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Create Your Dream Career

Lesson 1 of 32

Stories of Career Changers

Michelle Ward

Create Your Dream Career

Michelle Ward

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Lesson Info

1. Stories of Career Changers

Lesson Info

Stories of Career Changers

So I'm really proud and a little bit emotional right now because this is such a dream come true for me, but I'm really proud to introduce myself to you as michelle ward than when I grow up coach and I'm here to make sure that at the end of our sessions together you will be just as excited. Teo, answer what I like to call the dreaded question, which is so what do you d'oh uh for those of us who were in careers that just don't seem teo fit who we are and what's important to us and what we feel and know that we're capable of that? That question isn't on ly dreaded it could be depressing, so I'm curious. Jenny, could you tell me how you answer the dreaded question right now, right now I tell people when I'm on my game, I say I'm a crow shape pattern designer, huh? When I'm off my game, I either say I don't have a real job oh, or I have a garbage job both that oh my gosh, what do you wish that you could say to them instead? I wish that I had something because I do khrushchev had are designe...

d, but I'd like it tio kind of encompass more of the different things that I do I'm having answer that engages people rather than have it say, oh yes, I love that and that's what we're here to find, and I promise you, you keep your butt in that seat, you don't go anywhere. Our very last segment in our last session is going to be around our mission statement, which actually axe is a really great script to answer the dreaded question, so we have three different themes, a new theme every day that we're here, and I hope it represents the fun and the playfulness, the creativity that we are going to have together in this course. So today is all about dreaming. Tomorrow is all about exploration, and the last day is all about play, and these are the rial strong for me, foundational things that we need to hone in on an order to help us find the intersection between our values and our skill sets and our priorities, and are goals and all the different things that allow us to find our sweet spot to create our dream career. Now, I really became the coach that I am needed at the time when I realized that I don't want to be an actor anymore. I it was not acceptable for me to find something that I wasn't passionate about, and so I got a recommendation from someone for a career counselor, and this is back in two thousand five, two thousand six, someone that worked with creatives as a specialty and I was so excited to find her and I went to her fancy office in new york city armed with five hundred dollars of my mom's hard earned money it was a gift because she knew how important finding this new career was to me thank you, mom on dh after the second session her advice to me was to get a nose job because she thought I could get more acting jobs that way now this was totally like unwarranted advice I wasn't talking about my nose I actually have a confidence around my nose especially being a jewish girl from long island with my original nose on and I wasn't even there to talk about acting I was there to find something new and it left me just so despondent and so depressed that I wasn't gonna be able to find anyone that could help me. So I'm curious any of you guys here in the audience have you had any similar stories with people that were supposed to help you with your career or have you taken any sorts of tests that told you to do one thing that really wasn't exciting to you? Anyone at home to we love to hear any experiences you've had with a career change testing or maybe counselors or coaches that oh you thought we're gonna be able to help you but really kind of fell flat yes joann I took a vocational test many years ago, a lot of it was to look att unfolded boxes and figure out what they would look like folded, and I knew I wasn't doing well, but when I came in to get the result it's of my test, the counselor said to me, if you ever build a bridge, let me know because I'm not going to drive on it, so that so that was the advice that was so helpful for you haven't engineer it's. Okay, wonderful, did they? So they ruled out engineer did they tell you anything else about yourself? Um, they gave me information about being skilled in language, and so I went into publishing oh, wonderful. Okay, uh, it's really interesting, because I remember back in the day, you know, in high school, we all took those career tests and spit it out, you know, a bunch of a list of things seem like everyone was suited to be a library in I don't know about you guys every single thing, unless those library and so here, what we're doing is no tests, no list of this is what you're supposed to be doing, I make you do the work ah that's kind of my fame because I really feel like twenty, fourteen, you can't be a career dictionary there's just no such thing and I love that I love that about the age of the internet I love that about being the when I grow up coach so I'm not here to help any of you any of you out there oh yeah you add all these things up and it's going to spit out this but it's going to be about you really digging deep again in a fun way and really honing in on your own dream career and it might be something that's already established and it may be something totally totally new and exciting so the instant comments coming in yes yeah yeah I mean vanessa levin was saying she did she wanted to be an anthropologist but she took a career test told her she needed to be a janitor they are actually she didn't follow it she's actually now actually works as a craft at home I'm done making making toys I think it is very cool off well I actually took a career counseling thing I don't have to describe it but she made me fill in all these different bits of colored paper and the result didn't come out the way she wanted it and she kept saying no this is wrong and I think well surely anyway I ended up doing what I wanted to do but