What I've always loved most is helping others define their careers.

It kills me to see talented people stagnate, shy away from opportunities, and let work take over their lives. Too often, capable people feel the need to play by others’ nonsensical rules—or take themselves out of the game entirely.

Let’s make your own rules.

Prior to becoming a coach, I had a successful 20-year corporate career leading organizations through transformational change.

Prior to becoming a coach, I had a successful 20-year corporate career leading organizations through transformational change.

I started my career in Organizational Change Management at Accenture, then moved to Citibank, where I rose through the ranks to become a Director.

(I threw in a brief yet impactful semester at Parsons School of Design to keep things interesting.)

 

I've made quite a few of my own career pivots.

At Citi, I worked first in HR Shared Services then Anti-Money Laundering.

Due to the nature of my org change background and my love for variety, I pieced together some cool experiences and skills over time, which helped me create several bespoke roles for myself that played to my strengths.

In the process, I had opportunities I couldn’t have imagined:

  • Getting paid to write every day.

  • Working in a start-up environment within the security of a big established organization.

  • Becoming known as a person who “made stuff happen” for people’s careers.

 

I looked for win-wins to create career opportunities.

During my time in corporate, I built great teams, delivered a ton, and became a master at manifesting my own unbelievable career opportunities, including:

  • Negotiating a year-long job transition, which allowed me to take a sabbatical, find a new role, and start my coach certification training.

  • Turning a full-time dead-end job into a part-time Director-level position that allowed me to run my business on the side.

  • Moonlighting for a group I wanted to work for, then converting it to a full-time role of my own design.

 

How I became a coach.

The path to deciding to become a coach was pretty simple: I burned out.

Despite all the amazing opportunities and experiences I had in corporate, I never really wanted to be there. While the work was interesting, the organizational culture was not a great fit and the mind-numbing futility of the grind eventually took its toll.

I felt stifled and constrained, a cog in a large dysfunctional wheel. I didn’t have freedom to set the agenda—not because my ideas weren’t worthy but because someone more senior wanted to do it differently. Even my “wins” didn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

I negotiated a sabbatical, and while I would love to say I spent it doing meaningful philanthropic work, I traveled a bit and slept a lot. I was physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.

During the sabbatical, I committed to making a big career change aligned with my values, strengths, and life goals. I knew I wasn't living up to my potential, and the idea of continuing down an unfulfilling path for another 20+ years scared the crap out of me.

I wanted to be a leader—truly lead—on my own terms. And I wanted to live a big life centered around the activities that brought me the most joy.

 

My mission.

I realized what I've always loved most is helping others define their careers. I've made it my mission to help people grow, contribute, and ultimately get wherever they want to go.

I want to help people answer the BIG questions about their life and career:

  • Am I making an impact in my company and the world?

  • How can I make money and do what I love?

  • Can I get to a happier and fulfilling place in the career I’ve chosen, or is it time to jump ship?

  • How can I balance my career ambition with goals for my family, friends, and significant other?

 

So often these questions are derided as “millennial concerns”...usually by people that commit themselves to one company, grind out their careers over decades, and expect everyone else to follow suit.

I struggled with the same questions until I devised a way to take control of my career. In fact, bringing intention and purpose to my career also improved my relationships, health, and happiness. 

You know how falling in love changes the way you see everything? The same is true when you take charge of your career.

My vision. 

A fulfilling career is but one important piece of the larger puzzle. Life shouldn’t be crammed in around the edges.

We are all leaders. Leadership is not about titles or rank; it’s about having a code, and the integrity and courage to uphold it always.

We all rise together. There is strength in the collective power of women. It’s our responsibility to lift each other up.

You have the ability to create everything you want. The first step is being honest with yourself about what that is.

What sets me apart.

I love when people ask me this question. It’s a mix of the following:

  • I’ve made many career changes—small pivots and giant leaps. I have felt the feelings, experienced the fears, and overcome the hurdles. Taking control of your career brings highs and lows—often within a matter of hours. My program is based on proven techniques that help you navigate the external realities as well as the internal worries, doubts, and fears. We get you out of indecision and into action.

