Switching verticals? My unique method for linking her previous life to the current one (and how it landed her ‘the dream job’)

Switching Verticals?

J had spent a lifetime doing amazing work in emerging markets.

She helped get unbanked women access to bank accounts through the only mainstream technology available to them:


Her superpower lie in how to build these systems at commercial scale.  

J had massive impact in ‘fintech,’ years before it was called fintech.

The space she had yet to impact was the environment.

Her children were challenging her on what she was doing to save the planet.

As an investor and advisor, she turned her focus to climatetech.  

However, in rooms where she networked, she was having a hard time bridging her two lives. This was really impacting her ability to tell a compelling story in job interviews.

Why her?

Why now?

J had no clue how to connect the dots.

Want to know a secret? Regardless of the vertical, I always do these same 3 exercises with clients:

🔵 Exercise #1: The Time Log 

Here’s how it works:

  • Write down major events in your life from 14 years old to current age
  • Theme each 3 year increment.
  • What the pivotal 3 moments?
  • What do they all have in common?

The leadership story is always connected to the personal story.  We found her connecting dot between her previous life and current life in this inventory.

Everyone cries during this exercise BTW.

🔵 Exercise #2: The First Impression Audit

Here’s how it works:

  • Ask 6 people in your professional and personal world a series of questions I provide.
  • Ask them to send their answers in written form.
  • This provides an honest audit of what J already does well and where there is room for improvement.

Quick note: J had to ask people who weren’t people pleasers. They had to be trusted individuals who would be honest with her.

🔵 Exercise #3: A look at her investment thesis

Here’s how it works:

  • What companies had she already invested in
  • Why had she chose them
  • What did they all have in common

This became one more layer for distilling and understanding what made her tick, what she valued, and what story she would tell in her job interview.

🔵 Bonus Exercise: A look at her talk track

Here’s how it works:

  • What did she have to say? 
  • Why her? 
  • Why now?


After all this, she told **the story*** that needed to be told in an interview.

She was clear.

💥 She landed her dream job.

I liken it to rummaging in a purse to find your house keys.

We, as women, carry around big bags with everything but the kitchen sink in them. We can never find what we need when we need them.

The work J and I did together was the dumping of the ‘proverbial purse.’

🗝Afterwards, the house keys were lying there in plain sight.


“Listen, and you will realize that we are made not from cells or from atoms.

We are made from stories.”

— Mia Couto

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