Paula M. Jones
I'm thankful to have received the message that doing well in school was an important goal, however, I find it is often touted as the singlemost important definition of success for young people. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have met my “Wise Aunt Bea”, a therapist who explained the intricate behavior patterns of the people around me, beginning in my early teen years, decades before the "mental health" movement began. She was a tremendous gift - a stable, committed and supportive adult who greatly expanded my definition of success to include happiness, good people, fun and even a spiritual life. With her guidance, I began to develop self-awareness and independence, and lived by the adage that if I could “make the unconscious conscious” I could realize the life I had promised myself.
I put myself through college and law school while working full-time during the day. I’ve been practicing international estate law for high net-worth individuals for twenty-five years and opened my own law firm in 2015. I have applied the same philosophy of self-awareness and people skills to develop a thriving law practice, respected network of colleagues and treasured clients.
As a teenager, I understood what it was like to make ends meet on a minimum wage job, living in a rented room, with a broken-down car. I also discerned how my life had been far more advantageous than many others, since I had an excellent education and had grown up in an upper-class neighborhood. Having vowed never to forget my earlier experiences, I started Zia, Inc. in 2015, a charitable organization fighting food insecurity among Philadelphia schoolchildren and their families.
The knowledge gained so many years ago has remained the basis of my approach to all areas of my life. For the past thirty-five years I have observed how personal development, self-awareness and relationship skills in the workplace – or lack thereof – directly impact an individual’s personal success, happiness, and an organization’s culture, turnover and ultimately, bottom line. My writing and speaking shares Everything Nobody Ever Told Me to inspire and support those pursuing a professional career.