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The Bravery & Vulnerability You Need to Advance Your Career

Rachel Serwetz
Rachel Serwetz
March 15, 2021
The Bravery & Vulnerability You Need to Advance Your Career

I wanted to share with you all a letter I wrote to share with any new career coaching client, as I think you may benefit to see what it could feel like to begin a new and exciting journey!


I am so excited you are beginning this career exploration journey. I want to commend you, and I want you to commend yourself, because it takes real bravery and vulnerability to “break the cycle” of hating your work, to invest in yourself, and to invest in pursuing the unknown.

As you go through the process, remember:

  • This will require patience
  • This will require trust
  • This will require self-care
  • This will require persistence, time, and effort
  • This will require comfort with change and tolerance of ambiguity
  • This will require some extroversion
  • This will require introversion and self-reflection
  • This will require open-mindedness and curiosity to learn
  • This will require acknowledgement of all the skills, creativity, and value you already bring to the table
  • This will require finding and gaining confidence in your potential ability to learn and develop in new areas

It’s not easy to be vulnerable. It’s not fun to be vulnerable. We usually wait weeks, if not years, to rip the bandaid off and pursue a period of change. It’s uncomfortable to be in a growth period. It’s uncomfortable to be in a transition period, sorting through the unknown. That’s why most people avoid it and never progress. But you DID it.

When you feel pangs of fear or anxiety, remember:

  • There is excitement in the unknown — it means you haven’t yet (but will) stumble upon a path that….excites you! When you feel the angst of uncertainty, smile as you remember what it means — it means there are great things to come — you just don’t know what it is yet.
  • We are in learning mode — its a sandbox, to play around, to explore, to reflect, to try things on for size. We won’t take any action or pursue a job search or learning opportunity until you feel 100% confident that it is the right path for you.
  • Remember your progress up until that point — you’ll be learning, reflecting, and clarifying more than you’ll realize. Take pulse checks for all that has already changed at each point in the journey. Any and all reflections are good reflections because it means there has been progress and clarity in your thinking.

How will you succeed in this journey?

  • Build in proactive self reflection into your routine — meditation, journaling, etc., either daily or at least weekly. This will help synthesize key insights, reactions, questions, challenges, hesitations, feelings, etc. The more you get clear on what’s intriguing you and what’s holding you back, the more I can help you.
  • The more you put in, the more you get out! Ensure you have a strong accountability system to plan your efforts throughout your week and stay on track towards your goals.
  • Leverage me — reach out on text or email at any point when you need support throughout the week. The platform & modes of communication are here to ensure you progress when it really matters — when you’re sitting down to do the work, in between our calls. I want to hear about everything so don’t hesitate to reach out — the good, the bad, the ugly. Always ask questions and share whatever is on your mind — I am here as your copilot and coach-on-call!
  • Leverage the platform — if I can see your work (and especially your time blocks per week), I can help ensure you’re on the right track and using your time wisely.

Feeling excited for you and to be on this journey with you! Can’t wait to see what you uncover. :)


Rachel Serwetz

CEO & Founder, WOKEN

The Bravery & Vulnerability You Need to Advance Your Career

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Rachel Serwetz’ early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4.5+ years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School, Columbia University, WeWork, and Project Activate.

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