Husband & Father
Solver of Problems
Hello! My name is John, and I’m so glad you’ve stopped by. I’m a Career Specialist with Ama La Vida, and I hope we get the chance to get to know each other better. I grew up in New Jersey, though I spent many of my young adult years chasing opportunities in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York as well. I love books, adore music, and am enriched by a family that includes three spectacular kids.
I’ve taken a winding, non-standard path in my career. I’ve chased opportunities and had many adventures. I know what it’s like to leave the beaten path for a while and then search for the lessons and wisdom in that, in order to apply it to something new. My specialty is giving a guiding hand to those that have ambition but are unsure of direction. If you feel lost, let me be your guide!
I believe in concrete, measurable action. I believe there’s no challenge in life that can’t be overcome with a solid plan and a good friend. I strongly believe that the first step in any challenge is to take the time to sincerely evaluate your own wants and desires, getting to the very core of what will make you happy, and then using that as a foundation upon which we’ll build a plan for true and lasting success.
If you feel challenged by a career goal, want to switch your vocation, or are simply having trouble communicating your value in the marketplace, I can help. If you know you’re capable of doing more than you are right now, but you’re not sure how to get there, I can help. If you feel particularly challenged by “selling” – whether it’s selling yourself in an interview, selling for your employer or your own business, or incorporating successful sales techniques in other aspects of your professional life – then I can definitely help!
As a career specialist, you’ll find that I’m easy to talk to and plan with. I want you to succeed your way, not mine. My role is not to change who you are, but to help you be the best possible version of yourself. I help you apply my methods to your goals and build you up with constant support and encouragement in the process.
For much of my career I’ve conducted interviews in various capacities, and at other times I’ve trained interview skills to both job seekers and HR professionals, so if you’re looking to crush your next interview, let’s definitely chat!
You already have all the components for success within you. I may show you some novel combinations of those components, and I may show you how to overcome some obstacles that were blocking you before. But ultimately, your success is yours – and I can’t wait for you to show me what that looks like.
“ALV matched me with the perfect career coach, John, who mirrored my communication style and type-A personality to methodically get things done and work towards the next goal. This kept me at ease that we were always moving forward and I was learning something new. I appreciate the structure of the program as well as the tips that I can utilize for my current job hunt and beyond!” – Rita W.
“I met Johnny at a time when I had very little direction for what I wanted to do professionally. I could sense from that first time that he genuinely loves helping people reach their fullest potential, and he has proven that by being such a great supporter and mentor in my professional career. Through Johnny’s personable, non-judgmental, and fun coaching style, he has had an incredibly large role in the positive feedback I receive from interviewers and coworkers. I am always the first to refer to Johnny when anyone has a question about their career and have no doubt that he is the best career coach I have had and will ever have.” – Haley Brewer
“I was lucky enough to come in contact with John during my time in Praxis (a college opt-out boot camp) when I was aiming for entry-level positions within startup companies. While I only had him as an advisor and mentor at Praxis for three months, he was the perfect fuel needed to wake me up to aiming boldly and aiming high. Until meeting and working with him, I came from the idea that being professional meant being composed, muted, and obliging, just to make sure I got the job or opportunities. It was careful and calculated and a perfectionism hybrid that probably would have opened me up to a couple of opportunities down the line, however, it stemmed from an insincere place, and wouldn’t have opened up my full potential as a professional. John helps to restore your genuine spirit to the job pursuit and workplace experience. He is sharp, direct, and bold, in a brilliantly authentic manner. Often bringing comical anecdotes to illustrate his points, he has a seemingly always-full bucket of energy, and a library of life and work experiences to pull from. Brimming with excitement about the pursuits he’s in the middle of, or for the opportunities available to the people he works with, I can’t imagine a time when anyone would come in contact with him, and be left with anything less than a new energy for life and their personal/professional pursuits. To put this bluntly, John is the better alternative to coffee and energy drinks when it comes to finding fuel to chase the work and the dreams you want. I credit him for my current success in my role with Impossible Foods, but I can also wholeheartedly and enthusiastically credit him for much of my success to come.” – Leah Wilczewski
“Johnny is the man. I’ve learned many life/career lessons from his guidance and coaching. While on a job hunt for a position at a startup, he was my coach and mentor. He helped me feel confident in going into an interview, landing a position, and moving to a new city in less than a week. At the time, all of this would have been extremely stressful for me. I was working in retail and hadn’t been much of a risk-taker. However, with Johnny’s guidance, it was a breeze. He helped me get over my fear of interviewing with companies I was unsure about by advising me to take every interview and make the most of them. He put me in contact with people who were eager for entry-level talent and showed me what I could do to impress them. Also, when the time came to get up and move to a brand new city in less than a week, Johnny pushed me to go for what I want and take on new challenges. Not only did Johnny help me with those immediate challenges, but I’m now a much more confident and poised professional after going through his coaching. I no longer need coaching at this time, but I’d be eager to reach out to him if I was struggling to climb any new mountains in my career.” – Kevin McDermott
“Johnny is the best coach I have ever had. Not only professionally, but in all areas of life. It can be awkward to ask mentors and coaches for advice but I always felt okay talking to and asking for advice from Johnny. He gave real, down to earth advice that I can say with 100 percent certainty got me where I am today. You will not find a person more dedicated, passionate, and excited to help you in your personal and professional growth. It was a privilege to work with Johnny and I am confident that he will be an asset to any team he works with.” – Joey Wickham
“Ama La Vida’s program has been a life changing experience for me. I came in feeling confused about what career path I should be following and did not feel as though I had the confidence or knowledge to pivot to a new industry. It is hard work to self search, and then job search. However, I felt supported by my coach along the way. By the end of my fourth session I could tell people the industry I wanted to enter into with confidence, something I haven’t been able to do in four years.
I was encouraged to work hard on my own and then shown that my coach was working hard for me as well. Ideas came from both ends and meetings felt like a brainstorming session on how I could best set myself up for success. The modules gave me excellent resources and ideas while my coach helped me to execute on those ideas.
Now I have a job interview with my dream company, an updated resume, a strong LinkedIn profile, and a lot of confidence that I am going to find the right role in the right place for me. I also have a coach who has turned into my mentor and my friend, who I plan to stay in touch with for the rest of my life.
I cannot express how wonderful this company and program is, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to make an impactful change in their life.” –Rebecca van Stolk-Cooke