Case Study // Jennie M.

Hey friends! Welcome to my "Case Studies" series! I hope you enjoy reading about some of the awesome people I've worked with and incredible projects I've been lucky to be a part of. I am still so inspired by all and hope you will be, too! 

Photo courtesy of Jennie Mayfield.

Photo courtesy of Jennie Mayfield.

One of my passions is helping young women navigate the myriad decisions that come their way during their twenties. This is supposed to be a time of fun and adventure, but young women today can become so mired in trying to please everyone and hit arbitrary goals that this magical time becomes dampened. When Jennie came to me for help with a difficult career decision, I knew we could find a strategy that would help her make the best choice possible for both today and the future. 

Jennie is a highly sought after nanny and au pair, currently based in Paris, France. (I mean, lucky Jennie, right?) While Jennie has spent the last year with with an adorable pair of mademoiselles, eating croissants and practicing her French, it soon became time to make a decision about what to do next. At 25, she’s loved this opportunity to live and travel abroad, but was also nervous that she wasn’t cultivating a “real”* career and might be making choices that could severely impact her future earning potential and ability to “climb the ladder.”** Jennie and I came together for a half-day intensive session where we discussed the short term decision at hand (Should she stay in France and, if so, which of several jobs should she take?) as well as the long term (In short, what was Jennie doing with her life? Would she ever be able to reach her ultimate goal of becoming a children’s librarian?) Over our three hour session and several follow-ups during the next few weeks, we tackled the following:

  • Edited Jennie’s application for new au pair positions (her current employer preferred to hire a new au pair every year)

  • Discussed interviewing techniques and prepared her for interviews with three very different families

  • Reviewed Jennie's job offers (from all three families) and discussed pros and cons for each position

  • Examined and solidified her long-term goals and timelines. Jennie was sure she wanted to be a librarian, but was afraid she’d waited too long to be a viable candidate for a prestigious Masters program. (Spoiler alert: She hasn’t. It will be waiting for her when she’s ready.)

  • Finalized her decision to stay in France for another year and made sure she felt super excited about it!

Jennie ended up choosing a wonderful family and felt she landed her dream job. Her stress and anxiety about the future have been markedly reduced, and she can now enjoy her next year in France!

*Not a thing. Never has been a thing. Never will be a thing. Careers are organic and evolving. You will not fail just because what you’re doing doesn’t look like what your parents did or your best friend is doing.

** See above. If you think you have to do your career in any particular order, you will end up at the bottom of that imaginary ladder.

Jennie Mayfield is an actor, au pair, and book enthusiast based in Paris, France. She is a recent graduate of NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Acting and a concentration in Children’s Theater. When not hanging out with some of the coolest kids on the block, or volunteering at the American Library in Paris, you can usually find her in a café reading a book or planning her next adventure. Read more about Jennie's experience working with me here.

Shea Keats