Caroline Dowd-Higgins Career Coach • Author • Speaker Sun, 25 Jan 2015 18:04:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Working Life with Guy Kawasaki Sat, 24 Jan 2015 16:04:26 +0000 Guy Kawasaki discusses power tips for power users in his new book: The Art of Social Media.

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Your Working Life with Catherine Kaputa Sat, 24 Jan 2015 16:02:08 +0000 Catherine Kaputa is a brand strategist, speaker and author of Women Who Brand: How Smart Women Promote Themselves and Get Ahead.

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Join Me and The Career Disruptors in San Francisco on February 10th Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:53:02 +0000 It’s time to break the rules or create new ones to forge innovative careers in the new normal of this job economy. The Indiana University Alumni Association is doing just that by featuring a power panel of rock star alumni to discuss disruptive innovation, the art of failure, and being entrepreneurial – whether you are a business owner or not.

Join me at WordPress’s Automattic Lounge in San Francisco on February 10th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm Pacific Time for a not to be missed event with delicious food and libations featuring renowned IU Alumni: Tony Conrad, Valerie Grubb, David Krane, and Deborah Collins Stephens. With a special welcome by engineer and innovative thought leader, Indiana Lt. Governor, Sue Ellspermann. I’m moderating this extraordinary program and if you are in the Bay area – please join me!

Open to the public – register here or sign up to receive the video on demand to watch at your convenience, which is free to IUAA members.

Here is a glimpse of what’s on tap at this special event.

What Do You Want to Be Known For?

Thought leaders have passion, expertise, and a desire to change the world. If you are ready to break away from the pack and distinguish yourself for what makes you unique – game on!

Disruptive Innovators

What would you do if you were not afraid? Learn about the bold and risky innovations that led to wildly successful endeavors. Challenging the status quo can change the world.

Everybody Should Think Like an Entrepreneur

Taking a risk, being nimble and adaptable and leading with innovation are essential traits for an entrepreneur. Thinking intra-preneurially for those work in an organization is just as important.

Fail Forward, Fast, and Often

Failure should be celebrated and propel you forward in your career endeavors. Hear the candid stories of failing forward and how the power panelists bounced back with resilience to create new successes.

Ripples of Influence

Great leaders become even better by helping others. Learn about the necessity of paying-it-forward to groom the next generation of leaders and how these extraordinary game changers became who they are today with the help of others. 

Disruptors Event 5-7:00 pm – Automattic Lounge at WordPress

132 Hawthorne Street – San Francisco, CA 94107


Disruptors Event: Contact Erin Bruce 812-856-7260



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Thrive! Webisode with Molly McDonald Sat, 17 Jan 2015 20:42:06 +0000 Molly McDonald, owner of Body, Mind & Molly massage therapy practice shares her wisdom about treating your body well and thriving as an entrepreneur.

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How To Recharge, Reignite, or Reinvent Your Career Sat, 17 Jan 2015 19:50:03 +0000 According to The Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey less than half of US workers are satisfied with their jobs. Now is a great time to ramp up your career reinvention efforts and reflect upon what would gratify you in a career. If this is not the career you ordered, it’s time to jumpstart your professional reinvention so you can regain control and thrive.

Sunday Night Blues – If you suffer from the Sunday Night Blues and dread the thought of going back to work on Monday morning, it’s time to consider why. Bad jobs, even bad bosses are a reality – but suffering is optional. If you are not playing to your strengths in a work environment that honors your professional values and your contribution – it’s time to explore other opportunities that can be a better fit. Perhaps you are underemployed, stuck on a low rung of the organizational ladder, or in a career field you simply don’t enjoy. You have the power to make a change now.

Degrees of Reinvention – Not everyone wants a major career overhaul. Some will be happy with a few tweaks in a current organization. Consider pursuing a new role to satisfy the project envy you have for work in another department if you are happy with your company. Recharging an existing career is possible but first you need to assess your sweet spot – what you do well that your company really needs.

If you want a full-scale career reinvention to explore a new field – game on! It’s possible as long as you can illustrate your value add to the employer in the new field and clearly articulate your relevant skills. Being in control of your professional story is up to you. Think like a salesperson and sell what you have based on what the employer needs that matches your area of interest. If you have no experience in a new career field, volunteering is a terrific way to learn the ropes and gain credibility in a new area.

Overcome The Permission Paradox – Don’t let lack of experience paralyze you from moving forward with a career change or reinvention. According to Jim Citrin, Leader CEO Practice at Spencer Stuart suggests that you focus on your potential and your track record as a professional. In a LinkedIn blog, Citrin urged professionals to re-imagine their experience, get creative, be willing to start at the bottom and get credentials to empower them with the skills they need to succeed. You need not always add another degree to your pedigree. Micro-credentials and certificates – even volunteer experience can make a difference.

