About Jeff Ikler

Why I became a career coach

When we turn around and look at the wake of our life, we often see a common current in the most disparate of careers. The river that has run through my work life has been one of helping individuals first acquire knowledge, and then do something meaningful with that knowledge that enhances their lives.

I followed that philosophy first as a high school history teacher, then as an executive developing practical educational materials for students, teachers, and administrators, and now as a leadership consultant and career coach. 


I’ve chosen to focus on coaching careers for a number of reasons:

  • We spend an enormous amount of our life engaged in some kind of work. And if you’re reading this page, it’s likely that you’re among the 70% of all U.S. workers (Gallup statistic) who sit somewhere on the spectrum of being disengaged from that work.

  • Working in the corporate world for almost 40 years, I saw the debilitating impact on people who were not engaged in what they were doing. And that disengagement carried over to the organizations they were trying to serve.

  • Many of us tend to define ourselves – rightly or wrongly – by the work we do and the career path we’ve chosen.

  • And finally, our job/work/career often permeates other aspects of our life, either enhancing it or throwing it out of alignment.

Thus, the work you do should be satisfying—it should energize you and help bring meaning to why you’re here.

My coaching will help you gain insight into yourself, but then most importantly, it will help you choose meaningful actions—actions that develop you in ways that are aligned to your values and goals.  

Why I named my service “Quetico”

The word “Quetico” [KWHE-te-co] is a Native American term meaning “benevolent spirit that resides in a place of great beauty.” It’s a perfect description of the wilderness park by that name in southwestern Ontario, which I used to explore with some fellow teachers during our summers away from the classroom.

Quetico was first a place of great challenge. Motors are not allowed, so we were the power behind our canoes. Creature comforts were limited to what we could carry in on our backs. Getting from one lake to the next often required us to portage for a mile or more over muddy and mosquito-infested trails.

Quetico was also a place of great reflection. It became our place of restorative self-examination.

But Quetico was also a place of great reflection. The haunting song of the loon against the backdrop of the Northern Lights, the water lapping against the sides of our canoes, the crackling of a camp fire, and the wind rustling through the trees were all part of nature’s symphony. Quetico became our place of restorative self-examination.

My coaching environment offers you the same opportunity to pause and reflect, and to challenge yourself to move forward to the engaging, satisfying and rewarding work-life you seek.


What I have learned from the coaching experience is that the things that drive you and get in your way are not always obvious and that it takes a great coach and hard work to uncover the layers of our lives and help us discover and actualize our purpose. I found Jeff to be insightful and patient; willing to guide me in my own discovery while proving to be a skilled motivator and help me along at the pace best for me.”
— Chris
Jeff…really helped me boost my game. As someone whose business is 100% driven by my own effectiveness, my work with Jeff was an excellent investment.
— Kirsten

Coaching certifications and memberships