LJ Coleman Executive Director Secondary Curriculum Instruction

Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction

LJ Coleman is the Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction for Rio Rancho Public Schools. She says many educators feel called to the profession and thrive on seeing the spark of comprehension.

LJ says that teaching can be challenging due to a lack of resources, a need to encompass all learning styles and overcome issues students bring with them from outside the classroom.

She says young women and adults alike should identify what they really are passionate about doing, what they feel a sense of fulfillment in, and craft work around that.

Philanthropy

LJ regularly donates resources to various Women’s Advocacy Groups as she sees the value in supporting fellow women.


Subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen!

Support the show by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/AnnaDoo

Leave a review on your podcatcher, or send me any feedback to anna@careertalkwithworkingwomen.com

Sara Garrigan Executive Director of Non-Profit

Executive Director of a Non-Profit

Sara Garrigan has been the Executive Director of the non-profit Watermelon Mountain Ranch Animal Center for more than 5 years. She did not even know this was a possible career growing up but truly appreciates being in the position now.

Sara loves being able to work with animals each day and talk with people. She says you should have compassion, empathy and be a master multitasker to succeed in this type of role. Sara says that she loves making a difference and being able to work from anywhere for some of the tasks required of her. She also mentions that compassion fatigue can be the most challenging aspect of her role.

Volunteer

Sara enjoys being a storyteller and giving voice to those amongst us who cannot speak for themselves. She advises young women to go volunteer at every non-profit they can find in order to see the inner workings and identify if the work is something they want to do and if the cause is one they believe in.

Philanthropy

In addition to her full-time role, Sara has worked hard to support the Relay for Life chapter and is an advocate for the American Cancer Society in addition to the Watermelon Mountian Ranch itself.


(*note, Want to see the dog who accompanied us during the interview? The video interview is posted here. )

Career Talk With Working Women Episode 001

Career Talk with Working Women logo

Career Talk with Working Women Podcast Launched!

Introducing you to the podcast, Career Talk with Working Women, where we explore the vast array of careers and lifestyles women have crafted for themselves. I’m your hostess, Anna Doo, and I possess an insatiable curiosity about how women navigate work, life, and define what success means to them. Join me on a journey to explore every possible career; the challenges, the benefits, the work-life harmony. No more fairy tale fluff. Let’s talk about the truths, the nitty gritty for each career.

Women Working Together

I am interviewing women who are interested in sharing their thoughts, advice and journey with the next generation of the workforce and even those of us adults trying to figure out where we fit.

I want answers.

  • How do you know what you’re meant to do for work?
  • Does it change at different phases of life?
  • Or is it best to craft life around work?
  • What defines career success?
  • How can we change the rhetoric that a huge paycheck equals success?
  • Are there any parallels between childhoods of those women finding fulfillment in their careers, or is it all a whim?
  • How many adult women change careers completely at different phases of life?
  • And what triggers those changes?

All of these questions and more are what I aim to explore in this podcast.

Why a Podcast About Women’s Careers

The idea for this podcast came about after I had my second child in my mid 30s. I had never really gotten onto the path of a lifelong career. I had dabbled here and there in many different things. Most of them full-time Army National Guard work which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was a photojournalist for the Army National Guard and that afforded me the opportunity to ask people questions.

I am curious by nature and this trait has only strengthened the older that I’ve become. But once I became a mother, working full-time, taking care of two very young children, trying to be a good wife, and just be everything that I feel that I’m expected to be, working became much more challenging. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

You know you talk to people here and there and they know exactly what it is in life that they’re meant to do. I don’t have that feeling. I don’t have that ‘this is me, this is exactly what I am supposed to be here to do.’ So I started asking around. I started asking other women who are in the same space of life that I’m in with young children and who maybe had budding careers that they either try to continue on after this phase of life and some of them stopped their careers because of becoming mothers.

Passionate Career Women

I also just talked to women who seem genuinely passionate and interested in the work that they did on a daily basis. I want to know what drives them, what gets them to that mindset. Is it really just identifying that this is what they are good at in life and this is where they can be of service to others and then crafting your mind and your brain around this is what I’m supposed to do? Or do people truly feel like they have identified their calling?

I have a number of female friends who have gotten past this phase of life if you will. They’ve had children, or chosen not to have children, and their children are grown and out of the house and so they’re back in the paid workforce. I wanted to ask them whether they are still doing the same jobs that they were when they began their careers or are they changing constantly in what they’re doing for work. How do they define what success is? Is it really the amount of money that they’re making? Is it that they feel like they’re making a difference or that they’re just genuinely happy in the work that they’re doing and the people that they’re doing it with?

I had all of these questions that I just started asking people. I started asking women in particular because I feel like we tell young girls that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. But then the examples that we show them are rock stars and actresses and princesses. While those are wonderful things to aspire to be, the vast majority of us are not going to make it to those careers.

I want young girls to be able to see women in all sorts of careers.