the councilor kept trying to redirect means and saying when the results wouldn't come out the way she wanted them to it was frustrating for her it was not a good experience it's hard and I think that's what happens when you're working with someone that doesn't get your own needs and values and maybe who you are too is a creative person I remember when I was trying to find musical theater programs to go to in college my college advisor at a high school guidance counselor just kept pointing maeda one school, which was a state school in new york that had a good musical theater department but he couldn't tell me anything else about any other musical theater department anywhere and so it was just, you know, some sometimes if you're not in their wheelhouse, they just can't help you so I am here today oh my gosh to give you the last six years of my work that's how long I've been the when I grow up coach and in our three days together we're gonna cover pretty much everything that I go through with my clients over the course of three to four months. So I say that not only tell you like all of the juiciness that you're gonna be getting if you stay with us for the entire three sessions but also kind of remind you that this is a process, so while I think that a lot of you are going teo be able to hone in at the end of the third session with this is what I want to dio if you're not quite there, you were going to know yourself so much better what's important to you the compass of your dream career and you are gonna have your own set of personalized homework so that you know what do you still need to explore? What do you still need to research? What do you still need to dio so I just need to say that up at the top because we're just oh it's an intensive it's a really intensive and this work that I do one on one with my client's cost them thirty five hundred dollars it's going to cost you nothing if you stay with us and watch for free but this is so nice right? This is my one hundred and twenty to change workbook that I created specifically for creative live it is brand new it has not been offered anywhere it won't ever be and it gives you every single link to things that I talk about. It gives you space for every single question that I ask you to work in and gives you more of my story and it's just I'm so I'm proud I'm so proud of this I'm just this proudest standing up here for the next three days that I get to give this to you this is the culmination of my six years of work and I also know I have clients who actually just have a climbing just emailed me. We worked together three or four years ago, and she said, michelle, I'm still going over our notes from our sessions in order to make my dream career decisions now and still guide me on my path. So instead of having scattered notes all over the place, get this workbook, it's, all in one place, and you could use it just forever and ever and printed up again when you need it. If there's another career change or decision, you need to make more seoul digging exercises that you want tohave an amazing book you say you put six years of your life into doesn't really show this is the culmination of everything. I mean, for those of you who are here, you all got my operation creative career cheer, which was the very first product I ever offered, docking twenty ten and those air, like just my worksheets that I strung together, because at that time, that was my real system and curriculum for my clients. But I realize now, four years later, like it's it's, not representative of all the work that needs to happen. And so, while it's still valuable, those worksheets are valuable. I don't think that they're going to get you to the end point like this is right now so while the entire rest of every single segment that we're going to do is going to focus on you guys, I want to actually spend our first segment here talking about true stories of grown up career career changers and I figured we might as well start at the source which is me so here I am back in the eighties and what I wanted to be when I grew up was a performer musical theatre performer and it I just ended up being not only my dream but it was my identity it felt sometime like it was the air that I bereaved it was the most important things paint and chasing that dream really took me places it took me to in use tisch school of the arts I got an early acceptance for the musical theater program I was just so excited and thrilled teo be there that was my dream come true it also brought me on a cruise ship on dh this is yes a halter top collard spandex sparkly bellbottoms leopard print jumpsuit with the frame ji armband for extra fast on so this is the kind of like glamorous work that I was doing. I was also an extra few times on saturday night live that was unbelievable I got to do a show in key west and like pink us for two months to get paid for it so I had my share of really, really great fun jobs, but I also had my share of not so glamorous jobs, and I also had my share of rejection on, and I graduated from nuo a year early in nineteen ninety nine I was that excited to just start pounding the pavement and, like, get me out of here because I want to start working. I was that excited and probably that dumb, but it was around two thousand five that I actually decided to listen to the voice in my head that started quietly telling me that I don't want to act anymore for my career, and that voice is in my head for about a year, it was very quiet, and I would hear it, I would say, oh, sure, I could talk louder than you shut up! I'm not listening because this was twenty years of my life, and I just didn't know who I would be without the stream in a school in this routine of picking up the trade paper every week and come the auditions and putting them in my calendar and submitting myself. But within that year, the voice kept getting louder and louder and louder, and I stopped really going on on auditions, I kept going through the motions, but I wasn't actually taking action. And so it made me question my grown up priorities and my grown up goals and the moment that I realized I had a listen to this voice