I hope you will forgive this indulgence, but I have decided to devote this entire newsletter to sharing my delight in reaching a significant milestone. Ten years ago this month, I left the place that I had worked for the previous twelve years to create my own private practice. Scary as it was at the time, I determined that if I didn't do it then, I never would. So I stepped outside of my comfort zone, looked out at that enormous empty space in front of me, took a giant leap and (I'm happy to say) landed on both feet. Of course, there were a few missteps at the beginning, as there are with most new businesses, but with support from family, friends and colleagues, practical advice from small business consultant Henry Weinman and innovative ideas from website designer Nathaniel Richman, the practice has become richly rewarding and fulfilling.
Over the past ten years, the service has expanded to include personal as well as career counselling, life coaching as well as aptitude and achievement assessments. Clients have ranged from high school students choosing university programs to older workers planning for retirement and just about everyone in-between. I have worked with the unemployed, underemployed and overworked. I have provided counsel and support to those experiencing downsizing and firings, separations and divorces, confusion and indecision, fears and sadness. I have offered groups on self-esteem, assertiveness, networking and healthy eating. And I have met hundreds of wonderful and inspiring clients who have entrusted me with stories of their pasts and shared their dreams and hopes for their futures. Together we have explored and discovered, formulated ideas and plans, and laughed and learned. I feel very privileged to have been invited to accompany my clients on their journeys to their future selves.
As this tenth year anniversary approached, I realized that I needed to do what I have often recommended to clients, take stock of the past and plan for the future. In so doing, I have hired Kimberly Sheppard-Murray, a bright, creative and super-organized young woman to be my part-time assistant for the next few months. She is helping me reorganize my office, making it more functional, and more 'green.' Together we are spending time reviewing, reevaluating and updating the programs that I offer, materials that I use, and the ways in which I offer my service. As I have always done, I will continue to ask clients for their feedback and suggestions and put into practice their welcome and useful suggestions. And I welcome any comments and suggestions from you as well.
Finally, if you have ever thought about being your own boss, but have held yourself back from following your dream, call me. Let's talk about how you can make it happen.
Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”
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