My daughter completed fifth grade yesterday and graduated from elementary school . This fall, she will be going into middle school. A new beginning, a major life transition. It sounds cliché to say that these years have flown by, but they have. I, like many of you, am a very proud parent of a child who has accomplished and experienced much in her first ten years of life. We’ve seen her through many life transitions already and will support her through many more.

At this time of graduation the idea of life transition becomes clear. The gowns, pomp and circumstance, the ceremony, the inspiring speeches, tossing the hats high into the air. It’s the excitement of next steps, new beginnings, endless possibilities. There are other times the life transitions aren’t as obvious, and unless you are conscious of how you are feeling, and trust your gut, opportunities to make important life transitions may pass you by.

Think back to how many life transitions you have already been through. How many more might you experience? Some are natural, like graduating from school. Some are more deliberate like marriage, buying a home, starting or changing a career, moving across the country, quitting your job to start your own business, or deciding to lose weight and finally get into the physical shape you’ve always wanted. Although potentially exciting, a change can be painful. The pain of change is often the most difficult pain threshold to cross, which is why many people stay in a rut and don’t make change. Think of the expression, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” The pain of change is often too much, so people will put up with the status quo until the value of what is on the “other side” is greater than facing the pain of change.

Another thing that holds people back from making the changes that will affect their life positively is the fact that they might not know what to do, how to do it, what steps they need to take and who might be able to help. They feel alone and overwhelmed. It’s at these times when you need to reach out and use the advice of an expert life transition coach. Find someone who you connect with; someone with the experience you are looking for to help and support you through your life transition and to your ultimate goal.

Here are six questions to ask yourself when hiring a life coach:

  1. Has the coach spent time asking you a lot of questions to get to know you and your circumstances?
  2. Does the coach have a correct and clear understanding of your ultimate goals?
  3. Is the coach a good listener?
  4. Does the coach give you specific action steps to take, follow up with you along your journey, and hold you accountable to the steps necessary to reach your goals?
  5. Is the coach professional at all times?
  6. Does your coach have you step out of your comfort zone to “stretch” you if necessary?

It may be a a time when you feel you don’t need a coach that you need one most. Trust your gut. If you are dissatisfied with any element of your life and are looking to examine your life and the area or areas that are due for a change, reach out. It may be the most exciting life transition you will ever make.


Julie Podewitz
Executive Business and Life Transitions Coach