How would you classify your latest work, what inspired its inception?

My latest book is called Jump Start: How to Redirect a Career that has Stalled, Lost Direction or Reached a Crossroads. It’s a self-guided book for anyone contemplating a career pivot. It helps career changers put clear steps in place, take action and move forward in a career that is truly engaging and meaningful. Comparing a career transition to a satisfying road trip, Jump Start offers a ten-step approach to help readers clear up confusion about their career, reconnect with long-forgotten interests and sources of inspiration, put a realistic plan in place that generates forward momentum, and create a career that takes them where they want to go.

Jump Start helps readers determine if they are an entrepreneur or an employee (or both), craft resumes and cover letters that garner results, prepare effectively for interviews and networking opportunities, use social media tools like LinkedIn to search for jobs and stand out among competitors, and plan a business or side hustle if an entrepreneurial path feels right.

How long did it take you to complete? 

About four years. I developed it as I used it with the clients I counsel and coach as a career counselor. Over the years I have taken their feedback to create something that is truly road-tested, up-to-date and readable.

Who are some of your top 5 authors or writers you look up to & admire?

In the nonfiction/self-help space, I admire Brene Brown, Chris Guillebeau, Carol Eikleberry, Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Pollan. I like writers who honor the writing craft yet have a lot of important wisdom and research to impart.

Why do you write?

I love words. I’ve always loved to write. It helps me figure out what I actually think and helps keep me sane. When I was earning my MSW, I actually wrote a novel in my limited spare time. It actually kept me focused on my studies, because it gave me a creative outlet.

What’s the biggest take away you want your readers to come away with after reading your latest work? 

I want people to clear up their confusion about their careers and feel more confident and in control of their professional life. Some careers are less linear than others, and I strongly believe that for those people the work of inner reflection and determination with be more pivotal to their success. This book helps them bring all of those introspective pieces together in order to create a richer, more reachable vision for their career path. This purpose for the book feels so powerful right now in light of the Great Resignation. People are re-thinking their careers, and I would like to help them be strategic and expansive as possible as they contemplate their next moves.

How is the writing/reading scene in your locale?

Quite robust – Portland is a city full of writers and readers.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

The Thorn Birds

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

After I read my first chapter book in first or second grade. It was set in a coal mining town in Appalachia, and I loved that it took me from my home in Omaha to another place. I thought that was amazing that you could transport people with your words. I still marvel at the ability, and I am usually reading three books at any given time. I really love to travel but can only afford an international trip every few years, and COVID makes me wary about traveling until things get more normalized again. I know it sounds corny, but if I can’t travel the world right now, at least I can visit other places through the written word.

How have you evolved as a writer over the last year?

Yes, and I I think I have evolved as a writer over the last four years of writing this book. The discipline it requires and that the editing process demands forces you to write well at a brisker pace.

If you could meet, have dinner, have a drink with anyone (writer/non-writer) (dead or alive) who would it be? 

Wow, that’s a great question. Probably Elizabeth Strout. I loved Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again and can’t wait to read Oh William!

What’s next for you? 

I would like to get back in the habit of writing fiction in the new year. I also am trying to create a Career Transition Planner that clients and fans of the book can use in tandem to Jump Start as they work their way through it.




End of Interview