Offered around the world on the phone
What I Believe
My deepest-held belief can be summed up in one quotation:
““Every man and every woman is born into this world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.””
— Benjamin Mays
I discovered this quotation while I was in a PhD program in developmental psychology at Cornell University. I felt completely lost at the time, like I had no direction even though everyone told me I could be anything I wanted to be. What the hell was “anything”? The range of options was dizzying. Yet when I held my nose and leaped - into a tenure-track academic route - I felt positively trapped.
I believed I was going crazy and that I was going to waste my whole life. I felt like I was just letting myself down every single day.
Then I found the Mays quotation.
It clicked: I was doing mental somersaults all day (and night!) because I was, quite simply, not on the path to doing my unique and distinctive work. I knew that in my very core.
So I left the doctoral program and moved to Maine where, ironically, I landed a one-year position in academia, the very field I was escaping. One day as I settled into my temporary position at Bates College (which was just a test of my certainty to leave academia, I convinced myself) I glanced up at a campus building and saw Benjamin Mays' name.
It turns out the speaker of my favorite quotation - the person who mentored Martin Luther King, Jr., to unlock HIS undeniably unique and distinctive work - was a graduate of the very institution I'd stumbled into.
Thirteen years later, I'm a Bates convert through and through who loves the untraditional life I've crafted in academia, part lecturer and part administrator, leading, of all things, the well-supported Purposeful Work initiative on campus. I get to have the very impact I've always wanted, which would have been difficult if not impossible in the tenure-track path I was going down.
I simply couldn't have planned for my path. And if I'd stayed in my doctoral program, I'd never have had the opportunity to craft it. But getting clear on the impact I wanted to have and then very deliberately pursuing it - confused stares and financial ramifications be damned - I've crafted a life I could have only dreamed about had I let myself go down the prestigious but bewildering tenure-track path.
So what do I believe? I believe that each of us has unique and distinctive work to do, and that we can only get there by:
- Getting grounded in what psychological science has demonstrated about crafting a fulfilling life
- Quieting the voices of the people around us
- Becoming brutally honest about the precise sort of impact we want to have on the world
- Making a thoughtful but courageous action plan for scanning and piloting that will enable us to get there
How I Work
- 45-minute sessions held over the phone
- Each session is jam packed with clarifying questions, brainstorming, strategizing, prioritizing, accountability, and emotional and logistical support
- In-depth and personalized application of the PIVOT method to career change
- I was a proud member of the inaugural PIVOT method training cohort, through which I became skilled at supporting clients through the plant, scan, pilot and launch stages. It's a method I genuinely believe in - both natural and intuitive while intensively thorough and pragmatic.
- Unlimited email support
- Have a question between sessions - or simply want to share an "I did it!" update? I'm all yours, all month long
- Worksheets, self-assessments, and templates carefully chosen for your particular situation and approach to the world
- I sift through the overwhelming abundance of resources available online and offer you just the ones that will help you make your vision a reality. Think of me as your personal curation machine.
- Action work after each session
- We agree on what becomes a part of this between-session work. It arises from each call and might include responding to writing prompts about your vision for your life, taking a personality or values self-assessment or finding a certain number of people to informational interview.
My coaching centers on on the career decision-making process and work-life strategizing. I help people through the weeds of career change choices, first-time career choices, and crafting their work to feed their lives - not vice versa!
I do NOT perform cover letter or resume reviews, coach interview strategy, nor offer paid consultation on other transactional tasks of the job search process. To be clear, these pieces are absolutely vital to landing a job and thus are extremely important - they're simply not what makes my heart sing and, as a result, not where I do my best work. I would be happy to refer you to someone who provides these services if that's what you're looking for - and I actively connect my clients to these forms of support when the time is right.
I've worked with individuals from all ages and career stages, but most have been between 25 and 45 years of age. If you're contemplating a career change, want to make your existing work more fulfilling, or are trying to pick from many career options, the PIVOT method and my personal approach to coaching can benefit you.
Testimonials and Success Stories
Hannah Sweet from England
The Challenge: Dissatisfied at work, but unclear on what to pursue next
The Experience: "Rebecca coached me through a career transition in 2013, providing weekly sessions over a three-month period. She was supportive, insightful and encouraging during a tough time in my career, and hugely helped me in clarifying my values and goals. She was always well prepared, providing excellent notes and sharing additional thoughts, and I very much felt that she was alongside me on my journey."
