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Meet Luna

Career Coach, Mentor, Public Speaker, Consultant & Expert in Applied Psychology, Mental Health, and Wellbeing.

People don’t like to see good people leave academia. Me NEITHER! I would love nothing more for all of us to be happy and respected for our valuable skills!๐Ÿ’ช

I do have the expertise to land jobs in both academic and non-academic fields.

  • 60+ high-impact publications
  • decades’ worth of leadership in the lab
  • invited to speak at Oxford University
  • a prestigious prize for research
  • tenured and offered academic jobsย half a dozen times since leaving academia!

๐Ÿ‘‰But I’ve tried academia before. I enjoyed teaching and working with colleagues, but I wasn’t paid what I was worth. I didn’t feel valued, particularly when I was facing redundancy and took VS!

Plus, the constant barrage of “you’re not doing enough”, asking me if I was working part-time because I’m a single mom and would have to tend to the occasional issue at school… well, it was all not good for my health and let’s face it, it affected how I parented my child!๐Ÿ˜จ

And for me, it’s not about money; it’s about happiness and making a difference.

When I was chasing academic success, what truly fulfilled me was helping others break through barriers and then thriving.๐ŸŒ™๐ŸŒŸ ย I have a bigger life’s purpose than being an academic.

I have learned to be brave and resilient because I had to. I now help ambitious people to find meaningful careers so they can focus on what matters.
Sometimes that means a shift in careers so they can achieve a life aligned with their essence and purpose, and be more authentic and free.
From a young age, I was told that education was my path out of poverty. My parents were born in Puerto Rico and we had nothing growing up. The path I followed was paved with graduation certificates, national recognition, and other things to prove my worth โ€“ to get validation!
However, I had other drivers: a passion for helping other people and building connections with people. I held many jobs but I always devoted time to these projects that gave me fulfilment.
I put a hold on these passion-projects while I finished my advance degree and then started an academic job as an assistant professor and then was tenured.
Yet, I felt like my self-worth was rooted in obtaining validation in the form of promotions and prizes. Instead of feeling validated and fulfilled though, I felt empty and exploited: throwing myself in the professional sphere of the academy led to overwork, underappreciation, and an acceptance of bullying behavior and exploitation by other people throughout my career.
I let people cross boundaries because of the dangling carrot that ended up being a worm on a hook. And Iโ€™m not biting anymore. Instead, Iโ€™ve taken to using my voice to inspire others to take a plunge into new waters.
I realised I needed a change, so after 23 years in academia (PhD, Post-doctoral fellow, Permanent lecturer, Deputy research director) I left the career I had created to pursue things that gave my life meaning:
  • Helping managers and organisations create a workplace where people feel included and have a work-life balance that fosters wellbeing.
  • Helping workers to advocate for their own wellbeing and helping them shift their work toward their own valued living.
So Iโ€™ve built my business my way: the way that suits my values, skills, strengths and needs.
Of most importance, I have learned that I need to prioritize myself. Self-love is not slight; it is enormous. (Quoting June Jordan)
Have any of you started a journey to find out what you really want? If you need help, book a call!
Book A Career Audit Call

In pictures on social media, I may sometimes seem like a carefree hippie, but I’m also

๐Ÿ‘Š a skilled leader,

๐Ÿ‘Š an award-winning scientist,

๐Ÿ‘Š a teacher,

๐Ÿ‘Š a damn-good career coach and mentor,

๐Ÿ‘Š a grant writer,

๐Ÿ‘Š a mom,

๐Ÿ‘Š a dancer,

๐Ÿ‘Š a data analyst,

๐Ÿ‘Š an event planner

I am so much more! I’m Puerto Rican (Wepa! Boricua!), I’m on a journey of ADHD diagnosis, and I’m bisexual. Many who work with me are also first-gen, BIPOC, neurodiverse, or other kinds of Academic Misfits!

I’m on a mission to help the changemakers to have more impact in the world!

I use my 20 years’ leadership & 10 years’ coaching experience to help people develop ways of working that fits their lifestyle, creates meaningful impact, and leads to better leadership.

I’m regularly invited to deliver imposter phenomena, resilience, and wellbeing workshops for universities and organisations. And I do a lot of parent and youth support and mentoring, since I’m a developmental psychologist.

I also help socially-trading organisations within the health-sector to build an evaluation and funding strategy that fits their growth needs. All of this builds impact that I was not able to truly have in academia.

When you leave academia, you really do struggle with feelings of failure, grief, and whether you can do anything else but academia. It’s like “you’re not good enough for academia, but don’t you know that no one else will want you?!”ย 

Getting over these feelings of worth and failure was hard. I did get offers to work in non-profits at Director-level roles, which is how I became unstoppable in my CV/resume writing (check out the CV to resume template here) and interview skills! If anything, I am a determined and persistent little armadillo!

I wrote to a colleague “I’m either going to succeed or die trying” re: starting my own business, which is the most courageous and empowering thing I’ve ever said!

What I realized in my self-discovery is you need toย get vulnerable and become intimately familiar with your driving forcesย – mine were to help people who felt like they never fit in to create their own unique paths to freedom and fulfillment with financial freedom!

Book A Career Audit Call

I know you want to:

  • Create a new version of yourself that doesnโ€™t put you in another box.
  • Build a professional identity that shows you as the badass leader you are.
  • Express your valuable skills for the FIRE they are.
  • Create new ideas and ways of working while rejecting old ones that no longer serve you.
  • Define your path to success to ensure you donโ€™t burn out.
  • Position your skills and strengths as invaluable so you are appreciated for your expertise.
  • Find clarity in your career direction so you do more of the work you care about.
  • Build empowerment through believing in your own value, never underselling yourself.

I’d love to help you smash all of these goals!

What is your version of success? Have you had time to consider that for yourself?