I quit my six-figure consulting job at Accenture to become a career coach

I quit my six-figure consulting job at Accenture to become a career coach

I quit my six-figure consulting job at Accenture to become a career coach

  • Yanet Borrego is a full-time career coach formerly an engineer at ExxonMobil.
  • To make the transition, she reinvented herself and developed coaching skills in the workplace.
  • She knew that once she had an established client base, she was ready to start her own business.

I spent seven years at ExxonMobil and two years at Accenture before retiring in 2021 to pursue my passion and become a full-time career coach. Even though the actual transition to self-employment happened in a week, I’ve been juggling a nine-to-five and my own business for eight years.

My mother and I immigrated to the United States from Cuba when we were 12. After settling in Puerto Rico because we had family there, I earned a chemical engineering degree, internshipd at Marathon Oil and ExxonMobil, and was hired as a process engineer at ExxonMobil’s Texas headquarters. At that moment in my life I thought, “I did it! We made it!”

But within a year I realized that it wasn’t fulfilling me. Although I seemed successful and earned six figures a year, something was missing in me. I decided to face the lack of clarity head-on and delve deeper into the long-term vision of who I wanted to be. I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Today I work with dedicated, professional women, ages 25-45, who are successful but are looking for meaning and fulfillment. I also run a newsletter, podcast and digital course. Individual coaching is my most lucrative source of income, followed by my digital course. My podcast and newsletter are free, but they give me the opportunity to connect with potential clients.

I have experienced many benefits since my transition into entrepreneurship. The first is flexibility in working hours and work location. Last year I spent three weeks in Hawaii for a personal development workshop and took all my coaching calls from there. I work about the same number of hours each day as I do in my corporate roles, but I am responsible for my own schedule.

I also experience the immediate impact of my work and receive immediate feedback. I can bring services and products to market and see directly how this affects my customers. The feedback is helpful to refine my offer.

These are the three steps that prepared me for the transition from corporate work to full-time entrepreneurship.

I’ve adopted the mentality that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself

I had spent almost a quarter of my life studying and practicing chemical engineering when I realized it wasn’t making me happy. I have to admit I had doubts and fears about reinventing myself.

So I started with the simple question, “Who do I want to be?” My answer was very simple: I want to be happy, fulfilled and firmly believe that my career is making a difference in the world for the better. That led me to the next question: “What do I have to do to be that person?”

Then I surrounded myself with people who were on a similar journey. I attended personal development classes to meet like-minded people and my first class was Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within. In 2015 I invested in the John Maxwell Team Certification to become a Leadership Coach and attended many more mindset trainings after that.

It felt very empowering to know that I could get people to trust themselves and their ingenuity to figure things out. I fell in love with the profession and knew I wanted to coach people to align their careers with what truly enlightens them and find a way to generate income from their passions.

I used the job I already had to build key skills and find clients

Once I had clarity about my goal, I defined the list of skills I needed to become a better coach, and they all had to do with personal development and behavior change, or understanding the human mind and how we can change habitual thinking to make it produce different results.

To leverage my then full-time job at ExxonMobil, I looked for opportunities to further develop these skills. I was very drawn to the supply chain part of the business because I was able to practice building relationships with global suppliers and negotiating contracts. I have told a supervisor in the supply chain department and my supervisor in the refining department that I could use my skills in both departments as they are already connected. I had the technical experience and human skills to add value to the supply chain department and to optimize the relationship with the refining department. It was initially an internal loan, which then became a full internal transfer.

The environment within the supply chain team allowed me to give presentations on mindfulness, behavior change, inclusion and diversity and similar topics that aligned with my interest in coaching. Giving security updates before every meeting was already a company practice, so I volunteered for it. From there, I branched out into giving lectures on wellness and diversity and inclusion, and then integrated mindfulness into my wellness lectures. Various teams heard about my work and I was asked to give a presentation to 200 interns, starting at the ExxonMobil campus.

After five years as a senior manager, I was ready for the next challenge. Consulting seemed like the next clear step given the emphasis on customer service, the focus on people development and the highly entrepreneurial work dynamic. I realized there were a few people I knew from ExxonMobil who had switched to Accenture, so I reached out to two of them and I was referred. A few weeks later I got a call that started with the interview and eventually I got an offer. After researching Accenture, I connected with the company’s emphasis on the “truly human” element. I met with BCG and researched other consultancies but didn’t see the human element I was looking for.

I loved my time in counseling. The environment allowed me to be even more transparent, which was my passion. Being authentic and expressing my aspirations in a corporate setting got me my first paid coaching client – ​​a colleague I met through diversity and inclusivity initiatives. This is when my side coaching business started to flourish.

I allowed me to let go of the security of a company salary

I decided to quit my job after a family member passed away. I didn’t hate where I was at Accenture, but it was a wake up call for me to be 100% committed to my dream. I had established a foundation for my business and it made sense to take the leap of faith.

My desire to make an impact and fulfill my purpose as a full-time career coach was greater than the security my corporate job offered. I had built a base of paid clients and referrals while working at a company, and I had a pretty good idea of ​​my coaching structure, so I took the plunge. I had enough savings to cover my basic needs while growing my business.

I made $160,000 at Accenture before I quit and my goal is to continue growing my business to eventually exceed my previous salary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *