I Am My Own Career Case Study


As a first generation college student, I was unsure if I wanted to be a teacher or a social worker. Not only was I a great student and natural helper, these were the only professional positions I was aware of outside of doctors and lawyers. Today I have a Master’s degree in social work and teach at the college level. I have over 20 years of experience in human services that also includes facilitating workshops, professional development trainings, and social skills groups (teaching). I entered my undergraduate career with the intention of working with teenage mothers in residential facilities. The majority of my career has been working with teenage and young mothers in various capacities including being a Parenting Counselor in a transitional living program as well as teaching at a women’s university. I am my own case study.  

As a high school senior I decided that I wanted to become a social worker. I had a half-day school  schedule and no job or internship. I wanted to earn money to pay senior dues and activity fees so I went to the Yellow Pages (yes, I’m that old) as a part of my strategy. Even at that age I knew that I needed experience in the area I was interested in as much as I needed to earn an income. I bought a box of envelopes and stamps, wrote a cover letter and resume, and sent it off to agencies where I wanted to work.  I landed an internship with an agency that was across the city. This was before I had a metro station in my neighborhood so the travel by bus and metro gave me little time to actually work before the agency closed.  We decided to end the internship. Ironically, I was hired by this same agency 8 years later. After earning my Bachelor’s degree, I was also hired by another agency I had reached out to as a high school senior. This was not coincidental. I was very intentional in my search strategy and also ensured that I had the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to excel in the positions. I volunteered in various community organizations that worked with teen and single mothers throughout my college years and also focused every school assignment and project possible on teen pregnancy, single parenthood, and low income families.   

There was one point in a twelve month period where I had 4 jobs. (Proof that job hopping is not a millennial trait). I left if the agency was no longer serving my professional needs or there was an unhealthy work environment. Context is important here. I had worked in one agency for 6 years another for one year. Once I settled into the right role after my ‘trial’ year, I remained for 8 years and was even promoted to Assistant Director. Even as a full-time employee I continued to volunteer in my community. I was also very strategic in my concentration and specialization in graduate school.  I secured a job doing exactly what I wanted to do less than a month after earning my Master’s in Social Work. I was hired as Director of Programs in an agency where I wasn’t hired as a Program Facilitator many years earlier. I was strategic in targeting the agencies where I wanted to work. I left that agency after 11 years of challenge, growth, and success because I had completed the career I dreamed about at the age of 17. I am my own case study. 

There is so much more to the story of my over two decades of career experience that will allow me to help you design and attain the life of your dreams. I can help you clarify your desires, target your strategies, and gain the experience necessary to be a Rock Star employee. A Career Acceleration Session is a great place to start the process.  BOOK NOW! Schedule your Career Acceleration Strategy Session to accelerate your journey to your next career level. The regular investment is $297, but now through April 30, 2020, you can register for a Career Acceleration Strategy Session for the birthday investment of $129. Don’t miss out!

Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a travel and cupcake lover with an aptitude for authentic connection and career design. She has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and over 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business.  Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting helps businesses recruit and retain the best employees and helps women in mid-level management design the careers of their dreams.

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