Spotlight Series: Meet Founder and CEO of Vennessa McConkey Coaching, Vennessa McConkey

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I am the founder and CEO of Vennessa McConkey Coaching, Designing the Best You and Top Line Resumes. I am an executive and senior-level career coach who focuses on improving productivity, leading effective teams and advancing careers through proven strategies and systems without compromising the quality of life (overcoming burnout!). I am happily married and a mom of three little boys living in Phoenix, AZ.

I believe that people are each uniquely designed and created with a special set of gifts, talents and experiences; my goal is to make sure that others see the value that each person adds to their organization. I have no greater mission in life than to help people define the value they add to this world and bring them that confidence. I am here to help people build a life and career that they wake up excited for every day and think “I can’t believe this is my life!"

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

My first job out of college was the result of an internship I had in college. I graduated with an engineering degree within three years from a large university. My second year in college, one of my mentors told me to find an internship. I faxed my resume over and then followed up by going to the company and forcing an interview. I was hired for my paid internship the next week. I started in the quality control department, utilizing some of the skills and information I was being taught in school. Three months before graduation, I went to the owner of the company and requested a time to sit down and discuss coming on full-time. During that meeting, he asked what job I wanted created for me as well as the pay I wanted. The following day I had an offer in writing for exactly what we discussed.

So I became their industrial technology engineer and procurement specialist. I started by working in the tool room at this machine shop - learning about the daily issues of what went on. I learned how to negotiate with vendors (most of which I carried on to other companies I worked for later in my career because of the solid relationships I built), save money for the company in terms of process improvements, equipment and tool organization, and retaining quality employees. I did very well there and moved on to other companies where I held titles such as manufacturing engineer, engineering manager, inventory control manager, plant manager, operations director and continuous improvement consultant.

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

Well, it was a decision made after a lot of inner work. As a continuous improvement consultant, I traveled a lot (3 weeks every month) to various facilities across North America. It was fun, for a while, and I made a lot of great connections and improvements for the company, but it took a toll on my personal life and body. So, I decided to take a sabbatical - except I didn't return. My husband and I had three boys within 3 years and I wanted to serve more people with the gifts I'd been given. I knew that people came to me on a regular basis to help with improvements in their jobs, so I started with resume writing for another guy. I became certified and was seeing the benefits of these people getting great results from my writing and strategies I provided. I ended up starting my own company and that skyrocketed quickly the first year. At the end of the second year (still extremely profitable), I wanted to take this to the next level. People had tremendous trust in me and I was getting incredible results for them - so I started Vennessa McConkey Coaching, where people hire me to coach them 1:1 to level up in their career at the same organization, transitioning into a new company and hiring me to coach multiple managers in their organizations. I also recently started Designing the Best You, which is focused on improving the entire job search process; from candidate to recruiter to hiring. I LOVE what I do and seeing the results from all the amazing people in this world!

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

The best career advice I've ever received and experienced is, get a mentor and coach. Find a mentor within your current company, a mentor in the same field but at a different company and a career coach to challenge you. I wouldn't be where I am today without the tough love and feedback from mentors and coaches over the years pouring into me.

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

Continuing to serve people throughout this job search process. My goal is always to have people NOT have to come back to me for services, but to give them the tools and strategies to use for themselves and then teach their teams and colleagues - the ripple effect!

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