Get Unstuck With Crystal Barrow: How This Lawyer Turned Career Coach Is Helping Others Find Fulfillment

Her background as a former federal law enforcement officer, a laser-focused attorney and her success navigating her own loss of “dream job” has led her to become an industry leader in Career Coaching.

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

It’s common knowledge that many people feel unhappy in their work. Whether they followed someone else’s dream, are too afraid to follow their own dream, feel confined by the “golden handcuffs” of what they think is job security (COVID-19 has taught us all to rethink this one), or don’t feel heard by their manager. The idea of internal or external change can ignite a fear that can be paralyzing.

Crystal knows a thing or two about change and fear. She was a former law enforcement officer during 9/11 while attending law school in the evening. Realizing life is too short, she attended law school full-time and became an attorney. After 10 years of practicing law, she pivoted into the world of academia as a career development manager only to experience an unexpected job loss. While working her next 9-5, Crystal graduated from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), an International Coaching Federation (ICF) approved certification program, and launched her own business as CEO and founder of Shape Your Success Coaching. If that’s not enough change, she ultimately left the practice of law, became a single mom by choice to a beautiful toddler and, most recently, found love during COVID!  

“Everyone has moments in their life where things don’t feel right and we need to get clear on the direction and action to take,” explains Crystal. “With my clients and even with myself, there is often a common fear or misconception about ourselves that we need to work through and once we do everything in our work and personal life can fall effortlessly into place.”

Crystal’s own action steps have become the framework she would teach to her clients. Having walked the walk herself, Crystal applies her training and her personal experiences to help guide clients to discover their own truths and strengths so that they may proceed forward with confidence and determination.

Crystal is dedicated to empowering others to push through the fear that comes with change and growth, to achieve their potential as leaders and find career fulfillment. She published her first book Get Your Career Back On Track: 8 Steps to Go From Derailed to Empowered which became an Amazon #1 bestseller

Beyond specific action steps, what has helped Crystal find the ultimate fulfillment? Resilience.

“I learned early on that I could take whatever path was necessary to get me to my desired destination. Sometimes that meant taking some detours and creating my own opportunities when they weren’t handed to me.”

“Everyone is different when it comes to taking real action,” she says. “You figure out what you want, how to get there in a way that feels true and authentic to you and you do it. There is no perfect time or circumstance. There is no cookie-cutter way.” Crystal remarked. 

COVID-19 has obviously been a trying time for everyone to different degrees, but there are also some positive stories that came out of the chaos and uncertainty.

With so many experiencing lay-offs, furloughs, terminations or voluntary transitions, Crystal’s early experience with job loss guides her to help others with their own career change or advancement.

As a certified professional coach, Crystal motivates others to seek support and accountability through informational interviews.  “It’s a simple way to determine what’s a good fit, what direction to go and what needs to be done to level up, so you can make informed decisions along the way.”

She translated her desire to help people make career moves with clarity and confidence into a 3-month immersive program, Conquer Your Next Career Move, where Crystal also coaches them through the emotional blocks that arise in a no-judgment zone to foster momentum towards their professional goals. 

One thing people must include in the process, she believes, is to understand their “why’.  A job search, promotion, career pivot, all require grit and Crystal encourages job seekers, emerging leaders and career transitioners to call upon, not only the skills and strengths that got them where they are, but the power that comes from understanding why you are embarking on the journey in the first place. 

As people adopt this mindset, they are more likely to be aligned with their true values and as a result find their “happy” and be more fulfilled on their own terms.

A Rewarding Experience 

Crystal recalls a teacher with 13 years experience in secondary education who wanted to make a total career shift.  “She did not give herself credit for the skills and strengths she already had.”  Crystal said, “helping her identify and acknowledge her own strengths then build the confidence that others outside of her field would recognize, allowed her to articulate and market her achievements and — after only working together for two months — negotiate a new role. It was incredibly satisfying to help her achieve that result.” 

“It’s amazing to see the many ways people define their own success and how they can make strides along the way.” Crystal said.  “It inspires me to keep going and think bigger about sharing the gifts I have been given as a coach to impact more lives in a positive way.”

    You might also like...


    Trailblazing Women Share the Advice They’d Give Their Younger Selves If They Could Go Back In Time

    by Hannah McCauley

    How To Turn Your Passion Into Your Career

    by Alisha Fernandez Miranda

    Charise Naifeh of Happy Law Mom: “Scarcity Is a Scam”

    by Ben Ari
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.