Meet the Canadian accountant who became a YouTube star
Linda Raynier became a social media star as a career coach and strategist who helps professionals find fulfilling careers
TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2017 – Linda Raynier knows what it’s like to struggle in your career. A professional accountant by training, she left the world of audit and accounting to focus on a personal journey of fulfilment.
Today, Raynier is a social media star with more than 115,000 subscribers on YouTube. She has built a successful business as a career strategist who inspires and instructs others. “I wanted to share my insights and inspire people,” she explains. “I started doing videos on subjects I was passionate about. Then I started educating people as well.”
She began producing videos just one year ago, working from a script and using a digital camera, professional lighting and iMovie editing software. She has now produced more than 30 videos, from “How do I figure out the career I’m meant to do?” to her latest, “Age discrimination in hiring & how to overcome it.”
The Toronto-based Raynier began her career at a Big Four accounting firm but experienced a personal crisis early on. She had chosen her career based “purely on logic rather than feeling. My feelings of frustration and unhappiness were speaking louder than my thoughts.”
Finally, says Raynier, “I couldn’t rationalize staying in a job that was not the right fit. Emotionally, it was a huge struggle. Everything in my life — all the decisions I had made — had led me to a job that seemed like the end of the road.”
In 2012, she joined a professional recruitment company as a senior associate, specializing in accounting placement, “from financial analysts all the way up the CEO level.” Says Raynier, “I found that I was really good at it, really early on. I was breaking records and making good money.”
She was frustrated, however, by the many candidates with strong resumés who did not know how to sell themselves. “I knew that I still really wanted to help people in their careers because my own career struggle was ongoing.”
She decided to start her own business but got valuable experience as a part-time career coach at CPA Ontario, giving advice on job search strategies, resumés and interview questions. Several of the CPAs she advised asked her to become their personal career coach.
Raynier is the first Canadian-born child of Vietnamese refugees. “I was raised to believe that I would become a professional, make lots of money and have a stable, prestigious career. That was kind of the mindset. In Canada, a lot of the people in professional jobs are either immigrants or their parents were immigrants.”
She says it is common for children of immigrants to feel their futures are limited solely to traditionally stable, professional careers. Many would like to leverage their professional designations to pursue other interests but won’t leave their jobs because of security and fear of the unknown.
“I had to go deeper within myself and discover that I was much more than the job I was in,” she explains. “I had to be honest about who I was and follow my internal guidance, because I was seeing better personal results than when I using logic.”
For aspiring social media stars, Raynier says you must have a strategy. “There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into developing videos,” she explains. “You have to do your research and know what people want. The videos must also be engaging. If you’re not giving people what they need in the first 10 seconds, they will quickly skip away.”
The topics for her videos tend to be driven by questions from her clients and followers. She writes her titles and descriptions with search engine optimization in mind but does not market her videos, preferring instead to let the metrics grow organically. Her YouTube traffic drives people to her website, lindaraynier.com, where she sells a range of coaching services.
She’s already thinking about the next step in her career. Having reached capacity as a career coach, Raynier is looking at developing an online course, as well as public and motivational speaking. This self-described “one-woman show” may be ready for a bigger stage.
Colin Ellis is editor-in-chief of Canadian Accountant.