When CJ walks into a room, the first thing you notice is her purple lipstick and her smile. While she admits to being a real introvert, she’s found that the purple lipstick gives her power. It makes her feel good and she’s found that it is a great icebreaker when she’s meeting new people.
CJ is a real people person. Born in Tobago, she came to Canada with her mother in 1994. Her older siblings – a brother and sister had both come as students and stayed. On leaving high school she entered Windsor University, all set to become a chemical engineer. However upon arrival she discovered she loved the psychology classes, and ended up switching and getting her degree in psychology with a minor in Chemistry.
She went on to take a Solutions Focused Therapy certificate program through the University of Toronto and explains that she liked that approach as you were looking to solutions and the future, rather than digging into the past, and perhaps getting stuck there.
And she put her new skills to great use working in a management position at TD Auto Finance, where she stayed for 12 years. But throughout her time there she was hankering to get out of corporate and start on her own as a coach. In 2015, the universe delivered what she wanted – the division she worked for was closed down, she got a decent severance package and she embarked on her coaching career, first taking courses at George Brown College.
She particularly loves working with millennial who often feel discouraged, in a rut and deep down know there has to be more that they can be doing. They are underwhelmed, often suffering from self-doubt and a lack of clarity of what could be next. In a group format, CJ helps them breakthrough to realize their potential. For CJ that is the most rewarding part of the work, when you witness people experiencing an ‘aha’ moment, perhaps something that you’ve seen in them, and now they see it too.
CJ also works with new entrepreneurs, guiding them to set their goals and develop a plan to move forward on their business ventures. She helps them shift from the employee mindset to one of the entrepreneur.
And CJ sure is a role model for the positive mindset. She believes that the type of day she has is determined by her mood. “I decide when I get up in the morning that this is going to be a good day. I do that every day. If you allow someone to trigger and spiral your day downward, you are handing over control for your day.”
Clearly CJ is someone who is in control of her life and with her upbeat, infectious attitude you can see that she has a ripple effect on those around her.