When a career coach makes a career change
Allison Venditti on why she is making the transition away from 1:1 coaching and what's next for her on her career journey.
Just like many of you - I did not plan on the career I have.
I had been taught that you picked a thing (law, engineering, architecture), and then that was the thing you did for the rest of your life. I remember going to the university career centre and looking at binders arranged by job category and being totally unimpressed by the career coach who stared at me with confusion when I talked about needing flexibility because I wanted to help care for my mother.
It wasn't until after I had my second kid that I realized that although companies love to sell solutions to mothers (expensive baby carriers, classes to relieve stress, books, and creams) no one was actually willing to help us. I met with two career coaches and thought - wow, they have NO idea what my life is like. Even worse, they had never actually HIRED anyone and had only ever worked in a single industry. How were these people supposed to help me figure out my next move?
I began career coaching with the hunch that women who had children needed someone who understood them. Someone (me), who had experience working in dozens of industries and who knew exactly how much jobs paid, how to negotiate, and who found LinkedIn to be the most exciting thing developing on the Internet.
The icing on the cake turned out to be my ability to network. That gift is truly unparalleled.
During the past four years, I have coached over 800 women. I have supported almost 350 women through their return-to-work transition after maternity leave and over 600 women have taken my salary negotiation courses.
Collectively, my coaching clients have negotiated over 4.5 million dollars in salary increases. This is through my work in the Moms at Work Collective (our private membership group focusing on women's career advancement and leadership), my coaching program, and 1:1 clients. That is a number I keep blinking at. Helping women earn more money is something I am really good at.
But in this magical process, I have built something that the world needs more than me as a career coach. I have built an organization that is helping change the system that holds mothers back and discriminates against them. I built the thing I needed - I built Moms at Work.
Through Moms at Work and our new program My Parental Leave, my goal is to improve the world for working mothers. I want to bring together the power of community and like-minded organizations to make more change. I believe that we can do that. And we have already begun.
So, in order to free up the time and energy to continue this work, it is time to say goodbye to my 1:1 coaching practice. In preparation for this, I have enlisted the help of some talented career coaches (yes, they are all mothers too!), resume writers and leadership coaches to make sure that if you do need 1:1 support, you can still access it through Moms at Work. We will share more on those folks soon.
I have come to realize that I am no longer great at 1:1 coaching because I don't know how to stop or where to draw the line. I worry about my clients. I really want to connect them to other women - I want to be available for them but, there is only one me! This is why I formed the Moms at Work Collective. So that I can still make myself available via DM, still be able to answer salary questions and hang out with working moms - but in a smaller, safer space.
I wanted a place off of social media (looking at you Facebook) where I can connect and support and really dig in and help women grow into the leaders and change makers the world needs.
So, although I am really going to miss that 1:1 connection I love, I want you to know what I will be doing instead:
- Moms at Work is launching an advocacy division to help make the change that you need. Turns out I am a great career coach but an even BETTER advocate.
- My Parental Leave has the goal of reaching 500 parents in 2023 and double that in 2024.
- I am going to continue to offer our now famous Pay-What-You-Can Webinars to keep things accessible and to keep sharing career advice and tips to help you succeed. Sign up to our newsletter here for updates.
- We will continue to conduct research in order to build solutions for working mothers based on your needs.
- I will write more - to help share ideas and amplify causes that need our support.
- I will still be accessible through the Moms at Work Collective (our final intake for 2022 opens in September) and will be piloting additional small group coaching within the Collective around feminist leadership and business growth.
I have career coached myself in the same way I have coached so many of you and am creating ways to create more joy. Advocacy, strategy, and community bring me that joy so that is where I am headed.
I don't know how much longer I have on this amazing planet but I will spend my time doing everything I can to make it better for you. And Moms at Work...I will not let you down.
1:1 coaching will be available with me until October on our site for new clients - former and current clients please reach out I will keep spots open for you :)