Anna Runyan has been helping women navigate their careers since 2008. She is known as the voice for women who want to find careers they love and get ahead.
Anna Runyan is an internationally sought-after speaker who has delivered scores of presentations to audiences at women’s conferences, professional associations and companies, including Booz Allen Hamilton, Provide Commerce, The National Association of Professional Women, Women in Technology and the Krannert School of Management Doster Leadership Conference at Purdue University.
An MBA graduate of the Rady School of Management, Anna is also the author of The Professional Woman’s Guide to Managing Men and her website, ClassyCareerGirl.com, was named by Forbes as one of The Top 35 Most Influential Career Sites of 2014. Anna is currently a Professor of Career Development and Management at DeVry University and a featured guest expert on Fox 5 New San Diego and San Diego 6 News.
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Read more about Anna’s story below.
“I hate my job…”
In the past, Anna used to live a double life – working a day job she hated and then coming home and being a “job applicant” after work and on weekends. She was totally stuck and didn’t know how to get out. She didn’t even care what jobs she applied to, all she knew is that she needed to get out! It took years for her to finally figure out that applying to jobs online didn’t work because she needed to understand herself better first. And as soon as she did that, that dream job just starting popping up left and right. Eventually, she didn’t even have to apply for jobs because those jobs would just come to her.
It took me a long time to figure out but I realized the simple tool of learning more about myself through networking and self-assessment. Knowing myself better has helped me nail interviews so much better than before when I was shy, introverted and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.”
Anna started her blog, Classycareergirl.com, in March 2010 to document what she was learning during business school at The Rady School of Management at UCSD and at her full-time job. (She’s still not quite sure how she managed an MBA, a full-time job and a growing blog….but somehow she did!) She quickly found that what she was learning was helping other professionals as well. After just a few months, Classycareergirl.com was named one of the top 50 up and coming HR blogs for career development and Anna quickly discovered her “passion project.”
From Stuck to Unstuck
After graduating with her MBA, Anna’s career coaching plans were hatched while working as an Adjunct Professor at her company, Booz Allen Hamilton. She taught employees how to find career satisfaction by identifying their interests, motivations and skills. While teaching that class, she discovered her own interests were coaching, mentoring and influencing others. From that day on, she had one career in mind, a career coach and she went for it!
I finally realized that I absolutely loved helping people find careers they love and learn how to be satisfied in their work. I could do this all day, everyday and never get sick of it!”
But, she was still stuck in a job she wasn’t happy in. She would wake up at 5am to work on her career blog, go to her full-time job and then come home at night and work on her blog some more. She realized that she could work on her blog 24/7 and it would never be considered “work” because she was so passionate about it.
Then, in 2012, after paying off more than $80,000 of debt with her husband, Anna made a decision to decrease her hours consulting to part-time so that she could focus on other opportunities that excited and challenged her. A month after she made her decision, an opportunity to teach Career Development to undergraduate students popped up at DeVry University. This position was 100% the perfect fit for Anna’s dream career of career coaching.
I realized that once you say no to those things in life that are holding you back, and free up more room and space for awesome things to come your way, doors will start opening.”
Hitting Bottom and Bouncing Back…
Although happier going in the direction she wanted, more issues continued happening in Anna’s personal life. Many times she started focusing on other dreams and goals in life only to find major doors being closed.
Each time she thought her life was headed in one direction, the closed doors continued to show her that her life was meant for a bigger purpose. Anna’s rock bottom was in a hospital hearing some tough news from a doctor. Anna was so stressed and overwhelmed with her job that the first words out of her mouth were,
I hate my job and I need to quit.”
From that day on, she knew she was going to find a way to do what she loved every minute of every day. Some people make changes when tragedies and unfortunate circumstances happen to them. Anna wants to share with the world that you need to make the changes before that tragedy happens. You don’t have to wait until the tragedy happens like she did.
Anna felt a calling and knew that her voice was needed to help motivate and inspire other women. Finally, she went all in at the beginning of 2013. No turning back now!
From Stuck Cubicle Dweller…to Professor…to Career Coach…to Leadership Expert and Author
And then another opportunity happened, a book deal. Anna was approached by a publisher to complete another life-long goal of hers, writing a book. The Professional Women’s Guide to Managing Men (just published in Feb-14!). Anna’s book is a step-by-step guidebook for women on how to work with men including examples, step-by-step instructions and details on how to be the best female leader possible. She leans on her eight years of experience as a consultant for the military (managing mostly men!) and is excited for her book to be in your hands soon!
“I firmly believe that once you start on the direction of your passion and if you do something daily on your way to your big goal, doors will start opening and totally amazing things start happening.”
Anna’s dream as a child was to be a fashion model and have her photo in a magazine someday. Her smart mother told her that she should want to be known for her brains instead. On May 2013, she got her wish when her photo was featured in People Stylewatch along with her career fashion advice. A childhood dream come true (and it was for her brains so mom was proud too!:)
The least likely to ever talk in front of a crowd and known as “The Shy Girl” in high school and college, Anna now speaks on stage to hundreds of professional women around the country. She was invited to her first big speech at Wake Forest University by a young woman who read her blog and was inspired by Anna’s 4X4 networking challenge story. Since that day Anna has spoken to and led workshops at many corporations, women’s groups, organizations and universities including Purdue University and University of California, San Diego. Anna has also been invited to speak internationally in 2014.
Anna knew that the only way to reach her career goals and dreams was to surround herself with people who could help her. But, as an introvert, this terrified her. Anna’s signature “4X4 Networking Challenge” helped her get over her networking barriers by meeting with 4 people that she didn’t know every month and 4 people that she did know throughout 2011. Anna loves sharing her networking challenge story and her positivity and motivational stories are now found on stage for men and women all over the country who seek her expertise.
Recently, Anna’s site was picked as one of “Forbes Top 100 Websites For Your Career” and “Forbes Most Influential Career Sites For 2014“. Anna is also a featured guest expert on Fox 5 New San Diego and San Diego 6 News. Her growing blog now receives over 200,000-page views/month and she currently has more than 50 professional women enrolled in her high-energy coaching programs.
Helping More Women Find Work They Love and Succeed Than Ever Before
Anna’s following gained and her expertise grew as she started created her signature
”90-Day Group Get Your Career Unstuck Coaching program” featuring her 7-step Get Unstuck System that helps professional women transition into work they love in 90 days.