By Lizzie Alberga, Founder of Collective Gain.

When I talk about this in public most people immediately guess I’ll be suggesting one of the following three things to maximize their career potential: a mentor, having an advanced degree, or building great leadership skills. While all those can definitely improve the likelihood of growing your career, they do not guarantee that happiness will go along with it. So, when I remind them that the topic I’m discussing is how to grow your career and find happiness… a stillness comes over the room while people search for an answer.

We are so focused on growing our careers that often we spend two decades of our life, our twenties and thirties, almost totally focused on the pursuit of corporate success. The title, the office, the paycheck… and as someone who was promoted every year for 13 years straight and had these three boxes checked off by the age of 30, I can tell you that happiness is not guaranteed at the end of the road.

In fact, often it’s quite the opposite. Spending one, two or three decades pushing to arrive at the top of the ladder only to realize, you don’t like the view when you get there can be quite crushing. You can begin to question everything. Almost to the point of not even looking at where you are vs. where you want to be. And this can happen at any stage – where we sacrifice one for the other, happiness for career or career for happiness.  Settling for “happy-enough” leaves you feeling stuck in a life built by you but for someone else.

It’s my greatest passion to help people wake up. Wake up to a world of and. Where they can have happiness and a growing, prosperous career. This life is precious, arriving at a growing, prosperous career and a happy life shouldn’t be a option, it should be the option.

What I have found of the successful, the happy, those who feel they have it all is that they didn’t get there on their own – they got there by activating the support of a personal coach. This is the single biggest indicator of a growing career and happiness.

What kind of coach? A personal coach. A life coach, A I want to love my life, my work and feel spiritually alive coach. Here are three reasons why.

Coaching builds enormous compassion for yourself and for others.
Coaches teach us that where we judge ourselves, we judge others. The parts of us we reject, hide or downright hate, are the exact places we need to focus our attention. They teach us that to move forward and become fully realized we need to accept all that we are. It’s through their non-judgment of us that we learn to not judge ourselves. And when we begin to have compassion for those not-so-shiney parts of ourselves, we can have compassion for other people’s not-so-shiney parts, too. In addition, when we begin to accept and love ourselves for who we are and who others are – as is – we stop blaming, we stop disconnecting and we begin leaning into support, resolution, and connection. And almost most importantly, we develop a habit of compassion when we disappoint ourselves and when others disappoint us. And this same compassion goes far in the workplace. It leads you to say “How can I help…” when you see a colleague in distress vs. letting them sink or swim, alone.  And in reaching out to support, offer encouragement and if needed, an apology for your part, you show up as a leader and positive asset for the bottom line. This not only grows your professional opportunity, it creates a deep sense of respect for yourself and others.

Coaching helps you become extremely self-aware.
Coaches listen, intently, to what we say, how we say it, and mirror back what they hear and see.  It’s likely one of the only times in our life we get an unbiased look at how we are showing up and this can be frightening at first… to see ourselves as who we are vs. how we want to be perceived. In the end it’s worth all the exploration, vulnerability and aha’s. Becoming extremely self-aware means you know all parts of yourself – what brings you joy, your biggest talents, your triggers, how you interact and communicate, where you shine and where you need help, how you show up in conflict, etc… You learn just not what you do, you learn why you do it. The result of this extreme self-awareness is advanced maturity and emotional stability. Both payoff in the workplace and in our personal lives. It allows us to make better decisions. Calm ourselves down when we get trigged. Be honest about how we feel. Communicate when we need help. Focus our energy where we’re best. It allows you to lead and be led – in all areas of your life making it a win-win for all.

Coaching gives you a mindset of “I CAN”.
One of the biggest takeaways from a coaching experience is that you can find the answer within, always. Developing this deep trust for yourself and what you can create develops during a coaching experience because coaches will challenge every “I can’t”, “I haven’t”, “I wouldn’t”…  and have you dig deep into the why not. This digging reveals deeper beliefs, often ones you have inherited and picked up along the way that limit on what you think you can do. These limits aren’t real, they’re self-limiting beliefs. So when your coach starts to logically question these limits by walking down the path as to why not, you begin to see too that these boundaries of success aren’t real. You put them there, and you can take them away by visualizing possibility, talking through initial tiny steps you can take toward what you want. You begin to see possibility and have more trust in yourself and what you can do. You begin to feel empowered in your life – because where there is a will of I can, there is action of I can.

Here is what people forget, or maybe just don’t realize. You don’t have to go at it alone. You can hire the support of a coach to bridge the gap when you’re feeling a transition coming on. You can hire a coach for support when you feel lost or stuck. You can hire a coach when you have a huge vision for yourself and the world, yet just aren’t sure how to get from here to there. They have read the books. Taken the courses. Done the work themselves. You can fast track the growth in your career and living a happy fulfilled life by hiring a coach. And remember working with a coach is not forever, it’s for right now, when you need it, then you go on your way and apply what you’ve learned. It’s the biggest advantage you can have. Someone who is committed to your success. Success in your professional life and success in your personal life. Someone who is unattached to the outcome and has professional training to help lead you there.

If you want to be an ace in your career and lead a happy, satisfied life, get the coach and do the work. It will pay off. And here’s the thing, most people won’t. Even after reading this and believing there’s value to getting support, most people will not take the step. Why? Because there is money, time, and personal exploration involved. It’s safer, easier and known to stay exactly where they are. The good news for you is this just makes hiring a coach that much more of a success indicator – because you’ve got what it takes to say YES to growing your career and finding happiness so you’ve got what it takes to make it happen.

Lizzie Alberga, Former Evite Vice President of Marketing, recently started Collective Gain, an exciting new personal transformation platform. Collective Gain matches up ambitious seekers with a carefully curated selection of high quality coaches. Collective Gain is different than other personal transformation brands, because it is the only company that exclusively focuses on 1:1 coaching as the key to personal growth. Lizzie wants to get more people interested in coaching, because she truly believes it’s the best tool out there for helping people reach their goals. She herself is not a coach, rather is a life-long seeker diving into the meaning and purpose of life with a personal mission to help people live happier more fulfilling lives. Learn more about Collective Gain here.