Executive career coaching for global leaders navigating the era of AI and Digital Transformation

MARLEQ: Tell us about Amy.

Amy Sanford: For the past 25 years, Amy has provided career coaching for global leaders across multiple industries, and countries, helping to navigate job development trends such as:

the tremendous growth in the field of data science and analytics;

assists executives in managing through digital transformation and Industry 4.0.

coaches Swedish/Nordic Start-ups to pitch and collaborate across the inter-generational workforce;

passionate about globally-minded career development, having lived in four countries and being conversant in multiple languages.

MARLEQ: As a career coach, how do you leverage tech during your sessions?

Amy Sanford: I leverage technology such as utilizing various hybrid and remote video resources: Zoom, Teams and Skype during coaching sessions;

I also have programming skills in Java and Python as part of my coaching expertise in Data Science and Analytics;

Utilizing technology platforms, such as Slack and WhatsApp and project management tools such as Trello.

Designed targeted prompts for ChatGPT is another technology tool, I have developed in my sessions.

MARLEQ: How do your sessions help business owners and startups have a solid business foundation?

Amy Sanford: Through my leadership experience on the Gothenburg Node of the Silicon Vikings, connecting Nordic and Baltic Start-ups to Silicon Valley’s best practices, such as failing fast and permanent beta, and based on my background training tech entrepreneurs with the Founder Institute, Nordics, I have a solid understanding of business foundations, ranging from writing an effective business plan to marketing, and optimizing customer experience.

MARLEQ: What do expatriates benefit from working with you to land their dream jobs?

Amy Sanford: Expatriates benefit from working with me to land their dream job, based on my track record of satisfied clients and exceptional customer service coupled with extensive knowledge of global job development trends. 

While coaching career clients at Harvard University in the post-global Financial Crisis landscape, I identified Data Science and Analytics as a fast-growth career path and established the Analytics Training Academy adopted across many research institutions. A decade later, many of my clients, who participated in this data science training program, hold leadership positions among leading multinational corporations.

My interest in the future of work has led me to research further career trends for the Digitial Transformation and Industry 4.0 reports. As the world transitions into Augmented Artificial Intelligence, and with the increased use of ChatGPT, I have developed an interest in multi-disciplinary career paths to the field of prompt engineering, as these offer tremendous growth for expatriate job seekers.

MARLEQ: With your experience in Learning and Development, what suggestions will you make for organizations when it comes to their entry-level employees in that area?

Amy Sanford: A solid Learning and Development strategy is a critically important component of retention for entry-level talent acclimating to new organizations, particularly across the generations. All employers should prioritize Learning and Development as part of their onboarding programs for new hires. 

Initiatives, such as mentoring and skill building, particularly those relevant to the future of work, will help to ensure entry-level employees are prepared to step into leadership roles as they gain experience within their organization.  

MARLEQ: What are some major points professionals have to know about Industry 4.0 and what role does it play in their approach to job search?

Amy Sanford: Professionals should know that Industry 4.0 or the Digitial Transformation, of which AI and ChatGPT are a part, is rapidly changing the way we work. In addition, Industry 4.0, or the Digital Transformation is impacting the business models companies follow. We are moving to an attention commodity among social media companies.

MARLEQ: Is there any significant difference when it comes to working with different generations? Ex. GenZ, Boomers etc.?

Amy Sanford: Yes, there are most definitely generational differences, when it comes to the workplace, depending on the generation. For example, according to sources, 40% of Gen-Z holds two or more jobs: often times referred to as a side-hustule. While Boomers and Gen X are less likely to have more than one job.

Similarly, younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials)  are more likely to favor four-day work-weeks.

Another example might be Generation Z’s interest in social consciousness and inclusion, while Boomers, are more focused on workplace technology and collaboration.

These generational differences offer challenges to organizations, which must be agile and adapt to these contrasting preferences.

MARLEQ: What is your advice for job seekers looking to transition into a different industry at mid-level?

Amy Sanford: In terms of advice for job seekers looking to transition to different industries, I like to recommend that these candidates, evaluate their key strengths and competencies from their more recent role and work with a career coach to develop a strategy for leveraging those into a position you are both interested in and have room to grow and develop.

MARLEQ: What is the importance of having a work-life balance and how can professionals attain this?

Amy Sanford: Living in Sweden, for over a decade, I have grown to appreciate the work-life balance that is so important to society, in contrast to the workaholic American approach. 

For example, the daily Swedish coffee break ritual known as “fika”. Fika can be both a noun and a verb. It involves a scheduled break from work with the purpose of enjoying conversation with colleagues. This can also be social outside of work, meeting with a friend for fika.

In Sweden, there is also a generous vacation culture, typically six weeks in the year, with four weeks being taken in a row. This approach has opened my perspective of work-life balance, particularly when compared with a two-week vacation in the States, where it is often challenging to take both weeks off in a row. 

Sweden definitely has a strong work-life balance in society and it is not a part of the culture where you are working, I invite you to import some of the Swedish approaches, for example introducing the fika or coffee break to your workplace.

MARLEQ: What is your typical weekend like? Do you have any favorites you would like to share? Quotes? Places? Music? Movies?

Amy Sanford: Depending on the time of year in Sweden, a typical weekend might find me doing any of the following activities: hiking, visiting the local climbing gym, enjoying one of the many art museums, listening to live music with friends, enjoying an outdoor movie, knitting or crocheting, swimming, boating or sledding in winter if we are lucky enough to have snow, or exploring Sweden with my daughter (such as dog sledding in Kiruna).

Quote: “One can not discover new oceans, unless one has the courage to lose sight of the shore”.

Places: Hiking around Sweden’s many lakes, exploring the off-shore car-free islands in the archipelago, or searching for the Aurora Borealis in the northern sky. 

Movies: Anything Jane Austen, Maverick, Barbie, Oppenheimer, Mission Impossible

Amy Sanford

Executive Coach

Profile: Career Coach and L&D Consultant with 25+ years of extensive experience in corporate HR recruiting, executive coaching, and training in Sweden and the USA. Consultant for Harvard University.

Expertise: Coaching, Expat Career Counseling, Recruiting, Learning & Development, Job Search, Future of Work

Education: MSc in IT & Learning (Sweden), MSc in Behavioral Sciences (USA), Certified MBTI and DiSC 

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