Early in her career, Dr. Monique Johnson knew she wanted to help professionals and academics reach their potential. She earned her Doctorate in Counselor Education with a focus on Higher Education Administration and a minor in Human Resources Development. Afterward, she experienced four different corporate relocations with her spouse as he moved up quickly in his career all while raising a family and navigating new environments. Monique’s personal and professional experiences, such as formerly working as an Assistant Director of Career Services, make her an expert in career transitions.
After her final move, she worked as a contractor for several different organizations in the Cincinnati area back in 2014. A year later, Monique was contracted by a school district. She attended a meeting where she briefly met a retired Principal. “In the course of our conversation, she asked me why I was describing myself as a contractor and not an entrepreneur,” says Monique. “A light bulb went off, and I honestly did not have an answer. After our conversation, I began reading, studying, and researching everything I could about starting a business.” Unfortunately, Monique doesn’t remember the Principal’s name but, from that conversation, she started her own business, Dr. MCJ Consulting and Coaching LLC. “It has allowed me to work virtually with organizations across the country, network, and provide meaningful services to others,” says Monique.
Today, her business provides diversity and inclusion consulting, career development, and leadership services to schools, organizations, non-profits, and corporations. Monique’s titles now include Consultant, Executive Coach, National Certified Counselor, Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS), Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investor, and CMCS Commissioner on the Credentialing Commission for the National Career Development Association (NCDA). While it’s challenging to find new projects or business prospects for her company, she secured a few long-term contracts and says she’s been “blessed in that opportunities always seem to present themselves at the right time.”
Monique finds the most rewarding aspect of her job is when she supports and empowers others on their career, leadership, or DEI journey. “I call it planting seeds. Sometimes the work is long-term, and sometimes it’s not. Either way, my goal is to provide new perspectives, share my expertise, and encourage,” she says. Plus, as an entrepreneur, her business gives her the flexibility to work remotely and expand visibility while maintaining her work-life balance for her family. In the future, she wants to offer sustainable virtual courses and solid signature programs annually.
From her years of experience, Monique offers three pieces of advice to other women in her industry. The first is to “start and modify as you go. Everything you do counts even the smallest of tasks. View it as part of the big picture,” she says. The second is that “leadership is about the people, not the position. As women, most of us understand that, but it’s important to remember as we climb the ladder of success.” Lastly, Monique notes that “as a DEI professional, diversity is an asset and not a liability. That’s what makes our world beautiful.”
As Monique developed her business, she became a member of IAW, which offered her community and entrepreneur development. “The programming and opportunities to connect offered by IAW have been invaluable,” she says. “The content shared is helpful and impactful. The Leadership Lab topics are always right on point for me.” For women interested in finding similar connections and resources through IAW, Monique suggested they get involved as she feels “the community and connection is a safe space for me when I do participate.”
Connect with Monique:
Dr. MCJ Consulting and Coaching LLC
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Very helpful information from Dr. Monique Johnson. Reading about her journey is important to those who desire to follow this path. Thank you!