Cary Kirk has always been motivated to help others. Currently an ER nurse and barbell coach, he has been working with and helping people in one way or another throughout his entire life.
“I am passionate about both of these jobs because I get to help people in a tangible way,” said Kirk. “As an ER nurse, I spend all day helping people who are either sick or injured. As a barbell coach, I get to help people interact with their world on their terms.”
Kirk stated that he used to sell cell phones at an AT&T store and that the binding thread between his previous and current positions is the concepts of “people-handling and puzzle-solving.”
He would later move up to managing the highest volume AT&T store in the Chicago market, and over time, he became a people-focused leader who supported his employees. He later started attending nursing school at Ivy Tech Community College, and three years later started working as a nurse at an emergency room in Michigan City just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“I have always loved watching people grow and learn, and I was fortunate to be able to work with some incredible individuals,” Kirk said.
Kirk stated that his biggest influence was a director at AT&T named Whit. Whit taught Kirk valuable lessons in leadership, especially with his direct coaching method, which focused on talking with people about how to succeed based on their expertise in the subject.
“We would talk about strategy and coaching, and he really made me feel like I mattered in terms of his success and my employees’ success,” said Kirk.
As someone who has worked a variety of jobs throughout his adult life, Kirk had a piece of advice for anyone looking to make a career change.
“The biggest hurdle to making a career change at any point in your life is just starting,” said Kirk. “Regardless of what you do, it’s going to require more of your time and energy than you expect, and it is going to test your resolve to complete it.”
Kirk stated that his wife Erin has been tremendously supportive throughout all of his endeavors.
“I feel good, and I am starting to become confident in my abilities as a nurse and getting better as a barbell coach every day,” Kirk said. “I am married to a funny, intelligent, beautiful woman who is also my best friend. It’s been a long road, and bumpy at times, but I am grateful to be here.”
Kirk’s coaching website can be found here: www.kirkstrength.com.