By Dr. Karyn

Hello DK Leadership Community! 

It’s not easy to find workplace happiness today. Young people consistently report having a lot of anxiety when it comes to figuring out their “Dream Career” – and for good reason! Times have changed – when I was in high school (ok, now I’m aging myself!), most of my peers were considering between a few of maybe 20 common careers. New graduates today are faced with literally 100’s of options, with more being created every day! And while choice is usually a good thing, we are now living in an era of “too many choices”; many students feel the burden of having to “get it right” – first in choosing their education, but also in finding the right job, and it leaves them feeling overwhelmed, anxious and often too paralyzed to make any big decisions.


80% Of Current Students Are Uncertain About Their Major.

Source: New York Times


Plus, this is no longer just a ‘teen issue’ – this is impacting many adults as well! The average adult now can expect to have 11 careers (no longer just 1 like our parents may have experienced), and 77% of adults express dis-satisfaction with their life and career (Source: Globe & Mail). So it has become a critical question for many of us: How can I help myself and my teens / young adult children to be part of that 23% who love their life and career?
Thankfully, there are concrete answers to this question, and if it is a relevant concern for you or another family-member, I hope to get you started on the right path today!

Below I’ve listed 3 great tips to get you started, but before you read them I want to mention this:

If you need more help in this area – I have 2 options:

  1. Come hear me speak on the topic! I speak at dozens of educational conferences & schools every year (often it’s free for the adults / parents attending)
  2. Attend our “Strategic Career” Event (LIVE Webinar or Toronto Office). It’s an inspiring full-day event with 3 customized assessments to help you understand yourself and what careers fit you best! Our past students (high school / college / university / adults in transition) from 17 countries around the world give us rave reviews, with 96% rating it ‘outstanding’! (You can read more about this event and upcoming dates by clicking here)

Ok let’s dive-in with 3 simple tips to equip you (or your teens / adult children) to discover their Dream Career!

Tip #1:            Know Yourself

Who are you?  Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Dreamer or detail-oriented? How do you manage your time? When I interviewed 50+ Industry Leaders 3 years ago, nearly 75% of them said the first step to finding your Dream Career is to know yourself!  This is the foundational question. I did my first personality assessment when I was 21 and to be honest, I was skeptical. How could answering 100 questions on a form tell me anything about myself? But I was wrong! When I read through the 20-page custom document – it nailed me! It explained how I get my energy, how I make decisions, how I manage my time and even described how I respond to conflict. I appreciate anything that saves time – so yes, we could spend our entire lifetime trying to ‘get to know ourselves’ OR we could use high quality assessments designed to do it for us! It’s your choice…

Tip #2:             Learn Our SECRET Formula

So what’s the secret for finding your Dream Career? I have learned personally and through working with 100’s of leaders and organizations that it’s a combination of knowing your personality (what naturally energizes you) + knowing the industries that you are interested in + knowing your values!  Over 90% of the adults that have taken our course say it was our values assessment that gave them their ‘A-Hah Moment’. We need to know our values so we can make career decisions that will align with them!

Tip #3:             Know Where The Jobs Are

Once you know your career direction – the next step is to do your research on the job market.  Talk to industry experts in your field to hear their insights, suggestions and tips. Where are the jobs? What education would they recommend? What should a person do to give themselves a competitive edge in their industry? What schools would they recommend?  Every industry has their “Super Stars”. You need to track these people down, and then take initiative, pick up the phone or send an email, and ask for their input.  You’ll likely be surprised with how forthcoming they are with their knowledge!  Remember, information is powerful, and every piece you gather will bring you 1 step closer to reaching your Dream Career.

Do you have other tips for helping a person find their career direction? I’d love to hear them! Email me at karyn@dkleadership.org.

Sincerely,
Your Leadership & Relationship Coach
Dr. Karyn

By Dr. Karyn

Hello DK Leadership Community! 

The topic of resilience is everywhere. I was recently asked to speak at a conference that wanted to help build resilience in younger employees. That same week I was asked by 4 different parents how to build more resilience, or toughness in their kids.  As a Leadership Coach (for companies & families), I get asked about resilience a lot, and for good reason – difficulties in life and work are guaranteed! In our complex modern world, change is constant, rapid, disruptive and often unpredictable. Resilience, the capacity to recover quickly when something doesn’t go the way we want it to, is an essential tool for navigating these uncertain times, and it begins with having an optimistic mindset.


Harvard researchers have identified an optimistic mindset as the top factor for overcoming difficulty. They discovered people who never gave up interpreted their setbacks as temporary (“It’ll go away soon”), local (“It’s just one situation”) and changeable (“I can do something about it”).

Source: Harvard University


Researchers also suggest that learning optimism can prevent “learned helplessness” and even help manage depression and anxiety. Optimism is actually a core component of Emotional Intelligence – which research tells us is one of the greatest predictors of whether someone will be “successful” in their life and career.

The great news about this topic is that resilience is a muscle we can all develop and personally, it’s a skill I am passionate about teaching! Resilience empowers us to face life’s challenges head on so we can foster progress from our pain.  It helps us deal with unexpected challenges and changes in our lives, whether it’s a poor test score or the loss of a job or loved one. Below are 4 takeaways to build resilience; I hope these tips will inspire you, your team and your family.

Tip #1:            Expect Roadblocks & Failure

In one of my favorite books (it’s a classic), The Road Less Traveled, Dr. Scott Peck challenges readers to learn to manage their failure by expecting it to happen. It sounds crazy, I know, but expecting life to be difficult is exactly what helps us move beyond disappointment, blaming and victim-hood.

Tip #2:             Focus On The Big Picture

Failure can feel discouraging, and it’s easy to get worked up over temporary setbacks. Don’t let small roadblocks make you lose sight of how they affect the larger picture. One sure way to keep a long-term perspective is to remember why you failed in the first place: you were trying to achieve something you care deeply about.

Tip #3:             Keep A Gratitude Journal

One of the superpowers of Great Leaders (at work & home) – is to tap into the secret weapon of gratitude. I’ve kept a gratitude journal for years, but last year after reading more research on this topic, I increased my gratitude & meditation time to 30 minutes – 1 hour each day. It’s been a game-changer for me (just ask my family & team, since they noticed an immediate difference!) Why? Because focusing on things we are grateful for fuels optimism and mental toughness, it reduces stress and overall increases our emotional energy. Gratitude, simply put, helps us be the best version of ourselves. And the best news – its free and we can do it anywhere / anytime!

Tip #4:             Surround Yourself With “Realistic Optimists”
Staying objective can be tough to pull off on our own. That’s why it’s so critical to be around colleagues, team members, friends and family who will not only provide a hopeful perspective but also a healthy dose of realism. Personally, I have my inner “core group” of friends and family. They intimately know me, my strengths and weaknesses and have a powerful way to encourage me (optimistic) while still being honest (realistic) – an incredible combination!

Do you have other tips for helping a person build their resilience muscle? I’d love to hear them! Email me at karyn@dkleadership.org.

Sincerely,
Your Leadership & Relationship Coach
Dr. Karyn