Here's My Story. What's Yours?
You wouldn’t know it to look at me now, but my career journey began in rock and roll. Supporting myself through college and a few years afterwards playing in rock bands taught me a great deal about teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, flexibility, and making business and life choices.
Once I had come to grips with music as my passion rather than my vocation, I took a hard look at my skills and who might want to hire me. What was I good at? I could write, I could type like the wind, and I was a good organizer (wrangling a bunch of musicians will hone that skill). I was also an excellent listener and could envision creative approaches to challenges. Landing at an ad agency as a go-fer, I worked my way up through the secretarial pool like Peggy Olson to become traffic manager, where I learned the workings of the entire agency.
Within 18 months I had launched myself into my advertising career, working for almost 20 years in both agency and corporate roles, in account management, copywriting and production, plus media and research management along the way. I was fortunate to work with wildly creative people, and to have the opportunities to write copy and jingles, contribute to national ad campaigns, and manage ad budgets in the millions. Along the way, in Kansas City, Charleston, SC, and Cedar Rapids, IA, I worked with brands including Hallmark Cards, Le Creuset Cookware, Johnson & Johnson, Jiffy Lube, Subway, John Deere, and ERA Real Estate.
By the time I reached agency management, I had a new focus: attracting and developing the talent on my team. It was a natural evolution to move into recruiting for marketing and creative pros, matching people and jobs, aligning with my values and awakening my passion for helping people find their ideal work. I worked at LandaJob Marketing, Creative & Digital Talent, a woman-owned recruiting firm, for over 20 years, uniting over 500 people with their temporary and full-time jobs, and I became a partner.
Around 2002 I headed back to school at night at Rockhurst University and earned a career coaching credential (through the National Career Development Association). In the years since, I have coached over 250 people through career transition – those who are choosing to change direction, those who are thrust into change by job loss, those who are returning to work after time away for family care, those who are seeking new types of work as they move into retirement, and those who want to turn their experience and skills into a business.
Now a full-time career coach, I have supported people, particularly since 2020, through new sets of challenges, including unexpected layoffs and job changes, adapting to new work structures and responsibilities, re-examined priorities, and new directions altogether.
My coaching training has continued through the years, as a member of ICF (International Coach Federation) Heartland chapter, as well as Career Thought Leaders and Resume Writing Academy. I have also served in leadership roles for professional associations in both the marketing and career industries: as past president of the Association of Career Professionals-Kansas City; student relations chair of KC IABC (International Association of Business Communicators); and membership chair of Kansas City Ad Club (American Advertising Federation).
Along the way, I also became committed to working with creative people and artists to help them solve challenges with creative process and making a living, and I completed additional training with Dr. Eric Maisel through the Creativity Coaching Association. Some of my current clients are creatives who are pursuing new work or launching themselves into the marketplace.
Each semester I spend volunteer time with college students, especially juniors and seniors who are finding their way toward their work. I’ve also helped to launch mentoring programs, and I coach and make presentations through job clubs, social services nonprofits, and professional associations.
Most recently, I also accepted the invitation to collaborate with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg as co-leader of Your Right Livelihood. This program, founded by Caryn in 2017, is an online class and group experience designed to guide and support people through finding and launching into their right work.
As for my rock and roll roots, I have also maintained my music career through the years as a singer-songwriter and performer, complete with song placements in TV and films. I am extremely fortunate to have been able to combine all of my skills into a work portfolio that is fulfilling and exciting. And I am dedicated to supporting others to find their own career and creative fulfillment.
“Kathryn played such a pivotal role in a big career transition that there aren’t enough words to describe what an impact she had on my navigating the process while also building my confidence back up throughout.” ~ Patrick Fields
“Most recently, she encouraged me to make connections that led to a new exciting venture. She has a way of lighting a fire and bringing out the best in you.” ~ Anj Riffel