When Christie Mims became a full-time career coach
a year ago, she decided to focus mainly on women.
“I feel their pain, I really understand it," she says. "I used to live it.”
Mims finds women often need more help finding job opportunities than men do.
“We tend to put ourselves last," she says, "and we don’t always fight for what we want in the workplace.”
Mims works with different age groups, and says younger women tend to look for jobs that give them freedom, while older women want financial security.
“However, what I have noticed is I feel that there is something across the board where women are starting to wake up to the fact that they can do something more, they don’t have to get stuck in their suits. They can go after that dream that they’ve always had. So I feel I’m starting to see a little bit more of that regardless of the age.”
Roni Kaplan, 51, one of Mims’ clients, isn't happy with her current job as chief financial officer at a family run small business.
“There is no growth," Kaplan says. "It’s a family business and I’m not family.”
Kaplan says talking with Mims helped her realize what she is passionate about.
“I like being an accountant, but I've also discovered over the years that I love working with computer systems, accounting systems; installing them, setting up the rules. I’m good at it. I like it, but when you work for a company, you can only do it once,” Kaplan says. "What she helped me to see is that if I’m working for a consulting firm or started my own consulting firm, I can do that.”
Discovering your passion is the first step towards finding your dream job, Mims says. Networking is how to land it.
“Meet as many people as you can. Have as many conversations as you can, just get to know people because once they know, like and trust you, they are much more willing to help you or contact you or think of you more often if they run into someone who might help you.”
Once they get a job interview, Mims advises her clients to dress professionally and act like a man.
“Men tend to just go out there and they are confident. They come in like, ‘Of course, you want me.’ ‘Hey, I’m Ted, hire me.’ Women sometimes can be a little bit less sure of their own value and their own worth,” Mims says.
She also encourages her clients to use social media in their job search.
“You have much more access to information because of social media. You can hear about things and connect and network with people you probably never would have been able to meet otherwise.”
Geffon Patterson, 31, found her new job through the business networking site, LinkedIn.
“I found who I might be connected to on LinkedIn and sent them a message and said, ‘I know that you’re a recruiter for this firm and I’m very interested in this, this and this. Would you have any openings and would you be willing to pass my resume along?'”
Patterson is excited about the new position with an international firm, which could include a lot of travel. However, she doesn’t think of it as a final destination.
“Ultimately I want to have some sort of business whether it’s my own or with a small group of people to have a very specific impact on the world,” says Patterson, who plans to continue working with job coach Christie Mims to achieve her goal.