The Results: "I’ve now found a work environment that I really enjoy and that suits my strengths and needs, yet I often look back at my notes as a reference point and for renewed inspiration. I would highly recommend working with Rebecca if you’re committed to pursuing meaningful work and ready for an active collaboration with an experienced guide who walks her talk."
Simone Schriger from California
The Challenge: "Upon graduation from college, I left the States on a research fellowship that allowed me to focus on a project and not worry about what came next. A year later, my project was done and I returned to the States, beginning to wonder where I should go from there. Since returning from my travels, I've tried numerous methods of figuring out what's next. Grad school? Sticking with a job I don't like? More traveling? Despite my good intentions, I wasn't making progress. I felt more and more lost. One day I came across an article about a course Rebecca was teaching on designing one's future. I contacted her hoping to get a copy of the syllabus or some suggestions on reading materials that might help me. She responded right away with a number of resources and also generously offered to speak with me over the phone about what was going on. That first brief phone call, despite being an informal conversation, was enough for me to know that I wanted to work with Rebecca as my career coach."
The Experience: "Though I've had only two formal sessions with Rebecca so far, things are already feeling better. When speaking with Rebecca, it feels like she 'gets' it. She is an amazing listener, she is engaged, and she always asks thought-provoking questions. I felt that I was at a standstill, and working with her has helped me regain some momentum as she has helped me set short-term goals and keeps me accountable. After both of our sessions, Rebecca sent me detailed notes on what we spoke about, including additional resources to check out. These have been incredibly helpful as I tend to overestimate the extent to which I will remember things a week later.
Rebecca has been flexible, reliable, and kind and is an expert in what she does. To me, that was one of the most important factors in deciding to work with her. There are many well intentioned people who are good listeners, but Rebecca has experience and knowledge that I have not found elsewhere."
The Results: "As someone who was feeling overwhelmed and skeptical about whether coaching would help, I can say without hesitation that working with Rebecca has made a bigger difference than all of my other efforts. Though I'm not yet at the point where I've made a final decision, I feel much closer than ever before and its only been a few weeks. Whether choosing your first career or wanting a career change, I cannot recommend Rebecca more highly. Rebecca's kindness and compassion will make you feel comfortable talking with her, and her expertise in purposeful work (and familiarity with relevant literature and research) will make the real difference in terms of making progress with finding direction. It is the combination of her personality and expertise that make Rebecca such an exceptional coach."
Jenna van Leeuwen from Pennsylvania
The Challenge: Stuck in a toxic job, unsure of what to do next, and afraid of making a mistake with big life changes
The Experience: "I worked with Rebecca over a 3 month period. Her encouraging words and fresh perspective helped me more clearly hear my own voice as I navigated big career changes."
The Results: "After years of feeling stuck and considering change, I made more moves in three months than I had in 2 years. After 8 years in an industry I didn't enjoy, I quit my job to start a freelance business! I also booked a long desired month long trip to Europe. The business ended up being a bridge to a full-time job in a completely different industry. It was a position I identified in our first few sessions together.
Out of the many benefits of working together, three life changing things stick out:
We worked together to create a statement that captures my unique values. Over two years later, I still reference this as a guiding light when I making decisions or feeling unhappy in a situation.
I learned how to listen to my inner voice. I have an easier time tuning out unsupportive people so I can figure out what I really want to do and what I think is possible.
I started to actually take action! I've left analysis paralysis behind and I've learned how to continue to take massive steps towards the life I want."
Phil Dube from Zimbabwe
The Challenge: "I consulted with Rebecca when my job search was at a low point. I had applied to several positions, but no one had gotten back to me and I was worried. Rebecca's role in my job search was to help me identify and pursue opportunities that fit with my career and personal goals."
The Experience: "During our meetings Rebecca listened intently and always probed further if I said anything that she did not understand. Through our discussions, we developed a new approach for my job search. The new strategy included reaching out to college alums and Rebecca's colleague at an organization that I was interested in, broadening my search to include full-time jobs, internships, and fellowships, and keeping a log of all my applications. She also suggested some books and podcasts to help me think about life after college and what it means to have a job that is meaningful. She constantly checked-in to ensure I was on track. Finding a job is stressful, but Rebecca's compassion and empathy made this experience more bearable. In addition, knowing that the person I was getting advice from had gone through a similar experience gave me confidence.
