For fun, I want you to know about the real me – not the successes, but from where I came and the story that is still being written who makes me who I have become.
I was born in Huntsville, AL. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my father was a rocket scientist for NASA. Yes, he gets annoyed at the ‘it’s not rocket science’ jokes, but I digress.
By the time I was in middle school, Dad excitedly bought one of the first desktop Apple Macintoshes. I was completely enamored. Unlike the complicated PC versions we had at schools, this opened up a whole new world to me. I learned how to design beautiful documents and as the technology grew, so did I – creating databases and forms with matching fields so I didn’t have to be bothered by redundant tasks. To this day, I am what you would call a ‘brand evangelist’ for Apple!
In college, I struggled with choice overwhelm – I felt like I was in the middle of a supercenter, overwhelmed with choices I had to make about the rest of my life. My majors included nursing, pre-med, pre-dentistry, early childhood education, kinesiology, special education, occupational therapy, and more. Until….my dad reminded me that my profession was supposed to earn money, not spend more on college.
I finally decided on vocational counseling. I wanted to help people find their sweet spot instead of aimlessly wandering from job to job. A year later, I got accepted into Occupational Therapy school and even though it had been a dream of mine to go, I loved what I did as a career counselor. I continued working and eventually was promoted to being a supervisor for an Early Intervention program.
I got married in my late 20s and we moved to North Carolina for almost 2 years. I gave up my career to move and was a permanent substitute teacher during 2 consecutive maternity leaves for a 2nd and 3rd-grade teacher. I loved teaching! However, upon return to Alabama, I learned I would have to go back to school for quite some time in order to get a teaching certificate.
We moved to South Carolina later. We faced the company where my former husband worked closing its’ doors less than 2 years after we moved. Unfortunately, we lived in an area of the country that saw double-digit unemployment rates as we were at the height of the recession. I had launched CareerDesignCoach.com after going back to certification programs to update my skills and knowledge to re-enter the workforce. During one program in particular – online identity certification – I realized I could marry my love of technology and my knowledge of the career industry. CareerDesignCoach.com was born. Luckily, my story shifted directions and I was offered my old job back as a vocational counselor. We returned to Alabama.
My business looks vastly different from my first vision. Remember how I discovered I loved teaching? I discovered that I could develop online training and I’ve developed online teaching modules for MyPath101, University of Montana’s Telecomm Toolbox grant, and others. I love designing, writing, and teaching, so since these are true sweet spots, my business plan includes more online training courses.