uh was actually a day that I we'll never forget I was on my way to my day job although was my day job because I wasn't acting any more, but I told myself it was my day job I was an account manager for a company that should have been such a great fit for me I was able to use my communication skills and relationship building skills, which to me are just the apex of what I want to be doing. It was in soho there were lots of young people, it was like a startup ish sort of company people people would go to work in their pajamas and like yes, these are my people this is going to be great and it turned out that I had a horrible, verbally abusive manager would make me feel terrible day in and day out even though I knew it wasn't the opinion of my client was in the opinion of my colleagues think he was just threatened by anyone that did a good job, so he tried to knock you down and he just kept getting away with that people kept quitting, but they kept him on because they felt a loyalty to him he was one of the first employees and probably about a year into the job I was on the subway I live in new york city and I was on the subway and I was making my way to work and soho and as I was getting closer, I kept falling, feeling sicker, sicker and sicker and finally the union square stop one of the busiest stops in new york city rush hour, thousands of people around I ran off the train, teo, not to be gross first thing in the morning, teo dry heaved into the garbage can and I was so embarrassed and it shows you the hole that this job had on me because I didn't just say, oh, I need to get myself home, let me go back home I instead said, I need to get to the office so I could get my laptop so I could then work from home. Um, so I made my way above ground I walked the fifteen or twenty box to the office, I got my laptop, I said to my colleagues, I'm gonna go home and work from home. I just almost threw up on a subway and I'm obviously really sick and the second I left, I felt fine. That was just the biggest wake up call that I couldn't ignore this voice any longer and what was really the most important thing to me I think it was because I chased my dream to make it my career for my whole life that to think of the next thirty five years of work for me as doing something I wasn't passionate about was just absolutely unacceptable. So I said, okay, I'm gonna find something I'm passionate about, but I'm also gonna find something grown up. I'm done with this actor business and I want like someone else to give me a check on a regular basis, and I want benefits, and I want a four oh one k, which was like a mythical thing to me at the time, and so I set out to find my grown up, passionate career, and I found life coaching bump bump, yes, that's totally how I felt there were two parts of my brain, right when I when I heard about life coaching there's, a part of my brain that lit up because here is a way for me to hone in on my communication skills and my relationship building skills because I knew where the two most important things for me and a way to help people without having teo on. I love therapists and social workers so much, but I know it's not the right job for me, I couldn't talk to people about their like really problems like they're depressing but I just couldn't I couldn't do it and I don't want to go back to school to get my masters for years and years and be tens of thousands of dollars in debt I just wasn't interested so part of my brain lit up that I could help people and I could build relationships and I could be that the coach that I needed I could translate that into being a career coach for creative people and then there was the other part of me which really one out for quite a while and that part this was in two thousand seven and there was definitely more of a stigma around life coaching people didn't know what it wass and if they knew what it was there was an impression that we were all hippy dippy crystal reading don't shave our armpits lear does and it's totally your crystal reading and don't shave your armpits there again is nothing wrong with that but it will it wasn't me and it wasn't tied into my identity and I didn't think that I was going to be taken seriously so I really cast that thought aside for quite a while because I was so nervous about what people would think about me but the more rides in my work the more I went through some of these exercises that we're going through today it took a career change class at n yu and I just more and more and more clear as what was important to me, I couldn't deny the fact that being an entrepreneur was such a good fit with the where I saw myself going and what I wanted to achieve for myself and I was looking for that passion and the only thing that came close was the thought of being a career coach for creative people so I'm curious do you guys have anything that you're thinking might be your dream career but it's something that you're embarrassed by right now or think doesn't match up to who you are? Yes, yeah, I'm so I'm thinking about a switch to life coaching a joint teach dr what about it is like embarrassing and I just think a lot of the people that I know on dh my family you know, it's still kind of like I don't understand what that is that's not a real thing, you know, not a real thing you got a real effect so that's a little intimidating, but I'm getting more comfortable with the idea yeah, that is really good and it's good that you keep your mind open anyone else is something that's in their head that just feels like such a big change or not close to what they're doing or maybe I love that point that you brought up your friends and family they just don't understand and my friends and family didn't either, but they were very receptive and supportive, and my bomb at one point said, come read a book about life coaching, like, I want to know what it's about, and then I had friends that didn't get it, and I had friends that I would tell I'm getting certified to be a life coach and that's what I'm hoping to transition into maybe, like, what are you doing now? I got a lot of what are you doing now, michelle? And like, what is