From Engineering to Career Coaching

What did you do when you left Olin?

First I moved to Melbourne, Australia where I worked as a recycled water engineer for a year or so and then I moved back to the US and accidentally landed in technical support at Google. I found that I absolutely loved it since it was an awesome combination of people and engineering in my mind. Over time, I was having more and more conversations with colleagues about their careers and helping people relieve their anxiety, so I moved over to a Career Dev role within Google.  Soon after that, I started my own business as a career coach!

What are you up to now?

I am running my own business... which I absolutely never thought I would say. Doing my own thing was never a big dream of mine, I was not trying to escape the 9-5, the idea really never crossed my mind.  Yet after getting my coaching certificate, people kept coming to me asking if I was taking clients and referrals because they wanted to work with me. I ran my business on the side for two years before leaving Google earlier this year to see about making coaching a full time thing. Now I get to spend all of my time helping people get to know themselves incredibly well so that they can make career choices based on what’s a good fit for them. I feel like I’ve applied my engineering thinking to career coaching by giving people practical tools and a structured approach to making better decisions.

What was it like making the transition from Olin?

It was hard to go straight into engineering and find that the place where I was working wasn’t creative or innovative at all. I really missed the atmosphere of Olin and the pride that everyone takes in their work. Google reminded me more of the Olin environment, but really the most important thing I got from Olin was the confidence to learn absolutely anything and I am eternally grateful for that. I’ve already had three careers so far and I’ve been able to jump in and learn anything I need to in all three areas. I had no idea how to set up a business but I knew I had the tools to figure it out.

What do you do for fun?

I took a weeklong intensive pastry course earlier this year so my number one fun activity is baking. I also love making things whether it’s calligraphy, crochet, photography, etc. Otherwise I’m always doing random stuff in San Francisco (pub trivia, roller disco in an old church, sunrise hikes in formal wear), I’m a big P90X fan and my Friday nights are sushi dates with my husband Brian Shih.

You’re now in the business of giving advice.  Do you any words of wisdom for current Oliners?

Do as many interesting things as you can and learn about anything and everything you want to. Adopt the mindset that you can change your career at any point in life, you can live several lives one after another and every experience you have in life is valuable. Also, the sooner you get to know yourself and who you are and what you want, the sooner you’ll be able to make decisions that feel good to you instead of following an arc of your life that is dictated by others.

 

To learn more about Lindsay’s business, feel free to check out A Life Of Options.  

Posted in: Alumni Speak