...I ran across something recently that made me think about this. Granted, it's something I've thought about before, but this *really* made me stop and wonder.
I received the alumni magazine from my college alma mater and was reading through the updates from my former classmates. One of them made me stop and think about this. You see, she was a very screwed up individual. She didn't know what she really wanted to do with her life in terms of a career other than maybe doing something that would help people.
So she tried to help people while she was there. She volunteered in any volunteer organization or effort that came up. She offered shoulders to cry on and announced to the floor that if anyone ever needed to talk her door was always open - pretty forward for a freshman to offer this in front of the Resident Assistant. Oh yes, she ended up being an R.A. in her senior year although most of her floor called her nosy. She changed her major 3 times before the middle of her sophomore year. And she tried, to the best of her ability, to help people who didn't really seek her help.
I was one such person. She tried to convince me, without seeking her out, that I was on the wrong path. That I needed to change majors from business to philosophy because I had such a unique view on life and universe. As far as I was concerned she was the wrong person to be giving me advice - I had a goal, I was on a path, and I've succeeded on that path.
People pay her now to help them with their problems. Mostly the professional problems. Yes, a career coach. And her alumni update paragraph didn't say anything about her personal life - it said that the past 10 years of experience make her uniquely suited to counsel people in all stages of their professional life and that she can empower them to make better decisions. And the email address of how to contact her.
I've run into others in my working life who just don't have the personality for the positions that they're in. A cynical attitude driven individual with entitlement issues is in marketing and handles customers - he hates people but shouldn't be dealing with them (that's one of the guys that I work with). Another who hates math of any kind and can barely balance a checkbook is a business analyst (no, not me). People who can't deal with their own problems who become psychiatrists and counselors to help other confused individuals. Dreamers (who aren't "doers") who decide that they want to start a business and sketch out plan after plan but don't do anything to execute the plan.
There are so many out there like that. And I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with it, it's just the irony of it all that struck me although in my former classmate's case, I truly wonder if she's cut out for it. I suppose her business might be doing well...
...but when your alumni update is really subtle advertising for your business I tend to think not.