I'm Erika, a Canadian who loves to travel, learn and meet new people.
Creating a space for people to learn new skills to achieve their professional goals, better work-life balance, and even benefit their personal lives has me waking up excited every morning.
My experiences have helped me discover my passion for coaching people, especially women in male-dominated fields but the journey here was anything but linear.
I finished my undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a final semester in the lab working on Alzheimer's. While I found the work valuable and challenging, I also knew something was missing. Spending hours looking at clear solutions and white powders then reading papers was not going to be my future.
Without a clear plan, I decided to fulfill another passion of mine: traveling. I moved to South Korea to teach English the year after I graduated with zero knowledge of the language and minimal teacher training. The teaching stint was only supposed to be for a year but I enjoyed it so much I stayed for two and a half.
In Korea, I learned how to present information in an engaging manner to exhausted, overworked students. Turns out the best way to make them learn was to trick them into thinking they were having fun. As I progressed in my teaching skills, I began to mentor fellow teachers. Mentoring allowed me to improve my own teaching skills but also pass them on so others could learn from my mistakes and experience.
When the company expanded to Vietnam, I was brought over to help the start-up. In another country where I knew none of the languages, however, at least I had teaching under my belt, right?
My role with the start-up put me in charge of all the expat employees, a mere 300 people. Lest to say I made many managerial mistakes before I started making some right ones. By the time I left, employee retention had shot up along with job satisfaction and the company had a solid system to evaluate and reward employees who contributed to their success.
The most rewarding part of the job though was the mentoring I got to do. Watching my managers grow in confidence in their own roles through workshops and one-on-one coaching would leave me with a glow for days after. It also meant that I could step away from the company when the time was right and I had proteges that I felt would not only thrive in my former role but also add their own style and improve the department.
When I reflect back, every role has been preparing me for this one.
My management role gave me the skills to manage effectively and the experience to back it up.
My teaching role gave me the skills to teach and mentor.
My work in the lab gave me an understanding of what it's like to work in a male-dominated field and how important it is to speak up for yourself.
Communication is a skill that everyone can benefit from and with companies becoming international, it is only getting harder. Many people are now using a second language professionally, but in addition to that, personal cultural elements that clash with company culture are often not taken into consideration.
Whether you want to be an executive commanding a meeting or to be an amazing engineer, everyone works in a team and if each moving part is not communicating optimally, you are not working optimally.
Beyond that, communicating also means having a purpose. Without core values and confidence in yourself, you will feel frustrated and lack direction. How can you communicate your goals and needs if you don’t know what they are?
My goal is to find practical and achievable solutions with my client. These could be short-term such as assisting them in organizing their thoughts for a confrontational meeting or it could mean longer-term like going from not participating to running meetings.
It is important to find someone that matches your needs so if you are curious, book a free consultation and we can figure out if we can work well together.