Kelly M. Lewis Coaching and Associates: Empowering People Through Career Coaching
Apr 30, 2014 12:49PM
● By Michelle Hamburger
Kelly M. Lewis
Kelly Lewis, owner of Kelly M. Lewis Coaching and Associates (KMLCA), in Edina, knows what it feels like to be in a career that simply doesn’t fit. She also has experienced the rewards of using the help of a career coach to navigate a successful occupation change. After years of unsatisfying employment within the corporate environment, Lewis was becoming more stressed out and less true to her real self. “There came a point where I found myself thinking that I can’t wait for the next 25 years to pass so I can retire and get on with my life,” Lewis recalls. “Those were my exact thoughts, and it was such an awful, sad state.”
Lewis decided it was time she became intentional about finding a career that was personally fulfilling. She sought help from a career coach, and it opened her eyes to the reasons for her unhappiness. “It occurred to me that at my corporate job I had thought there were all of these things that were wrong with me, and that’s not the case,” Lewis says. “I had a lot of talents that were great, but they weren’t being adequately used in my roles.” She says that her coach helped her find her life’s work that utilized her natural talents and personality.
By the end of her coaching program, Lewis chose to become a career coach herself and opened her own practice, KMLCA. Her personal experience with career coaching resonates with many of her clients. “I’ve been through this and I know what it’s all about,” she says. “I’m a great example that you can be mid-career and make successful change. You just need a process, and sometimes you need someone to help you.”
Career coaching at KMLCA is focused on helping clients learn their natural talents and personalities, as well as the driving force or reward behind their work ethic. “It’s not just interests, which is how a lot of us choose our careers,” Lewis says. “It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion to find your mission and meaning in work. For example, people may say they want work that matters to the world. But what does that really mean? It means different things to different people and coaching is about breaking this process down into bite-sized pieces so clients gain clarity.” Lewis sees her coaching as empowering clients to know themselves deeply and then guiding them to a career that capitalizes on who they are.
KMLCA coaches all ages of clients, from high school and college students who want to make the most of their graduate and post-graduate studies, to mid-career professionals dissatisfied with their current work, to retirees who are looking for the next fulfilling step in their lives. “Here’s how you know it’s time for a change,” Lewis explains. “You’re stressed out, you’re bored, you feel this isn’t work that matters to the world, you keep pressing the snooze button before getting up in the morning, or you have to spend an entire Saturday recovering from your work week.” Lewis says that currently 70 percent of adult workers in America have admitted to being in this situation, either neutral or dissatisfied in their current careers.
As her practice expands, Lewis sees a growth in younger generations pursuing the benefits of career coaching. She is passionate about reaching this group so they don’t have to experience such dissatisfaction in their own careers. “The choices that you make in your teens and twenties are critically important and set you up for the rest of your life,” Lewis says. “If we can get younger people on the right track earlier, they won’t spend the next 25 years doing something that isn’t a great fit for them.”
For prospective clients who are well into their careers and are questioning whether they can make changes without taking steps backward, Lewis’ message is that positive change is never too late. “I have seen so many people in my life who are just punching the proverbial clock and thinking they have no choice,” she says. “I firmly believe we always have a choice. You’re not stuck, you’re just stopped.” Lewis admits that change can be scary and the process isn’t always easy, but that feelings of fear are temporary and the reward of a satisfying and successful career will last the remainder of one’s life. “It can mean the difference between a life that’s thriving or simply surviving,” Lewis says. “I don’t believe work has to feel like work. That’s simply not the truth. People who absolutely love their jobs are not just ‘lucky’ or ‘chosen ones’; everyone has the ability to find it.”
Kelly M. Lewis Coaching and Associates is located at 4820 W. 77th St., Ste. 104, Edina. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 952-456-8467 or visit KellyMarieLewis.com.
Michelle Hamburger is a freelance writer for Natural Awakenings. She can be reached at [email protected]