I’m a mom, a coach, a life-long educator, and a proud introvert. At other points in my life, I’ve been an international traveler, an advocate for immigrants, and a competitive athlete.
Our identities shift and change over time, and you might find yourself at one of these crossroads, hanging on to past identities that no longer serve you, wondering why your work no longer feels good for who you’re becoming, or discovering that your job no longer aligns with what you want for your life.
I’ve hit that crossroads many times myself, and I’ve used many of the same frameworks, tools, and strategies I share with my clients to find my way forward.
I never really had a passion, but my guiding light, or “north star” has always been doing work that has a positive impact on others, and more specifically that helps them create a better, richer life for themselves and the people they care about. I’ve also looked for work that brought me joy, fed my curiosity, taught me something new, drew on my strengths, and paid my bills.
Here are some of my previous roles: a bicycling ambassador, immigration paralegal, study abroad program director, college career advisor, and Spanish/ESL teacher. My first job was detasseling corn!
As a result of the vast range of my experiences, I have an expansive idea of what fulfilling work can look like, and I love helping my clients find their version of “happy” in their professional life.
About me as an educator
I have a long history with education. When I went to college, my intention was to become an elementary school teacher just like my mom. That dream ended after a short observation period in a local elementary school. It was not for me. Later, I focused my studies on Spanish and secondary education and completed my student teaching practicum at a high school in Chicago. I did not enjoy the experience but chalked it up to a checked-out supervising teacher and a tough school district. After I completed my student teaching and my undergraduate degree, I covered a 6 month leave of absence for a Spanish teacher. I had good colleagues and administrative support, and the students were great. I should have liked the job, but I didn’t. I’m an introvert, and the constant stimulation and classroom management exhausted me. I never felt satisfied with the outcomes of my lessons, and I took the constant feedback from students (e.g. falling asleep, talking to their friends while I was teaching, and failing my class) way too much to heart. It became clear to me that classroom teaching wasn’t for me. But I didn’t know what else to do. I decided to go abroad to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in Venezuela. My primary goal was to improve my Spanish while I was there, so teaching was simply my vehicle for earning an income. By this point in my career story, it should not come as a surprise that I did not like the actual work of teaching! Yet there was something about education that just would not let go. I saw such value in my own educational experiences, especially the ones outside the classroom (e.g. study abroad, a semester in Chicago learning about urban life and culture, etc…) To keep a long story short, I’ve been creating meaningful learning experiences outside of the classroom ever since. I thrive on helping people learn new things about themselves, others, and the world around them, and career coaching has been a natural extension of this.
Why I like working with teachers and educators
Some of my favorite people are teachers and educators. For starters, I’m married to one! My husband teaches high school history. My mother taught second grade and special education, and my father was a high school counselor and higher education administrator. Then there’s my aunt, cousins, neighbors, friends, and so many former colleagues who are classroom teachers, school social workers, study abroad directors, and college advisors. I like being around and working with educators because you tend to be smart, thoughtful, resourceful, hard-working, and creative. You want to make a difference in the lives of young people, and I admire that. For you, work is more than just a job you clock in and out of every day. This desire for meaningful work resonates with me, and I truly enjoy the process of helping educators enter the next chapter of a life of fulfilling work.
Other fun stuff about me
I’m a parent of two little ones, and my husband is a high school teacher. The joys and demands of these relationships have had a huge influence on my career choices. Being an independent career coach allows me the flexibility and autonomy I want in order to be present for my family and pursue interests beyond work. I grew up and went to college in Indiana and moved to New England for graduate school. I have lived in Northampton, Massachusetts since 2010, and love the blend of Midwestern and New England experiences and cultures in my life.
My career coaching qualifications
For those of you who want the nitty gritties about my qualifications, I’ve been an independent career coach since 2021 and prior to that, I worked for eight years as a career coach and associate director in a college career center. I talked to hundreds of students 1:1 and facilitated group workshops and trainings for more than 1,000 students - 99% of these students were uncertain about their future careers, and 100% were at least a little freaked out about what post-college life and work would be like. I have extensive expertise in using self-awareness and self-assessment as a tool for finding fulfilling work and I've helped many students and clients conduct an effective job search, engage in authentic networking, write effective resumes and cover letters, and prepare for interviews. I’m certified to administer and interpret the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality inventory and trained in the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment and NACE coaching techniques.
My Strengths, according to my clients:
"Deep emotional intelligence, great listening skills, and the ability to quickly adapt."
"Being a great compassionate listener and putting a ton of thought into what felt like a really individualized process."
"The ability to be patient and motivating at the same time - a good balance."