About me

I am a walking, talking testimony of how essential career fit is to happiness and fulfillment – and that making even a big change is realistic! 


I spent more than a decade as a outwardly-successful, inwardly-unhappy attorney. Right out of my top-15 law school, I began a highly coveted job working for a federal appellate judge. Then I moved to a really selective Washington, D.C. law firm where I represented some of the biggest companies in the world—and did so with really great people that I genuinely liked. And I finally moved to a Global Fortune 500 tech company where I traveled internationally, worked on national and international policy issues with federal agencies, and even made good friends. 


They were actual dream jobs...for someone else. Just not for me.


And that really matters. 

It turned out that the day-to-day of those dream jobs left me drained and depressed. So to figure out why I was so unhappy in jobs that sounded so great on paper—and to see if there was some kind of work that I could actually enjoy—I dove deeply into tests, therapy, books, anything I could learn from. And I learned a lot.


I learned that...:

  • Poor career fit is just a big a cause of burnout as being intensely overworked.

  • Being able to do a job well does not mean it is a good fit for you.

  • I personally needed a career where I could work directly with individuals and tangibly help them improve their lives.  

  • I deeply enjoyed using my problem solving and analytical skills with people, even though it felt like pulling teeth to apply those skills to the law all day long.


But you know what else I learned?  That learning wasn’t enough to make a change, at least for me. 

For me, what actually got me moving into a new career that was right for me was getting coaching myself. 

It is scary to leave a career path that is safe, responsible, and outwardly successful, even when you’re unhappy. And I needed some clarity, certainty, and support to get confident that coaching was the right profession for me and to actually move into it.  


After years of learning and daydreaming, within a couple months of beginning coaching, I was making the changes I wanted—and discovering that I could actually love work.


Because working with people to help them see transformation in their lives? I love it. I experience flow. I lose track of time. I forget to eat (which had never happened before!). I seek out more tools to help my clients, rather than getting away from work as quickly as I can.  


You see, I am fundamentally a people person. I am deeply relational. I laughed out loud when I saw my Strengthsfinder top 5 strengths, 4 of which are about relationship building—because in my work as an attorney, I wasn’t using any of those strengths.

Being unhappy at work has a huge impact on your entire life. It detracts from your energy, creativity, optimism and focus, and actually makes it harder to figure out what a good change would be, let alone how to make it. Having a coach by your side makes a huge difference.


Oh, and by the way?  Coaching sessions are really fun!  


So if you want to find meaningful, fulfilling, lucrative work, I’d love to talk and see if we’d be a good fit to work together! 

Personality Assessments


  • Meyers-Brigg: ENFP

  • Enneagram: Type 7, the Joyful Person or the Enthusiast

  • StrengthsFinder (CliftonStrenghts): Empathy, Adaptability, Positivity, Communication, Individualization


  • DiSC: iS - The Counselor (warm, collaborative, perceptive) 

  • Four Tendencies: Obliger

  • Ability Potentials: Key aptitude pattern was high generalist with high classification and analytical abilities. (I have approximately zero aptitude for spacial reasoning or visual memory. Good thing I gave up the idea of engineering before college!)

  • Hogwarts House: Gryffindor

Certifications and Training:

  • Career Clarity Certified Coach

  • Enneagram Experienced

  • Meyers-Brigg Type Indicator Experienced

  • StrengthsFinder Experienced

  • Pivot Method Experienced

Just for fun, my favorite...

  • Place: Piran, Slovenia

  • Authors: Laura Hildenbrand, Michael Lewis, J.K. Rowling

  • TV Shows: Brooklyn 99, the Office (still!), Last Week Tonight

  • Podcasts: Up First, Hidden Brain, Revisionist History, Binge Mode: Harry Potter, and naturally the Career Clarity Show!

© 2019 by Kelley Shields Coaching.  All rights reserved.




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