Getting Wiser with Kathy Bernard

In 2009, the Great Recession was in full swing. I opened Image Media, LLC a year earlier and was slowly growing my creative business. Many professionals had lost their jobs, and networking became a way of life. I met several people through the organizations I joined, and one of my connections, Laura Dierberg Ayers, introduced me to Kathy Bernard. Kathy had also started her own business and was helping job seekers with updating their career profiles, especially through LinkedIn. She had learned how to use the platform to connect with professionals and build her business, and she shared her expertise by speaking to groups and individuals. I attended one of her impressive presentations, and we followed up with a lunch meeting that was the beginning of a long, wonderful relationship.

Kathy was very generous with her knowledge, and she continued to build her reputation and company by creating robust LinkedIn profiles for her clients. Her WiserU.com website has multiple valuable resources for people who are trying to build their brand, connect with professionals, and find jobs that are a good fit. It’s an example of how much Kathy has learned and shared from her own experiences.

Career Transition

We wanted to remain entrepreneurs, but it was a struggle at times. Kathy applied for a job at a small corporation, and she landed an interview. She realized that what they needed wasn’t an ideal fit for her. She recommended me because she thought that my skills were in alignment with their requirements. That introduction led to a job as a marketing manager that was a peak experience in my career. When the company was sold to a competitor 18 months later, I decided to go back to running my own business. During my time in that position, I worked with outstanding leaders and teams and added more skills that I could offer to my clients.

Kathy’s business continued to grow into paid speaking engagements, career coaching, and LinkedIn training for companies. She also taught classes at conferences and colleges and continued to connect people with opportunities. Kathy referred several people to me, and I will be forever grateful for her kindness and friendship.

A Walk in the Park
Not long after I met Kathy, I took photos of her at Central Park in Chesterfield. Photography has been an ideal way for me to get to know people, and it was a pleasure to try to capture a bit of her ebullient essence. She and I have been through a lot in the past several years. We recently met in Forest Park for another photo walk, and I loved every moment of it. Some of the images were added to a blog article that was written by Deb Gaut. Deb is the host of the fabulous Tiny Sparks, Big Flames podcast, and Kathy was a guest. Their delightful, engaging exchange on Getting Connected with Kathy Bernard is an ideal opportunity to learn more about Kathy and her incredible journey. I’ll always be grateful that I was introduced to this remarkable woman!

“Cultivating self-awareness is a life-long journey. Listening to our inner voice as our guide will help us to balance our experiences in life, making us stronger, wiser and freer.” – Dee Waldeck