The Importance of Mental Fitness During a Career Change
Julia Wuench is a Contributor for Forbes, a keynote speaker, and Founder and Career Coach at The Authenticity Guide. Helping clients reach their career goals, Julia intertwines a traditional approach with her signature Authenticity Guide blueprint. As a keynote and Forbes contributor, Julia speaks on a wide variety of topics from imposter syndrome to risk-taking to confidence. Read more to find out what her favorite keynote topic is, the ingredients to her “special sauce” when working with clients, and what inspires her in and out of the office.
Jennifer Fink: You currently hold the hats of being the Founder & Career Coach of The Authenticity Guide, a Contributor to Forbes, and you’re also a keynote speaker. What inspired you to make the jump into coaching and development?
Julia Wuench: I have always been a “coach,” no matter what job I’ve held. (I’ve worked in corporate finance, healthcare operations, and social impact.) I decided to make the leap to coaching and speaking full-time during an “aha” moment when I was working as the Director of a social impact consulting firm. I loved managing a team, but coaching was what made my heart flutter!
JF: If someone looked at your LinkedIn, they would see you hold a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Brandeis University and a Masters of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Do you see an overlap of your education in economics and business with the roles you hold today?
JW: Absolutely! As an entrepreneur, you’re the CEO, CFO, CMO, and countless other roles. Having expertise in economics and business absolutely help me create a financially sustainable coaching practice.
JF: As a career coach, is there an ideal client or industry you enjoy working with most?
JW: I work with lots of different types of people, but I find that the individuals most drawn to me are women in their 30s who work in corporate and are feeling “stuck” or experiencing imposter syndrome.
JF: As a keynote speaker and podcast contributor, you talk about a variety of topics. What is your favorite topic to speak on and why?
JW: Imposter Syndrome! This is my favorite topic because it’s so universal but is still shrouded in shame and secrecy for many people. I like to blow that up by talking about it -- a lot, and loudly.
JF: What are three potential takeaways your clients walk away with when working with you?
JW: Some outcomes I have heard recently:
- “Greater confidence and direction in my path forward”
- “Higher resilience as I navigate challenges”
- “An articulation of my strengths and what lights me up”
JF: What is your “special sauce” when it comes to helping people with career development and transition?
JW: I combine traditional career coaching with mental fitness and resilience training. I believe that navigating change in one’s career can be emotionally difficult, and I’m the coach who runs TOWARDS emotions, not away from them! I also work with a lot of people who know they need a change, but don’t know what that change should look like. I help people figure out what’s next even if they don’t know where to start.
JF: We also read on your website that you’re a “Positive Intelligence Coach”. What does this mean and how is it impactful to your clients?
JW: Positive Intelligence is a 6-week program that I include in all of my coaching packages. It focuses on the core components of mental fitness and resilience. I am a coach with the program, which is a combination of research findings from cognitive behavioral therapy, neuroscience, positive psychology, and performance science.
JF: What most excites you about the coaching and development industry? And, what is one thing you’ve learned recently that’s helped you grow?
JW: There is so much NEED! Soft skills (my rebrand is “essential skills”) remain a top priority for many companies and individuals. What I’ve learned about this industry is that it’s no different from any other: personal connections matter.
JF: As the Founder of The Authenticity Guide, what is an “aha” moment you’ve experienced on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business?
JW: There was a time last year when I was focused on saying “yes” to every opportunity, even if it didn’t serve my long-term goals. I had a moment while I was writing a Forbes article on a topic totally unrelated to my work where I said, “how can I say no and prioritize more?” I now have a post-it note on my desk that says: “Will this help you achieve your goals? If not, say no.” It helps me politely decline opportunities that don’t align with my business.
"I now have a post-it note on my desk that says: ‘Will this help you achieve your goals? If not, say no.’"
JF: You started The Authenticity Guide a year prior to the pandemic, how has your business adapted to the virtual landscape? Are there any lessons you learned in 2020 that you’re taking with you into the new year?
JW: It’s been a hard year for many, but I personally found that many people had time to sit with feelings of discontent in a way that they hadn’t before. Therefore, a lot of people reached out to coaches for help. So, it’s actually been a big year for me and my business. It was important to do a rapid pivot to online workshops and speaking. My biggest lessons from the pandemic were: pivot fast and continue building relationships.
"My biggest lessons from the pandemic were: pivot fast and continue building relationships."
JF: Outside of the office, what inspires you to live a fulfilled life, personally or professionally?
JW: My husband, my friends, my doofy labradoodle, and my therapist!
JF: At Fink Development, we’re big believers in the power of connection and community. Who are you most hoping to connect with in 2021?
JW: I would love to form more corporate L&D relationships in the new year. I believe my content and coaching is highly relevant for emerging leaders who work in corporate.
Contributor Bio: Julia Wuench is a self-described recovering perfectionist, Career Confidence Coach, and the Founder & CEO of The Authenticity Guide. She is a Contributor Forbes and a Business Insider Most Innovative Coach of 2020. Some of her clients include Cisco, Lenovo, Marriott and others. She holds an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.