Long time no see friends!
Sorry, I’ve been living this thing called a life; and by that I mean I’ve been pulling double shifts and working on art nonstop and forgot what it means to eat, sleep, and breath.
Maybe blogging again will help by forcing me to actually sit down and just chill out.
Ha! Sometimes, I lie to myself.
Speaking of life (check out that smooth transition) I had the pleasure(?) of having two small session with a highly regarded life coach recently. It made me feel a few things and think about a few other things.
Let me give you some backstory before I launch into my opinion about life coaches and motivational speakers.
I have been working for a hospitality company since you all heard from me last, it’s an amazing place and I love the people I work with. We get a fair pay, benefits, weekends off and occasional little “gifts” from our employer. Being someone who has done restaurant work before, this environment is far more involved in the life of their employees and it’s kind of a nice change.
Being as involved as they are in our lives and attitudes our GM decided to bring in his favourite life coach, someone I could never even afford to be in the same room with, to speak with us about attitude and hospitality. The responses to this man varied but it got me thinking about the interactions between my generation and the generation of most life coaches and motivational speakers.
It all started when the life coach mentioned his lack of a High School education. He phrased this as a sort of “Even if you lack an education, you can be successful!”.
I mean, yeah, if you work hard and you’re extremely lucky.
Nowadays you need a basic high school education for most jobs, including working in my position.
I walk up to people and ask them if they would like a drink and then take their plates away when they’re done eating, so you can see the point I am trying to make here.
It’s hard to coach people on “if I can do it, you can too,” when the environments we are trying to operate in are completely different. There are so many variables we have to account for now, the least of all being the higher demand for an education for minimum wage jobs.
When I was first job hunting I came across a few desk jobs that paid $15 an hour plus benefits and required you to either have four years of front desk experience or a College education. Living in Toronto, it is very difficult to live off $15 an hour and that’s assuming you have no debt from your College years.
I should know. My job pays $15 an hour plus benefits.
Once again, I’m sure you’re beginning to see my point.
I have nothing against this man, and I am sure his seminars work wonders on the men and women of his generation, I just think that a different mind set and new rules are needed when it comes to coaching across generational gaps.
20-30 years provides a lot of time for the professional world to change. It’s like when your grandparents, or even your parents, talk about going door-to-door and asking about job openings. When I was applying for studio work most of them wouldn’t even take phone calls let alone an in-person visit. Even applying for jobs like Starbucks and Indigo, you have to do it all online seeing as applications are no longer accepted in most stores. It’s just different now.
I’ll fully admit that I am coming from a slightly negative place to begin with given my general opinion about life coaches and motivational speakers. I think they’re over-paid to tell us things we already know.
Do some people need them? Maybe.
Should they be selling their tickets for hundreds of dollars per seminar? Fuck that.
I think anyone who feels as though they need a life coach may be better served in finding a therapist. Often times they’re a hell of a lot cheaper and usually whatever is holding you back is better discussed on a one-on-one basis.
If what’s holding you back isn’t serious enough for a therapist, then buy a self-help book. Most provide the same advice with different wording and will cost you around $20.
I personally find it manipulative and sad when I see people dishing out all this money to try and better their lives when they probably don’t have half as much money as these coaches do.
The life coach we had into our work has two houses.
I have a one bedroom apartment in the west end. But, if I pay him more money than my boyfriend and I earn per pay check then maybe one day I can have two houses as well.
I have also noticed that help can come for free. Recently there was a free seminar in my area for anyone who needed advice on how to dig themselves out of a financial hole. If you keep your eyes open, Facebook is a great resources for checking local events, you can find tons of free help groups, sessions, seminars and community programs aimed towards self improvement and development.
Maybe I’m just being cynical for the sake of being cynical.
Maybe I’m just bitter because I don’t have two houses.
Or maybe I just want to see everyone, not just those who can afford it, get the help they deserve from people who can relate to them. I don’t just mean relate in a generational sense either.
Our speaker was a straight white man. This doesn’t mean it’s his fault that he had a different experience from my coworkers and I, but it does mean that we can’t relate to him on certain things.
In conclusion, I guess I just want everyone to have an equal opportunity to find happiness and success. The coach did say that he viewed everyone as being “equal” and, although the world doesn’t work that way right now, I do find the idea appealing for the future. We can work towards that and, on our individual paths to the top, find ways to carve out the road behind us for the future generation. If we don’t, we could end up being the life coach, standing in a room made up of our children’s generation, giving dated advice about a changing world as we look down from an ivory tower.
Work. Strive. Find your own path.
And stay Tobly Awesome
I know I will.