Kate was a successful businesswoman in her early fifties who had twenty years earlier moved out of her corporate career where she’d held management positions inside large companies. Her business was doing well but she noticed that she no longer felt the same passion for the work that she once did.

With her children now grown she felt she had more time to pursue outside interests aside from her family and work. This had taken her in what she referred to as interesting directions but nothing that was coming together as a next career.

As Kate and her coach began to talk about the activities, she was engaged what emerged is that these were deeply held interests for most of her life. In the whirlwind of her adult life, she hadn’t had much time to explore them further. Until now.

Something else became apparent. There was a shared thread running through the activities that she had chosen to pursue. What had initially appeared to be a somewhat random collection of activities, were related. They all moved her more fully into what she called her spiritual life.

What is calling to you in your life?

What Kate had set in motion was the process of experimenting. This is a critical part of the transition process of moving from the life we have to the one that is speaking to us. Those experiments had not only taken her in interesting directions, as she referred to them, but much more. They had begun to illuminate what she wanted to do next.

Kate shared with her coach that she felt a “calling” to a life of service. This was both exiting to her and scary. It meant she would be leaving behind the professional life that she knew so well. Up to this point she had retained her business and was trying to “do it all.”

Stacked rocks on a beach.

The next step for Kate was to enroll in seminary and she knew it also meant closing her business. With her husband at her side, she did both. Over the next couple years, she reported that being in seminary led to a deep exploration and learning that, as she referred to it, “fed her soul.” It also affirmed that a life of service was indeed where she was headed.

She graduated seminary and became an ordained minister. A year later, and leading a church, she reported that she utilized her business skills more than she would have imagined. In this and other ways, Kate did not leave behind all that she knew, but rather she has carried them forward with her.

In the process, Kate had successfully transitioned into an encore career. Which for Kate encompassed a sense of purpose, a passion for continuing along a spiritual path, and a paycheck.

Note: To honor confidentiality and protect the privacy of our clients we do not use names and have altered possibly identifying details in this Case Study.

About Perceptive Leaders LLC

Perceptive is a boutique leadership development and professional transitions consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado serving clients in the US and Canada, since 2005. We have worked with over 1,000 senior organizational leaders and accomplished career professionals to help them recognize opportunities for impactful and substantive change and how to realize that transformational change. For more than 15 years, Perceptive has been helping leaders and their teams transform their leadership. For more information, visit perceptiveleaders.com.

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