elderly? Young mothers? Athletes? In working with food, what is my culinary identity? What are my chef-ly influences? In what ways will I help people? How can I become a better teacher?

I also realized that an About page is not static. Every new challenge I take on in my career has the capacity to change me. Each new class I teach at Sur La Table forces me to look at food in a new way. Every science class I take could spark an undiscovered passion.

Sometimes, I get frustrated with all the newness of this phase of my life. I worry too much about when I will “get good” at this whole thing. But ultimately, I know that being “good” is not the goal. My only goal–if you can even call it that–is discovery and the joy that comes with it.

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