1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Nikki, a Career Coach and owner of Corporate Melanin Millennial, LLC dedicated to working with millennials of color to find careers that align with their passions through 1:1 coaching and resume creation. By day, I teach Communications & English as a college professor. I’m your typically 20-something year old. You’ll likely find me cuddling my dog or binge watching a Netflix show.
2. What was your first job and how did you get it?
My first job was an unpaid internship at a local law firm. The lawyers wanted someone who was 16 or above, I was only 14 at the time, but they saw my passion and allowed me to intern for them anyway. It was the summer of a lifetime. My first paid job, I was a party hostess at a local kid’s jumping gym place. I went to the front desk every week for almost 2 months, before the owner finally said “Okay…. Can you start next week?” That’s when I realized persistence and initiative matters. I’ve used that same persistence and initiative in every job that I’ve had since then.
3. How did you decide and get to your career today?
I knew early in my college career that I loved teaching and being in front of people. Shortly after finishing my Masters' I immediately applied for Adjunct professor positions. It took a long time for one to finally hit, but it did. That’s how I started teaching.
As a Career Coach, it took me a little longer to get there. I’ve been completing resumes and giving out career advice for YEARS, but it wasn’t until someone asked me how much I charge, that I knew I was good at it and deserved to be paid for it. I found a true love in helping others achieve their career goals. After my first trial client landed a major job, I knew I was in the right industry.
4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?
I’d tell my younger self to stop trying to be who everyone else wants you to be and go for it.
The best career advice I ever received was from my mentor a few years ago “Women in corporate America have to have a fire. You have to continue to talk and speak up, even in places and situations you’re expected to be quiet.”
That stuck with me. There are many times I’d find men trying to overtake me in meetings, and I've learned how to make sure my voice, my opinions, and my thoughts were heard, and I strongly believe that’s what really matters.
5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?
In 5 years, I’ll be full-time in my career coaching business. I will expand into courses and trainings. I’ll be able to work in my business while also teaching at a large public university. I believe that happiness comes from things you’re passionate about. I love my 9-5 and am truly passionate about it, but having control of your career and control of your day to day, that just makes things completely different.
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