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Meet Dr. Norma Reyes of Manifest Your Career

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Norma Reyes.

Hi Dr. Reyes, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Hi yes, thank you so much for having. I always like to start with where I grew up. I grew up on both the Westside and Southside of San Antonio. Both of my parents are from Mexico. My mom immigrated when she was 6 years old and was raised by her paternal aunt. And my dad came to the US at age 17. Both my parents encouraged me to focus on education as they saw it as a “way out” of poverty.

So growing up, I saw going to school as my way out of poverty and having success. I’m a bookworm, so after a while, I noticed books written by PhDs. And around 4th grade, I decided I wanted one too. I had no idea what a PhD. was or what it meant. As my education and career unfolded, I still had a strong desire to get a Ph.D. I was accepted into the Adult, Professional, and Community Education doctoral program at Texas State in 2014.

At the time, I had my career planned out in my mind. Get my Ph.D., get “my foot in the door” in higher ed and then work my way into being a university president. In May of 2019, I completed my Ph.D. and my career had gone in a whole other direction. I was a Behavioral Health Clinical Manager for a Fortune 500 Company that provides health insurance. Looking back at my grand career plan, I realize that my dreams of being in higher ed were short sighted. It felt like my only option, the next logical step for someone like my and my current degrees. After having my son in August 2019, I had a realization, a wake up call. I wanted to do more than be an employee. And I wanted to empower other women to make bold career choices. Women who saw education as a way out of poverty but hadn’t really thought about what they wanted to do in life.

That’s how it started, and officially in November 2019 I had my first clients. For my first coaching program on overcoming imposter syndrome. Since then I’ve worked with many women looking to overcome their self-doubt and gain clarity in what they really want for their career growth.

Then last year, in March of 2021, I launched the Manifest Your Career Podcast. I started the podcast as a way to reach more women and have a bigger impact. I also wanted to share the career journey of successful women so that others could see that no one has their career all planned out. And those who are most successful are the ones that allow their careers to ebb and flow with life.

Now in 2022, I’m offering 1:1 Career Mindset Coaching and season 2 of the Manifest Your Career has just started. We hit 5,000 downloads the weekend before season 2 kicked off.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. I have two little ones at home, a teenager, and a husband plus a full-time job. As I started my business my biggest concern was becoming a work-a-holic. I just didn’t want to take away from them. Of course, building a business is going to take up time.

But what I didn’t think about was that I’d have to figure out my niche. Having no idea what I was doing, I invested in a lot of coaching programs that would help me figure it out. Some worked well and others, well just like anything else, weren’t right for me. Last year, after feeling so lost in the direction of my business I realized that I already knew my niche. Focusing on helping women work on their career mindset, I just wasn’t calling it that. I kept focusing on the “next career move” as my niche but that really wasn’t it. I love teaching how our mind creates, and attracts, what we want in life. So by focusing on everything that isn’t going well in our careers, will only bring more of it. By changing our outlook, our mind, then we can begin to see the opportunities in front of us.

So, it’s been a big learning curve to start a business, a podcast, work full-time, and still be present for my family; but it has been so worth it!

We’ve been impressed with Manifest Your Career, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Manifest Your Career is a career coaching business. It has a podcast hosted by Dr. Norma Reyes, and career coaching services provided by Dr. Reyes.

So unlike other coaches you can find online, Dr. Reyes have some amazing credentials. She has her masters in Counseling & Guidance, licensed as a therapist for the state of Texas and has her Phd. Dr. Reyes’ dissertation was on the career development of executive Latinas because she wanted to research how Latinas were able to be successful despite the challenges they face.

I’m most proud of that, I am combining the logical and intuitive inner knowing in my coaching services. We, as women, get told all our whole life to trust the facts. So we push our intuition aside, when in reality we need to learn how to capitalize on it. As an added tool to help us navigate our careers.

And I don’t mean our emotions, to listen to our intuition, is not emotional at all. It is a gut instinct, or inner knowing that what we are choosing for our career is the right next step for us.

What matters most to you? Why?
What matters most to me is helping others believe in themselves again. We face a lot of challenges in our lives that make us question who we are. And I would love to empower others to have hope, so that they can believe in their dreams.

This is important to me, because while I grew up poor, I always had hope. I always had parents who believed that I could do it. “Go to school and be successful.” Helping others has always been a strong pull for me. I had a part-time job after college where, I called at-risk youth, to be a mentor and encourage attending school. There was a phone call that really hit me hard. It was in 2008, I was on the fence about what master’s degree I wanted to get. I was debating a Master’s in Counseling or Public Administration.

It was like any other week, I got off my regular 9-5 and began making my after school calls to these teens. I got on the phone and started my conversation as I always do. “How was school…” Then I asked the inevitable question that I know I was asked plenty of times while in school. I asked “What college do you want to go to?” There was a long silence. I had no idea what I would hear next. “Miss, do you … really… think… I… could go to college?” I got a lump in my throat. I said “Yes of course I do…” “I’ve never had anyone ask me that before…” I don’t remember the rest of the conversation but I knew then that counseling and guidance was for me.

I also realized that there are different kinds of poor in this life. Those with hope and those without. And truly, money has little to do with it. There are those with hope and those without. Those without have systematically been told, and shown that opportunities are not for them. I want everyone to know that we are all equal. That is my WHY we all have the ability to be successful. We only need to believe that it’s possible for us. That is the first step to anything.

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Image Credits

Emely Torres (solo photographs)

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