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 floundered – 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. Interesting choice, but I guess it was because I wanted to help people find their sweet spot instead of aimlessly wandering from job to job. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with my decision, but God always has a way of showing you how His plan is more perfect.
A year later, I got accepted into Occupational Therapy school and even though it had been a dream of mine to go, I had started enjoying what I did as a career counselor. I stayed 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.
During our time in North Carolina, my son was born. A couple of years later, after we moved back to Alabama, I returned to work as a Deaf Resource Specialist (did I mention that I learned American Sign Language and am fluent?). I worked for about a year and found out that I was pregnant. Nine months later, I resigned my job as a Deaf Resource Specialist to become a full-time mom to our two children.
We moved to South Carolina when my daughter was 4 years old and my son was 7 years old. 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 in 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, but it became something that was on the backburner for a long time.
Luckily, my story shifted directions and I was offered my old job back as a vocational counselor. We returned to Alabama.
After divorce, re-marriage in March of 2016, and more (one child has single sided deafness and the other child has autism), I became ready to re-launch Career Design Coach. My son and daughter are both honor roll students. My son runs track and is in honors band, marching band, and jazz band. My daughter is still trying to figure things out, like her mama. She tried violin and dance and decided neither one is for her. She is going to try choir this upcoming year. Of course, we couldn’t be prouder of both of our children.
So back to Career Design Coach…I started a podcast called Career Design Coach Academy on April 5, 2016 that has been in Apple iTunes New and Noteworthy for almost the entire 8 weeks that a podcast can stay in this category, achieving #9 in careers and #11 in technology categories.
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’m working on a signature course that I hope to launch in August. My goal? I love designing, writing, and teaching, so since these are true sweet spots, my business plan includes the podcast and online training courses.
I hope you will join me on my new path. Thank you for taking the time to see how my story has evolved and continues to evolve.