All In Podcast

54: Joan Michelson, Host of the Green Connections Radio Podcast & Career Coach

Daniel Giordano


In this episode of the All In podcast, Joan Michelson shares wisdom that she’s gained throughout her long and varied career, which has gone back and forth between corporate communications and journalism for the most part, but has been focused in the “green” economy (energy, sustainability, climate, corporate responsibility) for the last 15 years. Joan currently works mostly on career coaching about transitions; both transitions within a career, as well as helping clients with transitioning out of the workforce and into starting their own business. She also does book coaching, helping clients get started with writing books about their areas of expertise.

In her current career coaching endeavours, Joan focuses mainly on mid-career women, particularly in STEM fields (and especially women who are also in the energy/climate/sustainability sector.) Joan is striving to make an impact in the business world by making more space for women to be successful – for example, at her position at Chrysler in the past, she actively worked to get female dealers featured and frequently ran campaigns about female drivers, as women car-buyers were often being ignored.

Joan shares her idea of a “career GPS” and how one can use this idea when planning out ideal career moves by looking broadly at where you want to go, but honoring the tangents that arise. Joan and Daniel discuss the dangers of making career moves based on assumptions; she advises listeners to assess the reasons behind the assumptions they are making and try to figure out why they are doing the things they believe they need to be doing, and not to let themselves get blinded to other possibilities.


  • A bit about Joan’s upbringing with a family who worked in advertising.
  • Joan’s career path and how she eventually opened her own agency.
  • Joan’s key area of focus when it comes to clients (mid-career women in STEM-related fields) and why she chose that area.
  • Coaching requires a different approach for each individual client, as people are all different and have different needs, so an “assembly line” type of structure that offers the same process to all people is very limiting.
  • Joan’s idea of a “Career GPS” that looks at where clients ideally want to go with their career, but allows room for tangents and diversions, as some of the best opportunities are those you never expect. 
  • The importance of assessing the assumptions you have about your career and your future and what those assumptions are based on.


  • “(A coach) is not just something that you have when the “proverbial” hits the fan, or when you feel out of sorts, it’s also to take you to the next level.”
  • “I find that watching something on television or reading something that has nothing specific to do with my work or a client, often makes me think a little bit differently in a way that triggers something and I get an idea about a shift.”
  • “A lot of times it’s (about) getting the content out of your brain and into the world.”
  • “I find that a lot of people who come to me, they’re in a transition and they feel “less than” in some way. And a lot of times, showing what you know, like doing a blog….people start to realize how much they know, and that helps a lot to open their mind and see what’s possible.”
  • “An assembly line works great for assembling cars, or clothing, or computers, but you’re a human being, and you have a different process than other people…to just have the same process for everybody, hasn’t worked for my clients and hasn’t worked for me personally. I find those very limiting.”
  • “When I was at Chrysler I was very frustrated that there were so few women in the industry, and the women who were there were not getting a microphone.”
  • “I find that people get in their own way a lot by having assumptions they’re not even aware they’re making.” 
  • “Sometimes I find that the assumption that you’re making is what’s keeping you from seeing other possibilities.”

About Joan Michelson

Joan Michelson, MBA is the Founder and CEO of Green Connections MediaTM, an

innovative media and consulting firm focused on growing a clean green economy in which women have economic parity. She is host of the firm’s flagship podcast Green

Connections RadioTM – chosen as one of the top six podcasts for business travelers by

USA Today – where she has engaging, insightful discussions with top women innovators

and leaders in the “green” and energy space. She also writes for Forbes, and is a career coach and social impact consultant.

Contact Joan:

Click here to set up a complimentary 20-minute coaching call.

About the All In Podcast Show:

The All-In Podcast Show presents top Entrepreneurs, Innovators and World Changers willing to share their breakthrough moments and how they are changing the world. Focused on being “All-In” on the four areas of life: faith, family, finances, and health, host Daniel Giordano invites mentors who exemplify balance and a commitment to building a bold life of excellence.

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