Taking A New Spin at Coaching

May 30, 2019

Vocations often define us.  So much so that when introductions are made we’ll say Mary is a Police Officer, Tom is a therapist, or Kathy is a minister. 

With greater regularity it’s common to hear of those with multiple occupational foci.  Now the conversation may go, “Bill is an engineer who is also a skilled woodworker,” or “Peggy is a hospital administrator who trains dogs.” 

For some dual employment is a necessity for income generation.  Others see it as a cathartic release.  Still, another group pursues side ventures as an enrichment tool that might also have parallels to another or primary activity.  Likely a combination of all three reasons are in play. 

NBC News Anchor Lester Holt is an accomplished bass player.  “There’s definitely a synergy between doing the news and playing bass,” he says.  “I play a lot of jazz.  I love jazz.  A lot of times you’re reading off a chart, but sometimes you’re just using your ear.  That’s part of what keeps it interesting, that sense of the unknown.”


“The same holds true for doing the news,” he continues.  “Sometimes you’re reading the story, and then it’s breaking news and everything kicks into high gear.  I don’t want to minimize it by saying you’re winging it, but you have to fill in the blanks and lead people along.  You have to have a foundation there, but you also have to be ready for anything and keep it all together.”


Workers with concurrent dual careers adopt a “hyphenated” professional identity.  A “teacher-painter” might refer to an individual who works for nine months out of the year as an Elementary School Teacher and three months out of the year as a painter.  A “doctor-potter” might indicate an individual who works as an ENT-physician during the day, but works within a ceramics studio at night, the latter pursuing this bent for creative fulfillment as well as profit and professional development. 


Tennis star Venus Williams not only freezes opponents with a vicious serve, but she possesses a sharp sense for an appealing aesthetic.  While she was honing her tennis skills she concurrently enrolled in fashion school at the age of 18, in 1999, and discovered another passion beyond tennis:  design.  She wrote on V-STARR Interiors’ website, “Like design, tennis is always moving and changing.  Your opponent constantly changes, as well as the courts, conditions, and the tactics.  The same can be said of design.  Each client is different; each design solution is challenging and distinctive.” 


Some would consider the hyphen “-homemaker” or “-caregiver” as suggestive of another type of concurrent multiple career worker.  That is, a “lawyer-homemaker” works as attorney and is also in charge of domestic duties at home.  Increasingly, as adults care for both younger generation children and older generation parents, the “X-caregiver” worker has emerged—where a worker completes the tasks of career-X and simultaneously cares for the needs of the children and elders. 


As a Career and Life Coach my aim is that clients clarify a vision for what it is they seek to achieve and develop a strategic plan for how they are going to go about executing it.  Through active listening a high degree of attention is given to what the person being coached emotes:  what they see, what it sounds like, how it feels.  An effective coach establishes a system of accountability with the client in order to help assure that end is accomplished. 


As a Group Spinning Instructor similar elements apply, the greatest difference being an active vs. sedentary engagement.  Class participants set a goal for what it is they want to achieve with the ride.  Kinesthetic components apply:  what does the rider feel at the moment they envision pushing the 45 pound flywheel up a steep gradient?  The music to which they ride provides a rhythmic sound.  In our mind the ride may beckon a memory of another inclined path from our youth or maybe from a trip to Colorado. 

Be on the lookout for the video on my Facebook page: 

The Seed Sower Coach Facebook Page

For me, I thoroughly enjoy both vocations.  The degree to which they parallel and play off of each other works to the benefit of both jobs.  Additionally, when the days come when I’m distracted, “off” a bit physically, or feeling disengaged, one of the assignments will pick the other one up. 


What is it that you do?  What’s your calling card?  The answer may be a variety of things, maybe different and apart on the surface, yet integrated into the very uniqueness that is you. The depth of the Renaissance person that exists within you may be surprising. 

The Seed Sower