Since I am often asked, here’s the short version of how I became a career coach and resume writer. For a more formal biography, please click on the LinkedIn button below.
I started college as a journalism major, which grew into creative writing and visual arts, specifically photography. I spent the early part of my professional career as an art historian, changing gears to attend law school after realizing during my master’s program that a Ph.D. and full-time academia were not for me.
Admittedly, going to law school was in some ways a means of grounding myself. In my creative life, my head was spinning with ideas, but I lacked the foundations to get the traction I needed. A law career seemed about as grounded as I could get. Law also appealed as a mix of using my writing skills, incorporating my interests in languages/travel and making a practical impact. I was 25.
For 15 years, I worked as an attorney in four different legal settings: at three law firms (AmLaw100, smaller firm with former Big Law attorneys and a solo practice) and as in-house counsel. Most days I loved being a lawyer, but my creative side wistfully yearned for a different balance of time, heart and mind.
I stayed in law all that time for two main reasons, among others. First, there were the people I met. From my early projects (infrastructure financings by Japanese banks in Latin America) to some of the later deals (venture capital investments in start-up companies and emerging technologies), I engaged with hundreds of very smart people tackling a range of interesting issues, indeed solving the major problems that face our world.
Over time, I realized just that: the driving element for me was not the lawyering, it was the people. Having worked across multiple legal areas (corporate, compliance, investment fund, private equity, employment, litigation prep, trademark, estate planning, non-profit and other matters) over the course of my law career, the most fulfilling part in all of these was my relationships with colleagues, internal and “real” clients, prospective talent and even opposing/other counsel and business teams. I loved working with talented individuals, many of whom were on the verge of something even greater, if they could only unlock the right doors.
The other great reason I had loved being a lawyer was the writing. I have always loved putting words on a page, stringing concepts and sounds together, knowing how the written word can inform, persuade and delight. Résumés require all three elements to engage and motivate the reader to take action.
Aware that for personal reasons it was time to make another career change, in late 2014 I took stock of my interests and talents, along with the needs of the marketplace. I realized that I wanted to be more directly involved in helping people achieve success (however defined), and I wanted to do it on my own terms. I began the process of transforming my informal mentoring, relationship-building and writing into a full-time career and launching a coaching practice around these skills. Despite the strong pull of the law – one friend has called it “crack” because it is so addictive – I have not looked back. Such radical change is not for everyone. But for me, my new role as career coach and resume writer, creative, grounded and focused on making meaningful change in people’s lives, is the perfect fit.
Anne Marie Segal, JD, CCMC, CPRW, is a career coach, leadership coach and resume writer. After over ten years holding two successive roles as an attorney, in the wake of a significant life event she made two major professional transitions in a span of two years, neither of which was ultimately the “right fit.” It became clear to Anne Marie that leaving the law was the right option at that point, and she set about determining a new path for her career.
Over the course of many personal and professional conversations, including those with coaches, Anne Marie realized that she had become deeply engaged in the questions and search for answers that accompany transition, growth, value clarification and professional development. In April 2015, she launched Segal Coaching. As a coach and writer, Anne Marie now works with attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs to address their own career and business trajectories and present themselves for their next opportunities.
Anne Marie lives in Connecticut with her husband (an engineer by training and amateur chef), two children and a cat named Max. Originally from Chicago, she moved to the East Coast for law school and has never left. Having traveled in Europe, Latin America and Australia, Anne Marie speaks fluent Spanish as well as some German and French. Since 2011, following a diagnosis of celiac disease, she has lived a gluten free life. While she abides by the “do no harm” (ahimsa) principles of yoga, Anne Marie has also engaged in kickboxing as a means of maintaining overall health.