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MAKING A MARK: Executive coach gives advice to help women navigate career changes

The pandemic has forced many people to rethink their careers. Pamela Meadows is helping women navigate job transitions and develop skills.

NORFOLK, Va. — Millions of people have quit their jobs as part of the "Great Resignation," leaving jobless workers to wonder what is next.

Pamela Meadows, a vice president at IT consulting firm B3 Group, said there are important questions people have to ask at that stage.

"'What makes sense for me for where I am in my life? Does it align with my goals and my passion and my skillset?'" Meadows asked.

She said these are some of the questions women, especially, have asked during the pandemic.

"'Am I looking for a job where it's really married with my skillset and my passion so that I know it's going to be something that I like to do?' All of those things are really important as you're looking for a career shift," said Meadows.

Meadows is an executive coach on a mission.

"When I was coming up through the ranks, there wasn't a lot of women reaching down to pull up other women," she said. "How do I give them skills to gain the confidence and the clarity and the communication techniques they need to move up?"

Meadows said she uses her own experience as a corporate leader to empower women to take charge of their careers, both in-person and through social media.

"For me to move into a VP role, it looked like, 'Hey, this is something I'm really good at and it's a gap in the organization. Let me prove how I can benefit,'" Meadows said. "And when you can advocate for what you want, like, what you're passionate about, and marry it with how the company needs to grow, you have a path to success."

While some women are looking to make a switch, Meadows said others want to grow where they are.

"Some of the natural skillsets you need, no matter what job you have or if you hit the lottery and you could retire -- it's going to be communication and presentation, and bringing an executive presence to a table," said Meadows. "Know how important you are and that you're already enough, and that you don't have to compete with the woman next to you. You have to compete with who you were yesterday."

Meadows said more women should hold positions of power because diversity in leadership is beneficial to the entire company.

"When you start creating diversity -- people of color, women, men, different communities -- and you bring them to the table, you have the chance to get curious," Meadows said. "And then, you have a chance to really grow an organization. Because when you talk and all you hear is yourself talking back, you're stalled out, and you're done."

Meadows also offers youth programs to empower and motivate girls. And she's a contributor to an upcoming book about women going after their dreams, called "Elevate Your Voice."

You can find more information about Meadows' projects and services on her website, Facebook, and Instagram pages. There, you can also find tips for following your ambitions and gaining confidence in the workplace.

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