that? And I got a bunch of, oh, you want to coach creative people? Aren't they all poor? They're not gonna have any money to pay you, so I got a lot of that, but I think once you're really secure in your own commitment and I also came to terms with the fact that there are going to be people out there who needed my coaching, who also didn't want to work with the more hippy dippy, tarot reading crystal reading people. So I realized, oh, I could just differentiate myself from that group and amen and hallelujah to that group and the people that respond to that and want to work with those people, but like, oh, I think there's a lot of people out there that wouldn't want to work with someone like that and then they could come to me and I'll find my people that's really hard so anything coming in the chat yeah vanessa's saying she had a craze she dreams she wanted to be a young adult cancer advocate says when everyone anyone asked her about that they say you mean like an oncology nurse and she says no being somebody who who can support people with cancer issues trenton is saying I'm switching from photography to creating a magazine a man actually saying I'm a graphic designer but I really want to make more personal art oh I love that vanessa needs to check out stupid cancer dot com or dot org's it's all about cancer advocacy for young adults it's an unbelievable not profit not for profit so that's a really great example of something that she could either get involved with or a really great model for something that she could create herself a lot of people are saying that they're friends always seem to be discouraging them saying you've got a crazy idea you know it's so interesting I really from the time that I committed to a life coaching I think of myself back in two thousand seven and I had a whole different group of friends that I have now some of them really didn't understand what I was doing and well they were kind of supportive in their own way they weren't you were encouraging and not friends with those people anymore, and I've actually because of the age of the internet and because I'm now, uh, see, I talked about hippy dippy, but I've become one I'm owning my truth on dh putting it out there, I've found the people throughout the country throughout the world, in my clients and my cup, my my dad calls them my business associates, I like to call them, you know, my friend leagues there, like colleagues who are friends, but because of how we're all able to connect these days, it's just sometimes you have to let certain people go that aren't meant to maybe travel with you on this part of your journey and welcome in the people that teo and that get it. Maybe this is a good time to mention that if you go to when I grow up, coach dot com slash creative live and put in your e mail address, you're going to get a link on email right back that links teo are closed. Facebook group of dream career creators so really anyone that is taking this course, I want you to sign up for that newsletter list. Join our facebook group we're going to connect with each other we're all on the same journey together I'm going to be there to moderate and post prompts and make sure it doesn't turn into spam city and so that's a great place to start you know you're in a safe space I shouldn't mention that it's not a secret group which means that if you join it'll say maybe on your timeline soon so joined dream career creators but no one's going to be able to see the post's itself that are in there they're just going to see the title of the group and the people that are in it so if you're worried about you know works seeing that you're doing this you could always tell them like, oh, this is a group for people that want to be better in their jobs and we'll probably buy s so feel free to just lie to your colleagues faces of I love that so this represents my day job that I've transitioned into once I committed to being a life coach I had to get out of that other job it was killing me slowly and quickly in so many ways and just soul sucking all of my own confidence my time my energy I had a blackberry that if I was not returning e mails on a sunday night at ten o'clock I was getting in trouble the next day I was going on needless travel. I knew that I couldn't be in that job for emotional reasons and for logistical reasons in order to build my dream career as a creative career coach. So the first thing I did was to figure out what kind of day job could I get that's gonna give me back my energy and my confidence and give me back my nights and my weekend so I could actually get my certification and build this business. So I became an executive assistant at a financial consultant company, which is you could probably tell it's not the greatest fit personality wise, but the manager used to be an actress and so she threw other actresses a bone and hired us, but everything else besides the fact that wasn't passionate about this job fit the bill, right? I had no blackberry. I clocked in at nine. I clocked out of six. They paid you extra for overtime so they didn't want you to take it. If you were still at your desk at six ten like get out of here. What are you still doing here? They would give you the fifth degree which I love, and it gave me a healthy new york city salary and it gave me the benefits that I needed and gave me for a one k which never had before the mythical thing came true so I started back job in august of two thousand seven. That was also the very same month that I signed up at the international coach academy, and it took me two years and seven months. Tio, get my certification, get engaged, get married and build my business to the point that I was able to take a look in december two thousand nine at the clients that I had, and the people that were waiting to work with me on my professional website that ijust had designed and the money that I had saved in the bank. And I said, oh, my gosh, I think to this, and my husband said, you should do it. So march nineteen, twenty. Ten was my last day in corporate america. And I have been a woman of the world, which is my phrase for a full time entrepreneur ever since.

