Spotlight Series: Meet Career Coach Sydney Richardson

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

By day, I'm Dean of College and Career Readiness at Forsyth Technical Community College. By evening and weekends, I'm a career transition planner and coach.

2. What was your first job and how did you get it?

My first job ever was a cashier at Burger King. Being 15 at that time, I simply walked into the restaurant, completed an application, and asked to speak with the Manager on the spot (I

was bold). My first job after grad school was as an English Instructor and Student-Athlete Tutor.

3. How did you decide and get to your career today?

My career as a planner and coach came from my experience in higher education. My expertise is in adult education and women and gender studies, and for 16 years I have counseled adult students on using their degree, connections, and past experiences to move into their dream career. As I encountered more adult students (and then adults outside of work), I recognized that there was other "stuff" getting in the way of their success: unsupportive spouses, elderly parents, financial obstacles, etc. that prevented them from moving forward. So I re-tweaked my coaching and planning method to be more holistic. From there, I tested it out on some of my students before launching Rae of Knowledge, officially.

4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?

The advice I would give to my younger self is to just go for it. Often, as women, we believe that we need more education, more experience, more everything. I had a PhD., 16 years in adult education and over 10 years of doing this work either in my college job or on the side for free before I "felt ready" to launch. I could have done it a lot sooner.

5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?

Professionally, I hope to be working for myself full-time and expanding its' offerings. I also hope to partner with adult education institutions, businesses, and staffing agencies to offer the holistic side of career transitioning.

Stay connected with Sydney!





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