  • I’ve been a senior leader, hiring manager, and talent developer. I’ll help you navigate the networking, talk about yourself with ease, understand the minds of the decision-makers, and spot red flags as you evaluate and negotiate opportunities.

  • We’ll think beyond quick fixes and finding “just another job”. I’m interested in real transformation—creating a long-term plan for a life and career that work for you. There are lots of jobs you can do. This is about making money doing work you want to do.

  • I’m passionate about helping you develop as a powerful leader. We look at everything through the lens of making you the best leader possible. So much of this work is acting with intention, showing up authentically, and leaning into your strengths. When you allow yourself to show up fully, you begin to have bigger impacts with more ease. You also change how people respond to you. This helps you take control of your career and life Day 1. Your career is just one important piece of your life. My clients end up with amazing careers. They also transform their lives.

  • I help my clients find or create unique opportunities. I don’t work with people who fit neatly in a box. In fact, my clients hate being pigeon-holed. I work with leaders who like and are good at many things. I love creatively combining seemingly disparate interests and skills into real job opportunities. Many of my clients create or modify roles to align with their strengths and interests. Many also have entrepreneurial aspirations, so we work to help them do it—whether it’s a side hustle or their primary source of income.

  • Let’s make this careering thing as enjoyable as possible. I approach the coaching process as a partner, using humor, creativity, and flexibility. When something isn’t working, we’ll work together to find a path that feels good to you. I’m also pretty darn good at picking up on what you’re not saying to keep you from settling or repeating past mistakes, and align your choices with what will make you happiest in the long-run.

Life is too precious to stay in a job that doesn't work for you.

For much of my career, I settled. I chose the path of least resistance out of fear, uncertainty, lack of confidence, rationalization, you name it.

Once I committed to approaching my career differently, my whole life changed for the better. This is what I want for you.

My goal is to help as many people as possible take back their lives and design a career with purpose. Together, we’ll answer the important questions, explore multiple paths to get there, and make it happen.

The key is in taking a leadership role in your career and life. You’re the boss.

Now is the perfect time to start.

Find out more about working with me.


Credentials

  • Member, Forbes Coaches Council 

  • Accredited Coach, International Coach Federation

  • Certified Professional Coach, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

  • Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, iPEC

  • I love doing things in my own life and career that seem impossible or that have never been done before

Assessments

  • Strengths Finder: Futuristic, Strategic, Relator, Intellection, Maximizer

  • MBTI: INTJ

  • Enneagram: Achiever - 3 (with bits of Reformer - 1 and Helper - 2)

Fun Facts

  • I'm an aspiring Minimalist and FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early) enthusiast.

  • I've lived in Chicago, New York, and Paris.

  • I'm a sports fanatic and will one day work with athletes transitioning from amateur to pro and post-pro.

  • I love design.

  • I really love to clean.

  • I’ve never owned a TV, which pre-Netflix was a huge accomplishment. Now I probably watch more TV than most people you know.


Interested in hearing more about my twisty-turny career journey? 

I share all the stories with Scott Barlow at Happen To Your Career--from my accidental start in management consulting to my eventual burnout and recovery. 

Now I'm a happy, healthy coach, writer, and business owner. But it certainly didn't start out that way...

Caroline Adams Coaching  I share all the stories about my twisty turny career journey. From my accidental start in management consulting to my eventual burnout and recovery.

 
Caroline Challenged Me To Think Beyond My Self-imposed Constraints

As a new mom, I was struggling to balance my personal and professional goals and had resigned myself to the fact that it would just not be possible to be successful in both areas. Caroline challenged me to think outside the box and beyond my self-imposed constraints to clearly define my career goals and implement a strategy to achieve them. 

Caroline takes the time to understand individuals’ needs and motivations before setting forth a plan. She celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of each of her clients—it’s definitely not a “one size fits all” approach. She will not only set in motion a plan to optimize your career goals but will also be there cheering you on to the finish line. 
— Taaryn H, Vice President, Major Financial Services Institution
 

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