CEO and Founder of Fink Development
My story really begins way back in 2008. I was wrapping up my undergraduate degree and trying to figure out what to do with my life. I had recently learned about the field of organization behavior and felt like it was a beautiful intersection of my knack for business and my passion for psychology.
Although, I was a pretty reserved and introverted person (I still am), I made a bold move and reached out to someone in the field whose work I appreciated. That person was Adam Grant. This was pre-Give and Take, but I can tell you that he was already practicing those behaviors because he agreed to talk with a no-name 20-something-year-old about his research.
I scheduled an in-person coffee chat with him, got in my car, and drove from Florida to North Carolina to meet him in person. Looking back on this now, I think to myself, "how in the world did I have the confidence to do that?" Honestly, I think it was more naivety and curiosity, than confidence.
That conversation led me to move to North Carolina permanently and do everything I could to break into the field. I volunteered, without pay, on many research projects, I stayed in touch with Adam, I continued to try to find other ways to connect with people in the field, and eventually I was introduced to another academic who was looking for some research support. I started out working a few hours a week at a student hourly rate and demonstrated the work that I could do. This eventually led to me being offered a position to manage a new behavioral research lab at the University of North Carolina, and the start of my career working with many of the top organizational psychologists in the country.
I did this for several years and loved the work, but I was basically near the bottom rungs of academia. I knew I wanted more out of my career and that I had a lot of value to provide, but I just didn't know which direction to go to advance my career, or how to be seen for my worth, and I was spinning in indecision.
With the advice of a faculty member, I decided to pursue my MBA and one month in wondered why in the hell I was studying corporate finance, when I really wanted to be a psychologist. I thought about quitting, hit rock bottom, and then finallyyyyyy went to see a career coach. That first meeting with my career coach, I spent more time asking her questions than she did me. It was one of those lightbulb moments that people talk about. I thought, maybe this is the path for me! It seemed like a good blend of psychology and business and checked all the boxes I was looking for in a career, but I wanted to make sure.
I stayed in my MBA program, and spent the next 2 years researching the field, trying out some of the tasks of coaching, building my experience, and confirming this is where I wanted to be. That's right, 2 years folks! Sometimes (often) a job pivot isn't a one-and-done task, it's a series of asking questions, testing things out, and moving in the right direction towards something (even if you don't know exactly what, yet).
During that time, I developed crucial skills to help me launch my career to the next level, become a coach, and start my own company. I learned the tools of business communication, I studied the ins-and-outs of the career transition process, I slowly implemented career development strategies to grow my brand and influence professionally and personally, and I trained as an authentic leadership coach to invest in myself and address some of my limiting beliefs.
My career started to take off! I built a valuable network of mentors and advocates, I was offered new *dream* opportunities, and I paved the path to my ideal career.
The ultimate game-changer, for me, was not only leveraging these skills to drive my career, but realizing that I could significantly impact the trajectory of other peoples' careers by sharing my experience, learnings, strategies, and connections.
In 2018, 10 years after I started this journey, I decided to run my company full time to be able to impact more people, and to help people create the authentic, fulfilling, and engaging careers and lives that they want, just like I did.
I love the work that I do. I love meeting new people (even though I'm an introvert), and I LOVEEEEEE talking about careers.
I can’t wait to hear about yours. Reach out if you'd like to connect and learn more.