Remember in the blog titled, Distract The Distractions, when I asked myself why I have accepted being the “best-kept secret” when I am great at what I do and responded that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be known for? The truth is that I do actually know what I want to be known for. I’ve always known what I wanted to do and what I’ve been called to. I let the hugeness of my dream scare me. I was afraid to give up the good for the great.
My friend who I traveled with to Sedona, AZ is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. The certification she attended was for mental health professionals – social workers, psychologists, counselors, clinical nurse practitioners, etc. I had 3 interesting chats about what I do and have done:
- A mental health professional told me that she had never heard of macro social work
- A mom who was attending a different training told me that she had never heard of group homes or teens aging out of foster care
- A licensed social worker who is a therapist told me that I was dedicated to real social work and as a therapist, she had strayed from it
Careers are generally winding roads, not straight paths. As I traveled my social work journey, I learned that I love coaching, I love teaching, and I love supervising interns. I believe it is important to help stop the misinformation about the social work profession including that a job in the field is a life sentence to poverty and that anything outside of therapy and child welfare isn’t social work. I want to see more Women of Color excel in social work leadership. While all this is fulfilling and I’m good at it, none of it is my calling or true purpose.
I plan to use my macro social work education, skills, training, and experience to develop an intergenerational community with:
- A nonprofit organization that honors my grandparents
- Shared homes for active seniors
- Tiny houses for traveling nurses and traveling social workers
- A transitional living program for 18-24-years-olds
- A residential program for teen moms and their babies
- A training academy for 16–24-year-olds
- A resource center for college students and youth who have aged out of foster care
- A community garden
- A special event center
- A family enrichment center
- A coworking space for entrepreneurs
- Farmland available for rent
No more settling – this is my 100-acre dream. This is the culmination of my social work experience. This is what I want to be known for.
This will be my legacy!
Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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