Public Relations Counselor
Farrah Parker, M.A., is living proof that dreams come true. The Los Angeles-based Executive Coach transformed her youthful passion for people into a rewarding career inspiring professionals to actualize their highest potentials. With her successful firm—“FD Parker and Associates” Parker has exceeded even her toughest of expectations.
In a unique approach to the industry, Parker plays the dual role of Executive Coach and Public Relations Counselor. As clients have found, there isn’t anyone better to promote you than the one who brings out your best. The binal approach to career-maximization has worked. In just the past 3 years Parker has been quoted by CNN, NBC Chicago, The Wall Street Journal, Fox (Business), Yahoo, The Toronto Star and Tech News World. Content for the reports ranged from CNN reporting her insights on the psychological behaviors of competitors in the 2012 Olympics to the Wall Street Journal’s highlighting her opinions regarding the significant psychological letdown executives experience following extended holiday weekends.
To say her job is varied and interesting is agreeably an understatement. Diversity in the client base presents a daily challenge to Parker with respect to designing customized techniques which help clients to help themselves. Facebook posts found on the firm’s business page serve-up hearty helpings of inspiration blended with pragmatism and diplomacy:
“Conflict: We can't avoid it in our professional lives. When the opposition appears committed to a belief that conflicts with your own, always have an exit strategy to avoid a potential disaster. It's better to end a conversation than to engage in a hopeless duel with lasting impacts.”
“Each second presents a unique opportunity to start anew. Whether in your personal or professional life, declare, ‘Today, the opportunities are endless.’ Growth requires action. Fear defers dreams. Take the leap. You deserve it.”
Please tell us about the road which led to your unique two-fold role as coach and counselor.
Although I was the first in my family to excel in graduate school, I grew up in a home where education was consistently placed at the forefront. I often credit my determination to the gift of having parents who insisted that post-secondary education play an integral role in my life so that I could explore the world on my own terms.
The fact that I was the one who actually wrote the entire speech for the valedictorian of my high school graduating class was a sign that a real life career was on the horizon. The very moment the valedictorian nailed the speech with the words I had written, I beamed with pride. As the words I had composed flowed from her mouth, I fully realized my passion. I knew I would adore a career coaching others to facilitate them becoming the best possible version of themselves.
Please discuss the challenges which have formed and influenced your career.
Life as a combined Executive Coach and Public Relations Counselor comes with tons of advantages. In addition to creating strategic approaches for clients to communicate with multiple audience segments, I also coach executives on a variety of ways to maximize their resources and connect with the members of their team. And while most clients absorb information and readily receive tips, there are occasions where challenges arise, specifically as it relates to an executive refusing to recognize the value of his/her team. It is difficult to coach someone who struggles to acknowledge professional habits that are quite possibly leading to their demise. If the person is defensive, then he/she may immediately shut down and defend each action without properly assessing whether there is room for growth and adaptation.
Please describe a day in your life.
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What attributes must a person possess in order to be a successful Executive Coach?
I absolutely love my time behind the scenes. Executive coaching is not a career for someone who thrives on direct accolades. When I see a client or project that I’ve worked on highlighted on a top rated morning show, then that joy becomes my own. I know without a doubt that my efforts helped fuel that moment. If you are the person who needs to actually be on that morning show, then coaching may not be for you. It’s perfectly fine to want the spotlight. It feels good to be recognized. Just be honest with yourself and say, ‘I want to be the center of this show, not behind the show.
What advice would you give someone considering a career as an Executive Coach who has not yet begun a Bachelor’s program?
If considering a career in executive coaching and/or public relations counseling, a student should ask, “Am I able to find joy in making others shine?” When coaching and counseling, often times the light does not fall directly upon your face. You must have the confidence to celebrate indirect accomplishments through your clients and know that because of your efforts, he/she has received tremendous accolades or achievements.
What advice would you give a student who has begun their undergraduate work but is undecided about graduate school?
Graduate school presents the amazing opportunity to hone a skill-set and propel your career to the next level. While you certainly gain tremendous academic insight, it is important to merge graduate school with on-the-job experience within your desired industry. It’s not enough to leave with a shiny advanced degree. That accomplishment must be coupled with a proven history of industry achievements that you will use to climb to greater heights throughout your career.