Conversations on Social Work Careers: Nicki Sanders

Conversations on Social Work Careers: Nicki Sanders is by Jennifer Luna and is part of a larger series called Conversations with Social Work Careers. This article was originally posted on

A conversation with Nicki Sanders

     In this episode of Conversations on Social Work Careers, Your Social Work Career Coach Jennifer Luna talks with Nicki Sanders, MSW.

     Nicki Sanders supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As a social work career empowerment coach, she helps her clients develop the confidence, competence, and credibility to lead with authenticity and boldness. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple—to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers and employees thrive individually and collectively.

     Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management, leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and more than 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and ’80s hip hop and R&B music.

Nicki’s Social Work Philosophy

  • Define social work career success on your own terms.
  • Social workers do not take a vow of poverty.
  • Social work skills are high income skills.
  • Social work skills are highly transferable.
  • Professional burnout is not a rite of passage.

Nicki Sanders’ Personal Philosophy on Leadership

  • Leadership is a privilege.
  • Leadership is about impact and influence, not a title.
  • Leadership is earned, not demanded.
  • Leadership is about transformation, not transactions.
  • Great leaders create more great leaders.

Nicki’s Career Coaching Framework

     Strategic career management is the lifelong process of investing resources into your career to maintain or increase your value in the workplace, undertake work that is personally satisfying, strive for work/life balance, and achieve financial security. The three pillars in her strategic career management framework are clarity, credibility, and congruency.

By Jennifer Luna
Jennifer Luna