The work I do now in career reinvention, personal branding and career coaching is the most fulfilling of my life. But getting here was not a straight path.
Here’s my story…
My career began in the late seventies. With a newly minted graduate degree in Romance Languages from Tufts, I landed a job with a small publishing company, through the help of college connections and networking. Dissatisfied with the slow pace of textbook publishing and the limited opportunity for advancement, I realized I needed a more dynamic career path.
Once again taking advantage of networking connections, I was able to get an interview with one of the Boston area’s hot new IT companies, Wang Laboratories. With little more to tout than a solid GPA and an eagerness to learn, I was hired.
Climbing the Corporate Ladder
I was really lucky. I received lots of training, was able to use my language skills with visiting international clients and got to work with many smart people. After a few years, I worked my way into a position that involved traveling to Europe every few weeks to help launch new products.
Yet despite the incredible opportunities for professional growth, by my fifth year, I was growing restless and found myself wondering, if Wang had presented me with such a rich palette of experiences, what might another company have to offer?
As it turns out, not all corporate environments are created equal. At my next position, with a small division of Motorola, I found myself surrounded by engineers and just plain out of my league technically. I was disinterested in the products (telecommunications gear), and worse, there was no travel. I knew that I needed an MBA to make myself more competitive, and wanting to spend time abroad, I enrolled in one of the world’s top international business schools, INSEAD, in Fontainebleau, France, where I relished the chance to savor the food, culture and sights and sounds of Paris.
For the next 15 years, I worked in the fast-paced, high-tech industry in Europe and corporate America. Over time, I became disillusioned with the lack of creativity and sole focus on profits. After years of crazy hours, I craved a new challenge and environment. That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.
Career Reinvention 1: Corporate Career to Owner of Strategy Consulting Firm
I launched my first company, a strategy consulting firm to help to U.S.-based technology firms gain entry into international markets.
As a business owner, I learned quickly of the constant pressure to generate revenue but also of the wonderful freedom to set my own work conditions and the excitement of not having limits placed on my work functions or income.
Early in my forties, after focusing on my career for years, I became a single mom. I adopted my daughter Jacqui from China and soon realized that my consulting travel schedule was unsustainable. Those long, crazy hours were not going to work with a child. I needed a better work-life balance. Unfortunately – like many of my clients today – I had no back-up plan.
Career Reinvention 2: Small Business Owner to Higher Education
And here’s where serendipity and life collide: I hired a career coach, and embarked on my own journey of self-discovery. Almost 19 months later, after much research, frustration, tears and a 65% pay cut, I entered the world of higher education as an MBA career counselor.
I would like to say that I had finally found the perfect fit, but the truth is, I had only taken a step (although a big one) in the right direction. Working for others was still a struggle as a single parent.
The improvement, however, was in the type of work I was doing. I enjoyed career counseling. I found I had a real knack for it. I’ve “been there, done that” and could identify with my students and clients, but more than that, I enjoyed listening to and helping others, particularly when facing career/life challenges. Before long I realized that with a little more training, I might be able to work for myself again (which I had loved before!), but this time doing something I really enjoyed.
Career Reinvention 3: Founding Aspire!
I started taking evening courses in résumé writing and career coaching and soon was supplementing my income as a résumé writer. When I felt I had built a sound enough foundation in coaching principles, I went for it: I launched my own coaching practice, and Aspire! was born.
Today, I work with people to help them get clear on their career aspirations, find their “sweet spot” of differentiation and value, and craft practical, effective strategies to get noticed by the people they need to influence.
Get in touch today to see how I can help you.
Personal Branding Certifications
- Reach Master Personal Branding Strategist
- Keynote Certified by Reach Personal Branding
- Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist
- Reach Certified Social Branding Strategist
- Career Coaching Certifications
- ICF Certified Coach
- Certified Hogan Series (HPI, HDS & MVPI)
- Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC)
- Certified G3 Coach (Get Clear, Get Found, Get Hired)
- Coach U Graduate
- Skillscan Skills Assessment
- DISC Certification
- Resume Writing Fundamentals, CareerPlan University
- DISC Communication and Behavioral Assessment, Profiling Pro & Coaching Dynamics, Inc.
- Campbell Skill and Interest Survey, Pearson Assessments
- MBA INSEAD
- MA, Tufts University