After more than 30 years as an executive focusing on the “people” aspect of business, Carol Gordon decided to launch her own business as a business management consultant, focusing on employee relations and productive workplaces. “I noticed more people were seeking my input about employee conflicts and career advancement,” she says, and decided to strike out on her own.
Changing careers was not a snap decision for Gordon, who was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of a community bank in the Hudson Valley.
“Leaving the security of the corporate world to create my business was frightening, as is any major life transition,” she says. “I once had an entire corporation backing me, now I was everything: marketing, IT, PR, accounting, sales…but I never looked back.”
What energizes you about being an entrepreneur?
“Helping management understand and respect their employees, which leads to greater productivity and less stress.”
She has since become a career transition coach to help people on their journey to change careers, change jobs, or just “bloom where they are planted.”
Labor attorneys, colleagues, and community members now refer her to businesses derailed by various issues. “One day I’m in a corporate suite, the next riding the tarmac at the airport,” she says. Building trust with business owners or managers is the first step. “They’re used to having the answers, so it’s upsetting when they don’t,” she says. “First I calm them down and say, ‘Don’t worry, I’ve seen this before. We can figure this out.’” Second comes the frank conversation that leads to meaningful dialogue.
Gordon has appeared on local radio shows and in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Huffington Post. “We need real dialogue, early on, about respecting others,” she says.