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Community Highlights: Meet Ericka Spradley of Confident Career Woman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ericka Spradley. 

Hi Ericka, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I know a comfort zone when I see one because that’s where I stayed for most of my career. I thought I was growing which couldn’t have been further from the truth! I was committing career insanity – doing the same things with different employers and expecting different results, unfortunately for many years. 

I knew a career change would offer work-life balance, but I had a slight problem. I craved this “new career”; this “next level” however, I couldn’t articulate the title of my new position nor which industry it would be in. 

Fast forward to my leap of faith. In 2006, I wanted to attend church services and couldn’t as a Retail Store Manager, so I did what anyone would do in my position. I provided my employer with a 6-week notice, withdrew all of my money from my 401k, placed my resume on Monster.com, and went on vacation. Not only did the leap change my life, it taught me a valuable lesson: skills are transferable. I’ve transitioned into multiple industries with no experience – once without my college degree as a Financial Center Manager and even as a College and Career Readiness Adjunct Professor without a degree in Education or “formal teaching experience”! 

Being able to communicate my skills in writing (the resume) and confidently in person (the interview) have not only opened career doors in different industries but have also given me a competitive advantage providing multiple employment options. I now help my clients excel at work, know their worth, strategically manage their careers, achieve their goals, and experience career success. Who knew a Retail Store Manager would launch an online course platform, become a Career Coach, Life Coach, Author, and transform the lives of women around the world? I didn’t, but apparently God certainly did. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
For the most part, the road has been smooth. What I will say is that there have been twists and turns along the way – especially considering I was employed full-time for a decade while growing the business. One of the struggles was creating goals only to realize they wouldn’t be achieved in the amount of time I initially planned. In those moments, I had a choice to adapt or abandon my vision. I made the decision to consult trusted advisors, to move forward, to control what I could control, and to embrace the journey fully knowing that everything was working together for my good. I’m so glad I did because I had no idea I would rebrand, publish books, create courses, partner with organizations, and positively impact the professional lives of women around the world. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As a Career Management Strategist/Consultant, I believe every woman should excel at work and know their worth. This notion has not only resulted in at least 80% of my clients getting hired, but it also inspired me to start a movement. I launched an online course platform providing women with 24/7 access to career management strategies that empowers them to: master the invisible organizational rules, communicate with confidence, and manage their career like a business. My free course, “Ditch The Downplay,” is furthering my mission to help at least 1M women experience career advancement courtesy of a plan of action centered around self-advocacy and communication. 

I published “7 Days To Confident Interviews,” followed by my latest book “Confident Career Woman: Ditch Perfection, Play Bigger and Make PowHer Moves” to equip women with a game plan that positions them to experience career mobility. Whether it’s partnering with organizations and Women’s Employee Resource Groups to provide professional development or creating online courses and coaching individuals – I provide clients with the relevant information required to overcome obstacles, communicate with credibility, and increase their visibility at work. 

Because I understand the challenges women face day to day on the path to promotion, I’m committed to providing principles and strategies that help them self-advocate, go further faster in less time and ultimately stop sitting on their ask. Since women are doing the work, they may as well reap the rewards and ask for what they deserve. 

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I’ve heard it said, “The greater the risk, the greater the reward,” but that’s not always the case. The reality is that there are times when we risk so much and gain very little. I decided that I would approach risk by: (1) weighing the pros and cons associated with my action as well as my inaction, (2) assessing my commitment to the successful outcome I define, (3) accepting what I have the power to control. 

According to a Women’s Leadership Study from KPMG, seven in ten women (69%) are open to taking small risks to further their career, but far fewer (43%) are open to taking the bigger risks associated with career advancement. I categorize myself as one of the “far fewer.” I don’t mind taking risks, but they need to be smart, and they need to make sense. 

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