3 Pieces of Career Advice I Wish I'd Had in My 20s


I'd like to think that when people look at me, they see a woman who’s got her stuff together – someone who is sure of herself and her career.  I am a career coach and HR professional and have the opportunity to do something for work that I love and am good at. 

I’ve hit the career lottery, but I can assure you, this hasn’t always been the case.

Throughout my time in college, I just knew I was going to become a therapist. I declared the right major, got the right grades and was accepted into an Ivy League clinical psychology program when I graduated.

Everything in my life seemed to be falling into place, which is why I stunned everyone around me (including myself) by writing a letter to the admissions office, asking to defer my acceptance into the grad program for one year.

The idea was to accept a full time job, where I'd be supporting a trading desk at an investment bank in NYC. I had it all planned - I would only stay there for one year while I saved some money to provide a cushion for when I went to grad school for my Masters and then Ph.D. Never mind that I had no interest or experience with anything related to Wall Street – that was irrelevant.   Fast forward 10+ years later, and I never made it back to get those degrees.

Although my career path has been unexpected to say the least, I've learned a lot about the world of work, human beings in general, and myself over the past decade in Corporate America.

I’m sure I could go on for hours with encouraging words of wisdom and advice (like how many hours of sleep I actually need and how I do my best work a few hours before a deadline), but the biggest career lessons I’ve learned can be boiled down to 3 main points.


This is a concept that I really wish I'd grasped earlier on in my career. I spent the better part of 5 years going through the motions every day and letting my career be dictated to me by my company, my boss and my family. If I'm being honest, the decision to abandon...I mean defer grad school and enter corporate America was solely to please other people. I never felt anyone truly believed in my dream to become a therapist, and even those that did, were still convinced it would never make me any real money.

Sure, I was paid well on Wall Street, but my hours, wardrobe, interests, and social life were controlled by my job. What good is making a lot of money if you’re working 12-hour days and weekends, never given the chance to enjoy it?


The beginning of my career – before the husband, the kid and the mortgage – would've been the perfect time to explore some of my riskier dreams and passions. I've always wanted to work and live abroad, become a teacher, work for a non-profit and join the Peace Corps.

While I know I can still accomplish at least one of these things and there's no expiration date on going after a dream, I have to admit that it's a lot more challenging to do so with a 2 year old in tow, no matter how adorable she may be.


I knew on my second day at that investment bank that it wasn't the right fit for me. Yet, even with that knowledge, it took five years before I did anything about it.  That's five years of not working in my purpose, five years of mindless, soul crushing work and five years of unnecessary stress that led to weight gain, health issues and sad times.  Looking back, I can tell you that I was paralyzed by fear – of failure, change, and the unknown.

Would my career journey have been easier if I knew then what I know now? Sure. Would I have ended up in a drastically different place than I am today?  Maybe not.  Eleven years after college graduation, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have zero interest in being anyone’s therapist.  I also believe that I would've come to this same conclusion even if I went off to the Ivy League instead of Wall Street.

We spend most of our waking hours at work, and while it would be amazing if every person were given a step-by-step, specific blueprint of how to navigate the 40-50 years they spend at work, this just doesn't happen. The best we can all do is to learn from our mistakes and have the courage to change direction when the current path isn't working.  This is my goal every single day and I hope it's yours as well.

If you're currently on a career path and you think it's time for a bit of course correction of your own, check out the Career Makeover toolkit. My free 5 day guide to transforming your career into the one you've always wanted.

4 Realistic Ways to Steer Clear of Office Drama (Without Being a Goody Two-Shoes)


Working with people you like and enjoy speaking with—especially about non-work related topics—makes the eight hours most of us spend at our jobs every day more enjoyable. There are so many aspects of work that can be a little bit (or very) irritating. Things like having a long commute, working irregular hours, or dealing with a difficult boss only scratch the surface of the many reasons people hate Mondays.

This is why it’s like a breath of fresh air when you wind up in a situation where your colleagues are easy-going, normal human beings—people you can not only collaborate with on a work project, but also debate your thoughts on Sunday night TV. People to grab a happy hour drink with or vent to about the latest annoying thing your boss said at Friday’s team meeting.

But, how do you know when you’ve crossed the almost microscopic line of sharing personal frustration and observations about work to the dark side of gossiping?

Read the rest of my article over at The Daily Muse!

Let me know what you think!


How To Recover From a Professional Setback

Screenshot 2016-01-22 21.58.30A few days ago, I asked my Instagram community if they've ever had a blow up or emotional meltdown at work and what they did to overcome it. Often times we work so hard to carefully develop our personal brand and then BAM, just like that one incident can threaten to undo all the progress we made up to that point. Although there was consensus that issues will and do arise over the course of one's career, there were differing opinions as to how to move past these issues. We know professional curve balls are inevitable, but they don't have to wreak havoc on your reputation and personal brand.

Related: The Truth About Personal Brand


Read on for 3 classy ways to recover from a professional setback with your career in tact.

Admit you made a mistake.  Whether you've just had a blow up with a colleague in front of everyone {including your boss}, burst into a puddle of tears at a meeting, or sent a confidential email to the wrong person, mistakes happen.  It's one of the the side effects of being human. Own up to your error and avoid being defensive.  Although there may be consequences for the mistake, the outcome is almost never career ending if you take responsibility for what you've done.

Be solutions oriented.  Another way to move past your mistake is to have a solution {or solutions} to the problem.  Just yelled at your cubicle-mate?  Draft your apology.  Gave your client the wrong metrics? Call them to explain the mistake and assure them you will send the correct figures over right away.  Nine times out of ten, as long as you've escalated to your boss and provided a list of possible solutions, you will have the support you need to move on.

Create a revised plan. Although mistakes are unavoidable, it doesn't mean they are easily forgettable.  You will have to adjust your moves in order to remind people of your brand and work ethic.  As part of your process of resolving the issue, come up with a strategy that shows you are deliberately working on making sure the mistake does not happen again.  Sign up for conflict resolution training.  Delete the auto-fill feature when inputting email recipients' names.  Create a double check process before submitting any final numbers.  Once your boss sees that you've not only fixed the original mistake, but are doing your part to ensure it doesn't happen again, it won't be long before all is forgotten.

At the end of the day, it's not making a mistake that is detrimental to our career, instead it's how we recover from that mistake.  Use these tips the next time you find yourself in the midst of a career crisis.