Class Description

Does your work feel soul-sucking instead of fulfilling? Are you ready to transition into a career that excites you? Join Michelle Ward for an exploration in uncovering the skills, passions, and strengths that will help you create the life you’ve always aspired to live.

In this course you’ll learn how play can (and should) inform your career choice and steer you towards a career you love. You’ll explore how personality and lifestyle can guide you towards the career that’s right for you. Michelle will help you identify the fears holding you back and devise strategies to prevent them from stifling you in the future. You’ll identify the core skills you already have and target opportunities for cultivating new strengths.

Whether you’re unclear about what your true passion is, feel like you could never pick just one thing, or are simply unsure of where to start, this course will put you on right track to creating your dream career.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Michelle Ward - Create Your Dream Career Workbook.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Michelle Ward - Operation Creative Career Cheer.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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This class was sooo incredibly fun and inspiring. It was wonderful to meet Michelle and interact with her in person. She is warm, kind, approachable and genuinely passionate about helping creatives find a career they can love. Having been raised to believe that the only route to a secure retirement was to find a job with a pension or, at least, a good 401k, this class gave me the courage to believe that I could do work I love and still finance a fabulous life in retirement. It also put things in perspective because it helped me to see that I deserve to be happy as much as anyone else who has carved a successful niche for themselves doing work they feel good about. And, it reminded me that if I try something and discover it isn't the right fit, the worse that can happen is that I go find that job with a pension at that point. So what? Why not me? Amen! xoxo, Jen


My dad used to tell me, "You don't get to do what you love. You just learn to love what you do." For years and years, I've been wandering from job to job wondering why I just wasn't feeling the love, no matter how much I learned to be good at what I do. Although, I tried to resign myself to the idea that work would always be something to dread day in and day out, I couldn't help but day dream about the elusive "perfect" job! I searched for years for tests or counselors who could help give me some direction as to what I would be good at and just before I lost hope, I found this class. I snuck it in during work on my cellphone (shh don't tell lol) and was running back to my desk when I had to be pulled away. It's nice to know someone understands what I've been going through and Michelle's energy is just so positive and motivating that I know that I can make things happen! I watched the free live broadcast but even before the end of day 1 I knew this class was a resource I'll gladly pay for! I would and have recommended this class to many people I know feel the same way I do! Changed my life! We're not made to fit into a mold so why not create your dream career! My review in one word? Amazeballs!


I purchased this course and made sure to finish it before 2015 started. It was so easy to go through the course and I made sure to be diligent in actually doing the activities and homework. I never knew there were other MULTI-PASSIONATE out there like me! I thought I was just a confused human being who needs to figure out her life! Haha! Michelle's energy and passion to help others are so eminent in the way she presents and guides us. I love the setting of Creative Live as well because I felt involved with the studio audience despite having to watch these sessions by myself. :) I learned so much about myself, about how I can incorporate my multiple interests into a unique ball of career perfectly molded for me, by me. All thanks to the help and wisdom of Michelle's experiences and talents. What a great end of 2014 and a great way to start 2015! THIS COURSE IS WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY. :)