We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaylyn Blair and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kaylyn, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The best piece of career advice I ever heard was that career paths are not linear. It is incredibly difficult and unfair to hold ourselves to the standard of moving in one single forward trajectory towards the career of our dreams without allowing time and space to actually dream along the way. Throughout each experience, college, grad school, part time jobs, full time jobs, what we want and need in our career evolves. We might realize that the job we accepted has evolved too and is no longer aligned with what we want and need. As a career coach, I strive to help individuals identify when their job is no longer serving them, when there is no longer room to learn and grow, and when it is time to leave. However, societally we often feel guilty or ashamed to leave jobs, especially given that older generations have worked at some jobs for decades at a time, let alone a few years. However, especially due to the impacts of the pandemic and a shift towards remote work, it’s a whole new job market out there. I encourage us to embrace this shift as a society. My goal with AOK Resumes & Career Coaching is to show people how to navigate this new market, to work it to their advantage, to seek out new opportunities that are aligned with their strengths and values, and to leave behind jobs that are no longer serving us, guilt free. I deeply believe this will result in greater overall career satisfaction, sense of fulfillment, and work life balance so we can all live our brightest lives, personally and professionally.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

When I graduated in the spring of 2020 with a Masters in Spanish, I could see how much the job market was shifting in the midst of the pandemic. I recognized I had a skillset that can really help people during professional transitions. Between my on-campus job at the career services office in my first year of college, to working in college admissions once I had graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I overheard resume workshops and attended networking nights as a first-year student. I led office outreach efforts and facilitated job fairs as a sophomore. Before I knew it I was using these newly acquired skills to support all of my friends and family through their own academic and career transitions on the side. As a grad student, even though I was pursuing a degree in Spanish, I knew working in another career office would be advantageous to me, both in terms of networking and making connections as well as sharpening up my own application materials in preparing to graduate. It was a strategic move in my own nonlinear career path. Here I was trained as a career coach and learned to facilitate deep and meaningful career conversations, strategizing the job search, practicing for interviews. I also delivered presentations across campus about the benefits and processes behind graduate school and study abroad opportunities. I finally began to see my own worth and recognized that I had knowledge, resources, and experiences to share that could actually help people. Given that I was already helping students, friends, and family already, I decided to take the risk, launch my business, and share my knowledge with the general public with the hope to provide people with the resources and encouragement to level up our careers and seek out opportunities that are truly aligned with who we are at our core.

While I felt confident and prepared with career knowledge, I didn’t know where to start when it came to running a business. I did not understand social media marketing or how to find clients. I also did not have a good understanding of what my services were worth, how to set prices, or how to manage my time. So I invested in a business coach, and I say invested because I spent more money on a coaching package than what I was making through my business at the time. But it was absolutely worth it. I learned how to streamline social media, how to market magnetically, how to see the value in what I do and set my rates accordingly. I learned how to set my professional and personal intentions, to put them out into the universe, and trust that the universe will deliver. After about 6 months, I started seeing clients reach out to me through Facebook and Instagram like never before. I was building a brand rooted in authenticity and breaking out of career and societal norms in order to live our brightest lives. 

I ran my business as a side hustle for the first year while working full time as an academic advisor. After about a year, I recognized that I was not getting paid what I deserved, I was getting assigned more work and responsibilities without additional compensation, and my request to continue working remotely (after doing so successfully for a full year) was quickly denied. I eventually realized that the advice I give was not aligned with the life I was living, and if I am to pride myself and my business on transparency and authenticity, I needed to take my own advice and leave my full time job. 

Since then, I’ve been working full-time with AOK Resumes. I’ve worked remotely from the mountains of Colorado and the beaches of Costa Rica. This business has allowed me to bring more dreams into fruition than I had ever thought possible. It has allowed me to live my brightest life, just like I coach my clients to do. However, the entrepreneurial lifestyle can also be a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Some months are slower than others. I’m still learning the ebbs and flows of the market, when to expect high sales and when to stretch my budget for slow months. However, it always seems to be the lowest moments when I receive a message from a client, saying how grateful they are to have submitted their graduate school application on time with my help. Another reaches out and says they have not one, but two job offers on the table. Another says they successfully negotiated their salary for the first time and are getting paid more than they were offered. That’s  why I love this work. This is why I get so excited. I get to see my clients use my tips and tricks to get paid what they deserve, to find alignment between their strengths and values, and to create a truly meaningful career for themselves. There is no greater joy than sharing in their success and celebrating together.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

My two favorite cafes are The Corner Beat in Capitol Hill and Book Bar in Berkeley. I go here often for cafe work days, I meet clients here for coaching appointments, and I bring friends here when they come to visit to sample an iced chai latte.

For a special night out, I’d go to Uchi where the vegetarian eggplant sushi literally brought me to tears because it was so delicious. I’d also make a reservation at Softa for a Mediterranean feast and I’d catch happy hour at Angelos on 6th for fresh oysters and fried raviolis.

We’d obviously have to go up to Rocky Mountain National park! My whole life I dreamed of seeing a moose and that is where my dreams came true. We saw three moose in one day! Plus it’s the prettiest drive on the planet, so it’s always worth the journey.

If it was summer, I would take my friends camping. Dispersed camping in national forests is really special and I’ve never experienced this anywhere like in Colorado. It’s the best way to connect with each other and to connect with nature. My favorite spots for dispersed camping in Buena Vista and  Gunnison.

However on the winter side of things, I’d take my friends to Winter Park. Even if they don’t ski, the winter wonderland of the mountain village cannot be missed. We’d be sure to grab a chocolate covered waffle on the way out!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I learned everything that I know about resumes and career coaching by working at campus career centers throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies. Shout out to the career centers a University of Vermont, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and University of Colorado Denver who not only provided me with the tools and knowledge to succeed as a career coach and resume writer, but provided me with the confidence to share my knowledge with others, in turn elevating all of our careers. Additionally, shout out to my business coach Deniz Sehovic with Girls Guide Co. Lastly, thank you to my clients for trusting me as your guide in your career journey. I’m excited to see how far we will all go.

Website: aokresumes.com

Instagram: @aokresumes

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/a-ok-resumes-career-coaching

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AoKResumes/

Other: TikTok: @aokresumes Email: aok.resumeconsulting@gmail.com Link to Schedule Free Consultation: https://calendly.com/aok-resumes/free-15-minute-consultation Link to Get Started!: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/19dexNlrysQXxLz5jvjEkJNMUP8SOmiP5K3mxa7Dd-Yw/prefill

Image Credits
Images by Dalia with Agua e Coco, Costa Rica

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