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Finding Your Passion

Six years ago I was a successful high-tech professional. I had rapidly climbed the corporate ladder and had become a director of operations in the software industry. I was professionally successful but I was also on the verge of emotional burn out. With some introspection, I came to realize that part of my problem was due to the fact that I no longer had the level of passion which was required for success in such a demanding industry. I was in a quandary – I was succeeding in my current line of work yet knew I could not last there for much longer. I had no idea what I would or could do next.

I wasn't sure that the skills I was using in my current job were the ones I would want to apply to another. I felt like I would end up in "more of the same" if I wasn't careful. At that point my executive coach recommended The Highlands Ability Battery to me. It was a four hour test that could tell me what my natural talents and abilities were. Without hesitation I dedicated a Saturday to it and traveled thirty miles to take the test. (These days you can take it at home on cd rom.) I found that taking the test gave me feeling of being "back in the driver's seat" on my career path and it was surprisingly fun. Most importantly, I was astounded by the results.

The ability battery had put into concrete terms some of the skills I thought I might have but could not name. These were "ah ha" moments for me. It also helped to pinpoint with undeniable accuracy my individualist work style, my long time frame orientation and my high ability to generate new ideas. With this clarity I was able to see why my position in software had been attractive for the past five years AND why it was not going to work for me in the long run.

It was also immediately clear from my results that what I was missing in my role in the software world was individual interaction. I needed to work with and through people not my computer terminal. I also needed to be engaged in long term planning - something which is nearly impossible in the fast paced environment of a software start-up. I needed to be in an environment that allowed fuller expression of my ideas as well as the opportunity to develop an area of specific expertise. I was an extroverted-specialist working as a generalist! No wonder I was reaching burnout.

Armed with these new insights, it was easy to find my new path. Shortly after taking The Highlands I realized I wanted to become a personal coach. I went back to school, earned my professional coaching certification and opened a private practice,, focusing on career coaching. Now, clients with stories similar to mine have been finding their way to me. I am very happy to be able to share my career change experience and help them define their own.

-Deirdre McEachern
Deirdre McEachern’s passion for life is translated into helping her clients achieve their dreams. Deirdre walked away from the high stress world of high-tech and undertook a complete career change. She now loves her work as an entreprenuer and personal coach. Deirdre’s coaching specialty is helping people attain satisfaction in their careers and lives just as she did. She believes stongly that everyone can find a career which they enjoy, expresses their passion and uses their natural talents. You can contact Deirdre at
Copyright 2001-2003 by Deirdre McEachern. May be distributed if full attribution is given and copyright notice is included.