Yukiko (Yuki) Parent
Born in Hokkaido, Japan. After college graduation, I worked in the hotel industry, but unable to give up my childhood dream of becoming a flight attendant, I quit my job and studied abroad in Canada. Upon returning to Japan, I worked as a flight attendant for an international airline for ten years. After leaving my job to get married and raise children, I worked at an advertising company and as an English coach before embarking on my career in Co-Active Coaching. In 2018, I encountered coaching at a corporate workshop, and in 2019 began studying coaching with Co-Active Coaching Training Institute (CTI). For one year starting August 2022, I will be based in Canada, and all sessions held during this time will be online.
When I was in elementary school, I learned about the profession of flight attendant from a Japanese television drama. Watching the main character triumph over challenges, I decided that was what I wanted to do with my life. My family knows my personality - once my heart is set on something, nothing gets in my way - and was supportive as I pursued my path, sending me to a school with a strong English program, for I would need to be able to speak English if I wanted to work on international flights. In college, I became an English literature major.
I worked hard and thought I was on my way to becoming a flight attendant, but after graduating from college, I tested and interviewed with several domestic airlines but was turned down by all. I wondered if I’d been aiming for a goal that was beyond my reach, and found a job in the hotel industry. While I enjoyed my job, I was unable to give up my dream of becoming a flight attendant. I quit my job at the hotel and decided to study abroad in Canada.
In Canada, I worked in a café and attended English language classes, making sure not to speak Japanese. And that was when I learned that back in Japan, I’d been so worried about what others thought of me that I could not voice my own opinions. I was never looked down upon in Canada because I did not speak perfect English. In fact, our differences were accepted and celebrated. I was able to start accepting myself in the way that I was embraced by others. And I began to believe that I too had things I wanted to share.
The year in Canada flew by, and as I was getting ready to fly back to Japan, the September 11 attacks shocked the world. It also affected the hiring of flight attendants at airlines, and again, I found the doors closing. But I was going to keep moving forward, enrolling in flight attendant school and keeping up my studies while working for a well-established hotel in Tokyo.
Six months later, the airlines began to hire again, and I was fortunate enough to land a job as an international flight attendant. It took several attempts and false starts but my dream had finally been achieved. I would be able to work on a plane, a special place for me.
Through this experience I learned that even when faced with various obstacles, things will start to move in the right direction if I believed in myself and my future. The career path I’d pursued since childhood, the challenges and disappointments included, provide the foundation to my coaching practice now.
I left my flight attendant career after marriage and children, and in 2018, attended a corporate training session in which I encountered coaching for the first time. Watching the participants’ expressions transform over the course of the workshop inspired me to learn more about coaching, to see how a coach is able to effectively support their clients.
I earned my coaching certification and currently hold client sessions with the belief that deep, insightful communication is essential to making big life changes.
There is something I have continued for the past year, something I’d previously disliked: running.
It began with a social media event. I gave myself the goal of running 2 kilometers every day for a month. After completing the challenge, I decided to extend the distance to 5 kilometers, which I still run today.
Was it always easy? Of course not. Every morning, I wake up and think, “Should I go today?”
That’s when I imagine the satisfaction and energy after a run, having fulfilled a commitment to myself, and the people who support my challenge on social media.
Since starting my personal challenge, I’ve posted my runs on my social media, sharing beautiful running spots and photos of flowers, my ‘shower runs’ (what I call my rainy-day runs), photos that I hope brighten somebody’s day and maybe inspire them to go out for a run themselves.
Small steps lead to big change.
If there is something that interests you right now, that might be the key to bringing change to your life.