Pop Quiz, Monday with Rebecca McFarland, Career Coach and Resume Writer at Pop Your Career

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Rebecca McFarland

Photo credit: Rebecca McFarland

What is your job role?
Career Coach and Resume Writer

Tell us about your company?
Pop Your Career is a career coaching and resume writing practice, designed to prove that career development doesn’t have to be boring and career fulfillment is not out of reach.

Through Pop Your Career I offer a range of career coaching packages, interview preparation coaching, and resume and cover letter writing, as well as loads of free content on my blog, in my regular newsletters and The Career Club. The Career Club is a password protected portal for my email subscribers, which contains loads of free resources to help you get ahead in your career.

What do you love most about your job?
I love working with coaching clients. Being able to facilitate and witness the transformations my clients experience through their coaching is so incredibly rewarding.

From a business owner perspective, I also love the freedom. I’m enjoying the opportunity to manage my own time, embrace my creativity and march to the beat of my own drum. I became a full-time entrepreneur in July 2018, and I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved since giving Pop Your Career my full attention.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I’m really driven by helping my clients to do better and be better. Many of my clients are being held back from experiencing the success they deserve in their careers, because of lack of confidence, imposter syndrome or absence of clarity. Helping my clients move through these blocks and seeing their faces light up when they have breakthroughs is what motivates me to go to work each day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work on my own at the moment, although I have two virtual members of my team, Lea and Jel. They are both amazingly talented women who really understand what I am working to achieve with Pop Your Career. They inspire me through their creativity and the way they approach each task with enthusiasm.

What I have found, being an entrepreneur, is that I can build my team of people that I want to have surrounding me. I’ve made wonderful, warm and engaging relationships with other business owners and I’m continuously inspired by their successes and the way we all support each other without judgment or jealousy.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I love having fun at work, and when I worked in an office with a team, I was often the one leading the charge, by telling funny stories and encouraging my teammates to band together and develop relationships.

Now that I’m working on my own, fun happens in different ways. Every time I sign up a new client, I crank the music and do a little happy dance – I love the days when I’m dancing more than I’m sitting at my computer because it means I have more amazing clients to start working with.

I also make sure I attend plenty of networking events so that I can get to know other members of my community. I’ve found that this leads to lots of fun, in making friendships, collaborating with other business owners and learning about ways that I can improve my business.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
One thing that I find quite challenging is ensuring that I stay on track through the day. Working at home is fantastic – there’s no commute, I don’t have a uniform, and the kitchen is always only a few steps away. Unfortunately, though, it can be easy to get distracted, by putting on a load of washing, playing with my dogs or spending too much time scrolling through social media.

Another challenge I have is that as the owner of a business, I have so many different responsibilities. On top of being an expert in my field, I also need to know about branding, marketing, advertising, social media, public relations, web development, graphic design… the list goes on! Although this is challenging, I can’t say I hate it. I enjoy learning about business, and I think the variety of tasks and professional development is one of the reasons I have been thriving as an entrepreneur.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
My biggest lesson this year has been that I need to slow down and not take on too much, all at once. Right after I finished my full-time job, I scheduled myself in for 12 different workshops, with two sessions of each workshop running each week for 12 weeks in a row. What I didn’t take into consideration, was the time it took to prepare for a workshop, as well as the time needed to promote it and garner interest from the community. I learned this pretty quickly, and although my first workshop was a success, I have decided to hold off on running any further events until the new year, when I’ll have a more robust plan in place for content creation and promotion.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My advice to you if you’re starting out in business in general, is to maintain your lane. If you get too focused on what your competitors or the people around you are doing, you’re wasting energy. That energy would be better spent creating, networking, promoting, developing your ideas or taking other steps to move forward. Of course, market research is a must, but there is a fine line between researching your competitors and falling into the comparison-itis trap.

If you’re thinking about becoming a career coach, good for you, it is a rewarding career path. My advice would be to build a strong personal brand and show your potential clients what makes you different from all the other career coaches out there. What is your point of difference? Once you know this and you start presenting yourself authentically, you’ll start to attract your ideal clients.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:





Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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