49 Voices: Bobbie Sue Wolk of Anchorage

Bobbie Sue Wolk of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

This week we’re hearing from Bobbie Sue Wolk in Anchorage. Wolk is originally from California and was the state’s first licensed professional coach with the International Coaching Federation. Today she helps health professionals manage their stress.

Listen now

WOLK: Let’s say I was young and needed a change, and I had no idea what Alaska was going to hold for me. And I fell in love with it, surprise to me of all people. So I’m still here.

I quickly was realizing I didn’t really have any skills, so I went back to the University of Alaska majoring in accounting. Not that I loved accounting, but I needed a job at the end of college, so that’s how I got into my accounting profession.

So I was in my mid-40s when I went back and got my master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology. That’s when I learned about coaching. And so for the past 15 years, I keep learning more and more about coaching and people and getting certifications along the way.

The medical community is under such high stress. Doctor burnout is at a record high. Health care professionals are burning out. They’re super stressed out. So the well-being coaching will actually help them. I have tools and ways to work with them to help alleviate their stress.

Only in Alaska could a single person at 32 start their own accounting business, and people believed enough in me to give me a chance. Only in Alaska can I start a new career at 45, and people give me a chance. And only in Alaska, at now 48, I’m starting the health and well-being coaching.

I don’t think I could’ve ever achieved the success, or have the opportunities that I have here, if I would’ve stayed in California.

a portrait of a man outside

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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