Nicole O’Hara came to The Branding Boutique at a turning point in her career. Years of experience working with HR teams instilled in her a passion for bringing joy to the workplace — and for mending the breakdown in communication that she saw occurring over and over again. That passion led to the birth of Engag.ic: her very own HR consulting agency.
“Engag.ic,” Nicole says, “is all about the magic of employee engagement and internal communications. It’s about making people happy at work again.” Always the caregiver and nurturer, Nicole advocates for understanding between employers and employees and empowers people to stand up for themselves positively in the workplace.
Before Nicole could speak empowerment into others’ lives, though, she had to dig deep into her core essence and empower herself with what she found there. The result is a strong, heartfelt brand that embodies her endearing, bubbly personality and her heart-warming mission.
Read on to learn more about Nicole’s journey from aimless office worker to self-assured CEO!
Nicole describes the first 13 years of her professional life as “run-of-the-mill.” She worked at a brokerage firm in New York, sitting at a desk and crafting communications campaigns for HR teams.
“I had been pretty much on autopilot from college,” she says. “I had kind of fallen into my part-time job while I was in college, and I grew with the company for 13 years.”
Shortly after starting a new role as Marketing Director and Regional Client Communications Leader at a global insurance brokerage firm, everything changed. When the pandemic hit, Nicole — like many others — found herself laid off and adrift.
“When I was laid off, having to get out on the job market was all new to me,” Nicole says. “But I took it as an opportunity to start the business I had always envisioned.”
Nicole turned to the internet for inspiration. One click led to another, and through the Strategic Charm Boutique, she found a comforting connection with Shana Robinson, CEO of The Branding Boutique. Now, trying to picture the woman she really wanted to be, Nicole decided it was the perfect time to reinvent herself.
Over several calls with Shana, Nicole uncovered her inner motivation and laid the foundation for her dream to be birthed. “It was those early calls,” she says, “that rooted me into believing that I could really do this. I kind of thought of myself as a communications person, but Shana dug out that I was passionate about the experience, making people happy, and being able to solve problems on all sides for employers and employees.”
Armed with a better understanding of herself, Nicole was able to throw open the doors to building her dream business. “An amazing part of the process was when we sat together for the CEO Brand Audit,” she recalls. “It’s really cool to have that moment to think big, dream big, and reinvent yourself to fit that vision – then to see it all come together in the branding, styling, and photoshoots!”
Nicole remembers the exact moment that her big vision came to life and took root in her day-to-day life: “We were talking about an experience I’d had, and that was when we realized, wow, I think we have something here! This is it!”
More than just communications, Nicole realized it was about employee engagement and empowering others to use their voice to transform the trajectory of their careers.
With Nicole’s mission nailed down, it was time to find her own unique styling for her brand.
She names the photoshoot as another highlight of her experience with The Branding Boutique because that was where she finally saw everything come together in stunning images and truly felt herself step into her CEO identity.
Now resolute in her purpose and confident in her brand, Nicole stepped into her role as an independent woman, a business owner, and a CEO, and launched Engag.ic officially on April 9, 2021.
Since launching Engag.ic, Nicole has experienced a constant stream of positive attention and reactions to her brand. From ravings over how beautiful the branding is to lead magnet downloads and a growing email list, it’s clear that Engag.ic’s message speaks to its audience – because when you uncover what’s truly at the heart of why you’re building your business, your audience feels your authenticity.
“I’ve had some really positive feedback,” Nicole says, laughing with excitement. “People have asked me, ‘How did you pull it all together? It looks so good!’ And I just tell them, ‘Talk to Shana!’”
Now, Nicole is focused on maintaining and growing her business, grateful that she was able to come out of the COVID pandemic a stronger, more self-reliant woman. As she prepares to meet the busy fall season head-on, she’s careful to nurture the clients she already has and to continue learning the best methods for lead generation.
Now that Nicole has started dreaming, she isn’t likely to stop. Her goal is to create a safe, balanced space where employees and HR teams alike can get feedback on situations they’ve faced and learn how to deal with issues more fairly in the future, all while infusing more joy and satisfaction into the workplace.
People are already coming to Nicole for guidance in dealing with their own management and company cultures. True to form, she keeps it real and encourages positive change on both sides of the employee-employer relationship.
You can learn more about Engag.ic and connect with Nicole on Linkedin.