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Meet LaKiesha

From frustrated and underpaid to successful and making a difference.

Hi, I’m LaKiesha Tomlin.

I help technical and engineering leaders to improve employee engagement and retention – whether that’s increasing collaboration, growing careers or building professional relationships.


But that’s not where I started.

Early in my career, I was trying to get ahead the same way most professionals try to get ahead.

  • I was “connecting” with everybody because I thought it was the right thing to do.
  • I was applying to jobs online – (I think I applied to about 120 jobs within my own company, and even more at other companies).
  • I went on about 40 interviews… and I got some offers, but none of them were great.

And I was frustrated.

I was putting in so much time and work, but it wasn’t panning out. I started doubting my skills (even though my resume was legit and impressive).

I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

Fast forward to today.

I’ve had global engineering leadership positions at top companies in aviation and computer technology and I’m the founder of Thriving Ambition, Inc., a management consulting company that works with technical organizations and companies to increase engagement and improve retention. 

I’m a leader that my team (and others) look up to.

I get to help others

  • land their dream jobs,
  • execute employee engagement initiatives,
  • deploy employee retention strategies
  • and share my engineering management thought leadership with thousands of people…

And I get to travel around the world, work on leading technology projects, make new friends in several countries – and I’ve even fulfilled one of my bucket list items of walking on the Great Wall of China.


Great Wall of China, Beijing, CN – November 2017

So what happened?

How did I go from hundreds of job applications for “safe” positions, awkward interviews, and a handful of mediocre offers…

…to being a successful leader…

…and even someone executives seek out for advice about their own challenges and goals, like achieving work-life balance or figuring out their next career step.

It wasn’t that I just “worked harder,” or revamped my resume a million times, or slowly, painstakingly worked my way up the chain.

I was able to leapfrog to where I am today because I made 4 key shifts:

  • Relationships – I started reaching out to leaders in areas I was interested in and building relationships with them – so when opportunities came up, I was already top of mind for them.
  • Clarity – I learned how to talk about myself and my mission – not just in interviews, but also in conversations with other leaders and executives within my company.
  • Confidence – I had to get comfortable talking about my accomplishments. (It’s not “bragging” – the people interviewing you WANT to know what you’ve done!)
  • Positioning – I learned to “market” myself – i.e., talk about my accomplishments in a way that was appealing to the interview panels.

Today, I work with technical organizations looking to improve employee retention and engagement and career development.

I also work with technical leaders and executives who are successful and looking for ways to improve their work-life balance so they can have more time with their families and doing the things they love (outside of work).

Interested in working together?

Click Here


What Past Clients Are Saying:

“LaKiesha was very efficient at developing steps that were easy to execute to get me to the next level of my career goals. I also greatly appreciated the fact that she followed up to make sure that I completed those steps and was genuinely concerned with making sure I achieved the expected outcome.”

– Michael H., PhD

LaKiesha took the time to hear my frustrations
with my career. I loved the company I was working for, and I especially loved the people – but I didn’t feel passionate about that particular job.

I went through many job interviews before talking to LaKiesha, but when I used her advice, things started to change. Instead of just being a final candidate for most interviews, I was being offered jobs. I finally accepted an offer that best fit my passion.

Walter S.

LaKiesha’s coaching is
unique, insightful, and very beneficial for my upcoming interviews. Her techniques equipped me with ways on controlling the interview and negotiating salary. I had greater confidence after our coaching sessions.

LaKiesha listened, questioned, and identified the guidance needed and provided directions on what to do & how to achieve my desired goals. She opened my eyes to the need of a coach. I highly recommend her coaching sessions.

Terrell H.


10 Facts About Me

#1. I absolutely love travel! I’ve been bit by the travel bug a couple years ago…solo international travel, conferences, birthday parties and meeting up with old friends. I like to stay connected.

Kiesha Paris Part Deux July 2016

Paris, France – 2016


#2. I’m not super-religious. I consider myself to be more spiritual. I believe in God/ Jesus. Connecting to God through prayer, appreciation of nature/life and expressions of gratitude. I also believe in: living a life of optimism, progressive thought, and simplicity.


#3. My diet is mostly pescetarian. It’s like being a vegetarian but you can eat fish and seafood. I cheat and eat chicken every now and then to make sure I’m getting enough protein.


#4. I’m always listening to music. I love Jazz, R&B, Gospel, some Rock and tons of old school music. Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Earth, Wind and Fire, Alanis Morissette, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Katy Perry, India.Arie and many, many more. Got caught lip-syncing and dancing in my seat a work too many times!

kiesha Mammoth Lakes CA January 2016

Mammoth Lakes, CA – 2016

#5. I don’t watch much TV. I can go weeks without. I ditched my cable years ago and got Netflix and will occasionally binge watch a few seasons of my favorite shows.


#6. I love movies. Action movies, the classics (black & white) and stuff that makes me laugh. Give me a good fight scene and tons of explosions over a sappy “romance” movie any day!


#7. I am a super nerd and total book lover. Usually, I’ll have a list full of chores to do on the weekends. Instead of cleaning or whatever, I’ll spend my time finishing a book. I’m a huge fan of non-fiction books based on: psychology, autobiographies, business, leadership and personal development. (Shocking, I know, haha.)

Kiesha Copenhagen Denmark August 2016

Copenhagen, Denmark – August 2016


#8. I am a minimalist. I realized that excessive material possessions only complicate life. I moved 3 times in 2 years. I focus on QUALITY vs QUANTITY. I still cull things from my life that do not bring me happiness, including personal relationships.


#9. I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I have lived in Maryland and California (SoCal and NorCal). My goal is to save up enough money to travel the world for 1 year primarily in Europe and Asia.


#10. I am an extrovert! I love hanging out with people, making new connections and being sarcastic and goofy with friends. After a long day of talking to dozens of people, I unwind by kicking off my shoes and pants, grabbing a snack and firing up my computer to recharge.

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