My preparation as a career counselor actually began with 18 years in business development and marketing supporting companies ranging from AT&T to the American Cancer Society.
These years were filled with interesting projects and people. I learned a lot about how to uncover company needs, identify and communicate value, and navigate the workplace. I made good money. But life changes. I became increasingly dissatisfied as my career grew farther away from my values and new lifestyle needs.
It took a lot of soul searching and research to figure out what to do next. I knew I still loved so much about my field, but I yearned for more flexibility, meaning and personal connection.
I considered my lifelong interest in personal development and counseling and my fascination with what kinds of people fit into the range of roles and industries I had witnessed in my career. I thought about my relative ease finding jobs, the way I had always helped friends and family with their resumes and interviews. And I identified the personal strengths I enjoyed using that weren't being used in my professional life. I took a few graduate level classes to experiment with my options.
And you know where I landed! Career counseling is the endlessly fascinating intersection of psychology, marketing strategy and business acumen embedded in the dynamics of economic and social trends. Even though I certainly have my bad days and bad moments, I can't imagine myself doing anything else since completing my master's degree while working full time and opening my practice in 2006.
I deeply appreciate the highly individualistic nature of this work. Over the past 17 years in private practice, I've worked with 100's of clients in hundreds of professions and industries, leaving, entering, and developing their careers in organizations ranging from startups, nonprofits and family businesses to Fortune 100 companies. I can testify that every career and job seeker's challenges and career strategy is uniquely challenging - and exciting.
Which is why I implement the best practices of career transition (self-assessment, research, targeting, story telling, and goal setting) but am a highly adaptable and resourceful practitioner. And I add to my tool chest continuously through ongoing professional development.
I'm also committed to being out in the workplace. In addition to individual career counseling and career and job search workshops, I also provide corporate outplacement and talent acquisition consulting that keep me in close touch with local employers.
But every person is larger than their job. I'm also a wife, mother, volunteer, spiritual seeker, and enthusiastic hiker, baker, and biker.
And there's one other thing you should know about me. I believe that meaningful productivity (paid or unpaid) is redemptive – and that work is a basic human right. Consequently, I donate a regular portion of my practice income to local nonprofits such as Crossroads House, Goodwill and The Krempels Center that offer career development and job search support to community members who lack the resources to pay for private career counseling.