Elyssa Lassiter is a life coach and owner of the Say Life! Coaching Institute, where she trains and coaches people looking to kickstart the next phase of their professional careers. 

According to Say Life!, the organization’s coaching can help bridge the gap between the academic skills required to succeed in school and the skills they will need to succeed in their professional careers.

Lassiter says she has primarily worked with entrepreneurs and people looking to become life coaches themselves, but one thing she highlights is that a certain education level isn’t necessary for her clients to achieve their goals.

“There are so many different people from so many different backgrounds: ministers, teachers and health care workers,” said Lassiter. 

Part of what Lassiter says makes Say Life! coaches successful is that they are just as diverse as their clientele and are therefore able to accommodate people in a multitude of specialties. Lassiter said the coaches range widely in age and in education level, with some having joined the workforce right out of high school, and others having gone to law school or medical school.

One thing Lassiter says is important to her mentorship program is that new entrepreneurs do not get in their own way, emphasizing that internal narratives can affect a person’s external output.

“Whether you’re starting a hair care business or a sweets and treats or your own coaching practice– your success will depend on your mindset,” she said, calling mindset the common denominator.

When it comes to working with young graduates, Lassiter says she always has to remind them to treat themselves with grace. Pointing out that oftentimes, after the hype and excitement of graduation festivities end, recent graduates can feel lost or stagnant.

Since the pandemic, recent graduates have faced new difficulties entering the workforce, which include a decrease in employment and labor force participation rates.

According to Lassiter, there are skills needed that cannot be found in a purely academic environment. A key to success is finding creative ways to acquire those skills. Agencies like Say Life! Can be pivotal in that role.

Madeline Thigpen is an education reporter and Report for America Corps Member. She joined the Atlanta Voice in 2021. At the Voice she covers K-12 education for the Atlanta metro region and higher education....