Podcast Guests

The guests are women firefighters, women zoo keepers, women scientists, women entrepreneurs, women who have worked in restaurants their whole lives; whatever it is that these individual, local, you could reach out and touch them type of women are doing.

Along with this podcast, I’m writing a series of children’s books that are going to highlight individual women doing their jobs. The first one is a firefighter. She’s been a firefighter for more than 16 years and she’s actually one of the guests on the podcast. You’ll be able to listen to her interview and then by springtime you’ll be able to find that book and purchase it. I will of course include that information once it’s available.

In addition to the firefighter I’ve also had the privilege of speaking with a mechanical engineer. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with a Ph.D. candidate in communications and a clinical counselor. All of these different women doing all of these different types of jobs and they’ve all found peace in their work. They’ve found a sense of purpose and that really resonates throughout the interviews.

They’ve all found peace in their work. They’ve found a sense of purpose.

I hope you’ll listen to all of the interviews. I really hope that you’ll give me some feedback and let me know what other kinds of careers you would like me to seek out that women are doing. I also hope that you’ll share those podcasts with other women who you feel might be struggling with identifying what it is that they’re supposed to do with their lives and accepting that what they are doing is enough.

I also hope to reach young women and young girls who are just starting to identify what it is that they want to be doing for the rest of their lives. Whether they’re in mid high school, late high school or even college and going through that phase of life where you’re really just sort of experimenting; trying this job, volunteering over here, seeing what kind of work this kind of career would entail on a daily basis. That’s what I hope to share here as I interview women doing different jobs.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know the Daily Life in a Given Career

I am asking the questions of what it’s like day-to-day. What’s been the most exciting thing that’s happened in their career so far. What are the challenges that they have. How are they creating and crafting a work-life harmony that works for them. Is it a career that allows you to do so. Or is it a career that you really have to craft your external life around your work life. I want all of those answers because I want to share them with you. I want you to be able to listen to all of these different careers and kind of go ‘oh man that sounds perfect, that sounds fascinating. That sounds like something that I could do day in, day out for the foreseeable future’. Then hook you up with some resources to find some ways to talk with other women in that same career or go and volunteer.

One of the guests is a director of a non-profit and her advice for young girls is to go volunteer, go try out spaces that you think you might be interested in and just see what they are. I think that’s great advice for all of us is to just volunteer and to give back to our communities. But bigger picture than that is to try out a whole bunch of different things.

My Career Background

I was afforded a loving wonderful childhood. I have no qualms about the way that I was raised. The only thing I would say though is that when I was raised and where I was raised there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities to go and try a whole lot of different careers. There really wasn’t a lot of rhetoric in my early education about a vast array of careers and only when I got to college did I start to really look at options.  I thought, well I can make this a career or I can make that a career. But then you’re already there and you’re going OK well I’m paying for this, so maybe I should figure out something to get a degree in and hope that I can create or craft a career and a life out of it.

My undergrad is in Visual Communications in Graphic Design and Website Design from the fantastic Northern Arizona University. And thankfully that has proven to be a space that I really, really enjoy. I love creating. I love the visual design, color theory, the psychology behind why we do this for branding and why we do that for a website and user experience. It’s all very fascinating to me and I’m still trying to craft a career out of it. It’s one of my other side hustles if you will,  is website design for small businesses.

But I really feel like I’ve had to kind of create that myself. I don’t feel like there was a very good resource when I was coming up for trying out a whole bunch of different jobs and just seeing what they are, seeing what they entail.

That’s the whole point of this podcast. It’s to talk with these women who’ve been there, done that, or are currently doing it, and just find out what advice they have. What they would recommend for young girls who might be interested in being a lawyer. What is the time commitment? What is the education commitment? How do you get there any way?!

I hope that you will enjoy listening to the interviews that I conduct with these women. They are fascinating, genuine, wonderful human beings and all they want to do is give back to the next generation and help other people find the happiness and fulfillment that they have found in their careers.

Support the Show

Would you like to show your support for the show? I’d love to have you join the growing community of backers at Patreon.com/AnnaDoo. Here you’ll be able to have access to a patron-only news feed, monthly Q & A sessions, and lots of insider information that you just can’t get elsewhere saved especially for those who are able to financially support this show. I’ll see you there and thank you so much for your support.

Executive Director of Watermelon Mountain Ranch Sara Garrigan

Sara Garrigan has spent the past five years as the Executive Director of Watermelon Mountain Ranch Animal Shelter. She worked her way up to her current position and has truly found a passion for helping our four-legged family members find homes.

Sara advises young girls who may be interested in working in the non-profit sector to volunteer. She says to simply go find a non-profit you may be interested in, find out how you can volunteer your time or services and simply be exposed to the world and all the options therein.

She says this position benefits from personality traits such as compassion, empathy, an ability to multitask and be a storyteller.

Sara has been a fixture in the local media over the past few years as she finds great value in being able to show the animals available for adoption and to tell their story (she even does some name dropping in this interview 😉 ).

Listen in and let us know what you think about working in the non-profit sector in the comments below.