The Results: "Before I graduated in May of 2016, I had landed a summer internship with a market research firm in Boston and a fellowship in California. I am happy with my summer internship -- the work is interesting and my colleagues are kind."
Jessica Segal from New York
The Challenge: "Combining my past experiences, passions, personality, and goals into a clear career trajectory."
The Experience: "Rebecca worked with me through my college years constantly defining and refining what was most important to me in my future and how I can best fit those qualities into a future career. She was always an engaged listener who was able to see how aspects of myself can fit into specific professional roles. Rebecca was always patient and was able to create an environment where I felt both supported and pushed to realize what I truly wanted in my life."
The Results: "I am now about to start social work school in the Fall. After exploring a number of different options, I feel as though social work is the right discipline for my personality and to fulfill my sense of meaning and purpose. Without Rebecca, I would have never considered the field of social work, and for that I am forever grateful."
Heidi Sistare, MSW, from Maine
“I worked with Rebecca during a time of major transition. I was in a new city, trying to decide whether I wanted to leave my current job, and struggling to find clarity about which direction I wanted to head in next. Rebecca helped me to clarify my goals and articulate my strengths. She supported me in creating a job-hunting process that suited my personality. Rebecca brought warmth and encouragement along with real talk about the kind of commitment and resiliency it takes to find work that is a good fit. Since working with Rebecca I went in a new direction—one which combines my passions for writing, research, and social justice work. I have a great job as a social worker and I continue to put the skills I learned from Rebecca into practice, exercising my entrepreneurial muscles in everything I do.”
Joseph Maffly-Kipp from North Carolina
"Rebecca advised me through a major life transition as I searched for my career path in the months leading up to my graduation from college. She came to every meeting well prepared, but maintained an approach that allowed room for me to lead and mold the conversation. Her attitude was motivating and her guidance felt assured and remarkably perceptive. At the end of each session I felt like she had facilitated my growth towards novel conclusions about myself and my interaction with the world. Rebecca is the perfect person to work with during career and life transitions. She is intelligent, caring, and has the ability to profoundly impact a person with a well-timed insight. Though I am now settling into a career in mental health, I still feel that her mentoring continually benefits my life. If you are looking to find meaning and purpose in your career, I would highly recommend working with Rebecca."
Meghan Aldrich, MSN, CPNP, from Michigan
“Rebecca was encouraging, organized, and very motivational. She helped me discover what I love most in life: working with children! Her passion for what she does is unmatched and inspiring. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking advice on life and how to make the most of it!”
Aina Begim, PhD, from Kazakhstan
"I have known Rebecca for nearly ten years. She is a perfect career coach: smart, kind and incredibly supportive. Rebecca helped me through a difficult period in my life when I searched for a meaningful job amidst the financial crisis. Her advice and support – always spot-on – have been instrumental when I applied to graduate programs some time later. Rebecca taught me how to embrace challenges and reach for the top. The result: I found a great job and later got accepted to the graduate program of my choice at an Ivy League university. I am very happy with the choices Rebecca helped me make and I could not have done what I did without her guidance. Rebecca is at once a great listener and problem-solver. She’s a ray of sunshine – warm, positive, and full of energy. It is impossible not to feel happier, stronger, and more confident after talking to her."
Lisa Roberts from Maine
"Rebecca really listened to me while I was working through some tough career decisions. She understands that career and life need to mesh and the importance of finding a career that fits who you are as a person. She is compassionate, trustworthy, and understands the impact of this decision. Rebecca will guide you to ask yourself the tough questions and then provide you with the tools you need to put those answers, and yourself, to work in a rewarding career."
Career Coaching: Jump In!
Ready to work together?
Sign up for a one-month Career Kickstart: two 45-minute phone sessions, unlimited email all month, and everything else
Investment: $497 for the month
After the month, if I have an opening in my client roster and we choose to continue working together, you can enroll in ongoing coaching on a monthly retainer - at an even lower per-session rate.