Looking Back at My 2023



2023 Word of the Year: Authenticity

This year has been a year of confirmation – reminders that I am on the perfect (personal and professional) path for me and that when I show up authentically, I experience almost immediate positive results.

“Personal development often proceeds professional elevation.” – Nicki Sanders

Since I am more than my career and job titles and I’m moving beyond compartmentalizing my life, I decided to do something a little different with this end-of-year reflection. Check out my 2023 review below:

I had a milestone birthday this year and celebrated it in a low-key way with dedicated time to myself for reflection and gratitude. I love that hip hop also turned 50 this year. I’m like “good and grown” now LOL.

I am grateful that I was able to see my favorites in concert this year – New Edition, Keith Sweat, Jonathan McReynolds, and LL Cool J.

I had a great Social Work Month. I implemented the theme ‘Breaking Barriers During Social Work Month’.

I decided to define green social work on my own terms and present green/environmental/eco-social work to my fellow social workers in ways that felt authentically me. I also reconnected with nature, and I invite you to spend more time outdoors as well.

I lost count of my ‘50 New Things’ list, but I’m sure I passed 50 already. A few “new things” include attending a taping of Sherri in New York City, A fly-in to Denver, Colorado, a day in Boston, MA with my grown babygirl, going to the movies for the first time alone, a Black Agrarian Farm Tour, following the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad trail, and

At various times during this year, I decided to challenge myself by hosting multiple video series. Are you following my current ‘12 Movies of Christmas’ Christmas Movies Commentary with Nicki Sanders 2023 social media video series?

In addition to teaching at a new higher education institution, I gained new coaching and consulting clients, and presented to social work students in new universities. I’m clearer on who I want to serve and how I want to serve them in 2024.

I released some things I’ve outgrown, altered things that needed renewal, and decided to create new versions of past things that match where I am in my life today.

How was your 2023? Are you ready for 2024?

Part of my mission as a social work leader and Social Work Career Empowerment Coach is to challenge the outdated, narrow view of social work. I committed to sharing my social work journey and offering insight and information to help other social worker leaders build a long-term, successful career that they love and on their own terms.

Yes, I specifically identify as a Social Work Career Empowerment Coach for Women of Color in social work leadership, but the personal and professional development information, resources, and strategies are applicable across professions. Don’t count yourself out if you are male, not a woman of color, or not a social worker. I offer coaching and support that is universal, and I don’t reject clients based on race, ethnicity, occupation, or gender.

Set up a 20-minute consultation and let’s chat about how I can support you on your leadership journey. I am accepting inquiries for guest lecturing, speaking engagements, podcasts, workshops, and training.

NOTE: I am on vacation from December 24, 2023, through Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year!

We’ll Reconnect in 2024!



Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. 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, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. 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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