Open Space Office

MY STORY

COACH JACKIE

Hello everyone, I am the CEO and owner of prestigious professionals. I am an Inclusive Career Coach with a background in Social Work & Human Services. At Prestigious Professionals, I offer community-based coaching services to help individuals to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to achieve personal growth and success through unique career development planning and training.

 

Growing up, I was just a normal American citizen conforming to what the world wanted me to be. I was born in Detroit Michigan and raised in Columbus, GA by my single mother Cheryl. I got a high school diploma, accomplished some college before having my first daughter Ma’Kyarie. I always kept a steady job but it was never enough to cover all of my monthly expenses. As I got older, me being an African American single woman living on minimum wage affected my life in a major way financially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was totally disconnected from my reality and  I found myself caught in a cycle of just working to get a paycheck, just get by. I worked different jobs sometimes even multiple at the same tie - not because they were good jobs that made me happy, but because I wanted to be able to make a stable living for my daughters. I never questioned my own self or considered my own WHY. I was working hard but not smart, and because of this I wasted so many years in the wrong field, unsatisfied with my work.

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When I arrived to Minnesota in 2014, I found myself working as a call center rep for five years. It was stable, it paid the bills, but there wasn’t flexibility in my work schedule, and that stressed me out a lot as a single parent. I always had to worry about my attendance and job performance because if my daughters got sick I couldn’t always call off. I drove 30 minutes away to my job every day which really cut into my time with my children. I didn’t really even have time to sit back and enjoy my life or make plans about my future. Even after all that, I was not being able to make enough money to enjoy my life. I was using my time and talents to get my employer richer, all while I couldn't afford leisure time nor the vacation I took once a year. 

Meanwhile, my employer was adding to my job, adding more tasks and responsibilities but not increasing my pay. At the same time, I was not advancing my potential in ways I felt were meaningful, nor was I increasing my intellectual capabilities or feeding my desire to grow,  I was doing all these different kinds of things, but it was not making me love my job more. And a lot of time I felt like there wasn’t enough resources or enough for my employer to support me. It never occurred to me, hey go to a different department. Maybe become a manager. It was clear my employer didn’t know my value. I didn’t feel I was excelling or moving forward. I did not have a purpose and I was not making a true difference in my life or my daughters’ lives. 
 

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I had no clue what to see myself doing in the future, so I just applied to a job. I didn’t technically know what I would be doing or how I would be doing it. I just applied. When I was able to get a new job as an employment counselor in a different industry, it completely changed my perspective on my career life and personal goals. Now I had purpose. In that role I was working with, helping people from my community with different backgrounds and social classes, people with felony records, and people with disabilities. This work was interesting, challenging, not repetitive. Listening to my clients’ stories contributed to my passion for helping them solve their problems. I felt I had a purpose in my work. I was making a difference.

And I wasn’t just working for somebody else, doing what I was told. I was becoming a leader for the first time. When I applied to this job it didn’t have a handbook. My first job with no handbook. Literally, all I had was a job description: help people to find a job. I was able to create my own blueprint, my own guide to use to interact with each client. I had a checklist: resume, indeed account, help them identify skills, help them figure out how to accomplish the goal they wanted to accomplish. And my colleagues saw what I was doing and would come to me about resources. I took on the role of sharing this information with my colleagues and I was able to lead and train other employment counselors. And I have been thriving ever since. 
 

When I stepped back, just having an open mind, and going outside my comfort zone, it opened doors and opportunities I hadn’t even thought to dream of. I was making more money per hour, I had time to be able to go out into the community, get resources, meet with people, network. It drew me into this field more than sitting behind a desk answering phones. 

 

So now, three years later, I have run three employment assistance programs with the State of Minnesota assisting over 100+ individuals with accomplishing their career, business, and educational goals through my approach to person-centered career planning. It took me getting this new job to have a certain mindset to discover a new career path for myself. Only then was I capable of finding my passion and purpose for helping others achieve success. I want to help other people go through this same journey: find your purpose, set your goals, know your value and your skills, and make a plan to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve with your life.

 

I knew I wanted to expand my vision, to reach out beyond what government-run services have to offer. I wanted to help more people and decided to set out on my own, to create my own business. I took the time to get to know my goals and make a plan. I set aside the time to learn about how to start a business. I got an associate of science degree to become a licensed social worker. I kept going with my education to get my certificate as a human service worker. I have a vision and I am pursuing my dream to help pursue your dream. I can’t wait to get to know you and get you started on your journey to becoming a prestigious professional.