Name: Alison Elissa Horner
Title: Career Coach
What is it that you do on a day to day basis?
Marketing– This means letting new people know what it is that I do and keeping in touch with folks I already know. My main marketing avenues are speaking and writing.
Working On My Programs– I spend time creating, organizing, and revising my programs and offerings.
Working With Clients– This includes time spent preparing and planning ahead of time, the actual time on the phone with clients, and all other communication with them.
Admin– Taking care of the nuts and bolts of my business and working with my assistant to keep things running smoothly.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
Working with clients is hands down the best part of my job. So much of life is a busy mess of opinions, demands, and bruises. I feel truly honored to provide my clients with a moment to shift their perspective, connect with what they truly want, and improve their lives. What a treat!
Other aspects that I enjoy are writing, speaking, and doing big picture planning for my business.
How did you get into this field? Was it something you always wanted to do or something you discovered bit by bit?
I wanted to be a coach for awhile, but it took some time before I had the guts to go after it. Narrowing in on my niche of working with entry level adults as they begin figuring out their career path has come bit by bit. As I put out different offerings and programs I found that this was a sweet spot where my interest and my audience’s needs collided.
What aspect of your work most surprised you? (Either in a good way or a bad way.)
Learning small business marketing has been the biggest surprise. Gaining a hands on understanding of marketing is one of the things I’m most grateful for learning from my job. It’s empowering to be able to bring in business, and I recognize that marketing is a skill that can be applied to many endeavors. I like it much better now that I know what I’m doing, but it sure has been a doozy of a learning process.
Does your education (high school, college or graduate degree) matter in terms of the work that you do today?
Yes, though indirectly. My major in college was in Accounting. The work that I do is about as far from Accounting as you can get, but having a degree provides credibility and brings in a higher caliber of client.
What environmental factors have the greatest impact on your job satisfaction? (For example: co-workers, compensation, company culture, flexibility, work/life balance, etc.)
The ability to get paid to do what I love is a huge boost to my job satisfaction. I like knowing that I’m helping to improve my small segment of the world. That said, I do work that can be psychologically tiring, and I also work largely by myself. I’m very aware that the quality of my service is dependent on my own well being, so I’m always working on keeping myself in fighting shape by reaching out to connect with colleagues, taking care of my health, and goofing off as needed to refuel.
Any career advice you’d like to pass along to others? (My audience is comprised mainly of adults in their twenties and thirties.)
I often tell my clients that unlike family or professors or friends I don’t really have a specific agenda as to what they should do with their career. But at a high level my agenda is this: invest in pursuing work that you care about or that you’re interested in. Even if it takes a few years to grow into work like this your investment will pay off for the rest of your life.