Time to Build Your Career Around Your Life



When we were kids, we were told that we couldn’t have everything that we want. As an adult, I have decided that I absolutely get to have everything that I want.

Guess what? You can too!

The first pillar in my Strategic Career Management framework is clarity. Clarity is essential because you can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want and you can’t have what you don’t believe is available to you. It’s time to build your career around your life instead of the other way around. The days when work rules your life are over! We are ready to thrive.

I’m reading my 45th birthday life list (45 Things I Want to Do in the Next 45 Years) while celebrating my 49th birthday this week and so many things are going through my mind. I call it a life list because it is a list of what I want to experience and how I want to live not things I want to do before I ‘kick the bucket’. I realize that not everything on the list is as important as it was in 2018.

I am on my first vacation out of the country since the pandemic began in 2020.

I spent my 46th birthday in Tennessee with a pit stop in Mississippi and Arkansas. Australia is still on my life list.

I plan to feed a koala bear this summer. Stay tuned for the location…

I attended the New Edition Culture Tour last week without a meet and greet – you know the whole pandemic thing isn’t actually over. I also attended the Festival of Praise concert because I love Fred Hammond almost as much as New Edition.

I slept in a treehouse last night in Costa Rica. I decided against ziplining since I completed physical therapy not too long ago. A forest treehouse on a butterfly and fruit farm is so much more me than a crowded resort and I am committed to doing what brings me joy.

I am creating a life that I don’t need a vacation escape from and that includes being able to bring in money from any place in the world where I have a computer and wifi access. Travel is a natural and normal part of my life. I travel for business and also because I love exploring new places and cultures and because travel allows me to elevate personally and professionally.

The world is my classroom. The world is my office. The world is my playground.

Here’s to 49 more years of celebrating my life!!!




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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