Introducing Emma Garrett, a Coach for High-Integrity Leaders

Emma Garrett chose to break stereotypes when she decided to take it upon herself to do the work that she loves. She did not care what she was “supposed” to do under societal standards, and instead took the steps to find what she was meant to do. She is now a career coach based in Colorado and her mission is to help high integrity individuals design and succeed at their ideal work. She has worked with people from 25 different countries, helping them with everything from job searching to leadership coaching to starting their own business.

How did you come to do this work? What made you decide this was your calling?

I was working very long hours in New York and I knew that I wanted something different, but I didn’t know what. I had a sense that I wasn’t going to find out what I wanted when working the kind of schedule that I had and being so overwhelmed. I decided to move to, what felt to me at the time, the middle of nowhere Colorado, with the idea that I was going to leave space for my soul to contact me. I did manual labor on a ranch that provided a lot of time to just be and think.

Right before I moved, I had worked a contract in Belize, and on the way back I bought a book in the airport called “48 Days Until the Work You Love.” I don’t even think I got through chapter 1, but I knew I was available to figure out what I wanted to do on this planet. I was working on a friend's resume in Colorado late one night for this job that she really wanted and that I knew she would be so good at. I noticed that it was 2 a.m., but I was still in total flow. It felt like a sign. I started searching for a resume writing certification and that sort of thing, and I found a career coaching program that was just starting. That morning, I biked to go complete my registration and make my deposit for the program and I loved it. When I moved out of the ranch, I came across the book that I bought on the way home from Belize which still had the receipt in it. I realized that the time since I had bought that book to when I registered, had been 48 days… It was a sign that this was out of my hands, there was no logical reason for me to have even bought the book, but I did it. I felt like it wasn’t in my power to have picked that for myself, it was just meant to be.

What was next after you finished your certification?

For someone who didn’t have any previous credentials in this field, I was different. I wasn’t going to out executive anyone. I was coming from a very different perspective and still am. My mom was a doctor, and for a woman to be a physician was not really a norm at the time. She had a lot of naysayers in her world, but she didn’t care. She lived by thinking what other people thought she could do or should do, or what is right societally for her to do, was not a factor. Being raised by a woman like this was a gift.

During and after my certification, I certainly was encumbered by societal conditioning. I had family members say things like “How are you going to be a career coach when you haven’t even had a career??” In those early days I was doubting myself and I didn’t really know what to do after the certification. When I finished the program, I started doing pro bono work and had some speaking events here and there. It definitely didn’t feel legitimate to me when I started and it was actually years after that I actually started calling myself a coach. I got hired to work with Spanish speaking spouses of relocating employees coming to the US because I was fluent in Spanish. This eventually enabled me to get hired for contr