Act Like a Winner – There is no room for whining and victim behavior in a competitive job market. If your job sucks, change it. Be resilient, focus on playing to your strengths and stay positive since employers hire for culture fit as well as skills. They can smell a bad attitude a mile away. Focus on the success of others as you cultivate your success strategy. Lead with your curiosity and be a learning animal.

Thinking intra-preneurially is essential within an organization since the innovative, resilient, and risk-taking mindset of an entrepreneur is valuable even if you are not running your own business.

Start with Self Reflection – Consider working with an advisor or a career coach and take quiet time to reflect upon your current values, interests, strengths and your personality and how these play a role at work. What you enjoyed career wise 5 years ago may have changed. Perhaps your life circumstances have changed after raising kids, taking care of elderly parents, or getting downsized after a merger or acquisition.

Whose Got Your Back? –Assemble your Personal Board of Directors – individuals with whom you can bounce ideas off of and ask questions. Ask them what they think you do well. You might be surprised to discover new ideas that you never considered, or skills you took for granted that really energize you. Be a mensch and pay-it-forward to someone else in need because perpetuating good career karma is the right thing to do. Successful leaders become even better by helping others.

Develop a Plan – Successful people recognize that it’s up to them to decide their career fate. You must constantly bob and weave as a professional and you can change your mind and your career as often as you wish if you are willing to work for it. Give yourself permission to dream big and keep your skills and interests current so you can pursue the goals that may seem out of reach. Do your research, investigate opportunities, and nourish your network before you need it and you will always be ready.

Know Your Professional Brand – Your professional brand plays a major role in your current and future success. Gone are the days when you were defined by your resume or cover letter. With over 300 million users, you should have a compelling profile on LinkedIn but your brand must translate into sparkling conversation beyond an online profile. What sets you apart? What are you (or want to be) world-class at? What makes you unique? These are the building blocks of your brand.

A Job, A Career, or a Calling- Think about what you can’t live without doing and you may discover a new career opportunity. Be purposeful, ask for help, and give yourself permission to thrive. Anyone can get a job. A career has meaning and gives you satisfaction and the ultimate calling is when what you do for a living never feels like work.

Life is too short to be miserable in your career. My mantra is: Enjoy Your Career. Love Your Life!

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Your Working Life Podcast with CardNinja Founders Sat, 17 Jan 2015 19:48:27 +0000 Sunder & Kumar Jambunathan with Chris Page make up the founding management team of CardNinja – an innovative cardholder that sticks to cell phones.

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Your Working Life Podcast with Denise Restauri Sat, 17 Jan 2015 19:42:38 +0000 Denise Restauri is the author of the Forbes book: Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk From Women Who Beat The Youth Trap.

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Your Working Life Podcast with Mike Volpe Sat, 10 Jan 2015 17:51:18 +0000 Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer at HubSpot discusses the company policy of unlimited vacation time.

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How Personal Brand Impacts Your Career: Guest Post Maegan Watson Sat, 10 Jan 2015 17:46:15 +0000 In my continued quest to empower women with great resources, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Maegan Watson, a personal branding expert who has helped me greatly.

Maegan is a wife, sister, yogi, personal branding guru and the founder of My Dear Watson.  She has nearly a decade of experience supporting professionals by building their career-transforming visibility.  She solves the unending question of “what will I wear today?” so your energy is reserved for family, fulfilling work, and fun!

Enjoy this guest blog post from Maegan to learn why branding is powerful and why you need to focus on yours today.

Think about the last movie you watched with teenage characters in it. I bet the high school scene in the movie was full of stereotypical groups. Jocks wore jerseys, math team members wore glasses, cheerleaders wore skirts, punks had green hair and the Goths wore black eyeliner. Do you have this visual? How easy it is to decipher this scene you may have even lived, but seen so many times onscreen? You can understand something about these different groups just by looking at them before a single word is spoken. Movies use strong stereotypical brands to convey a message. The understanding of a scene is almost always dependent upon you learning something about the character just by looking at them. This is called branding and in the real world branding can either work for you, or against you.

So how can you make the power of branding work for you? You are not dressing for a character or a certain role. This image must be created for your life; it should show your strengths, your passions, and emulate what drives you to get out bed every morning. It should visually represent your values; things like peace, health, authenticity, strength, leadership or whatever your core qualities encompass.

Perhaps you know your values but you still struggle to find value-aligned opportunities. Job offers, promotions, dates, donations, or whatever else you are seeking. Well that’s because no one else knows your values, no one else can see (yes, literally see) what you are all about. This is where you can make a big impact with personal branding. Humans are visual beings. My job is to show you what your values LOOK LIKE so your image can speak for you.

You must look like your values. Whatever message you are trying to send whether it is to save the turtles, or hire me for a new position – it will be misread, lack power, and be unheard if your image doesn’t support the message.

Do you feel like you have to move mountains to get people to understand you?

Well friends, that’s personal branding. Your message will be received loud and clearly when the package (that’s you) sending the message is aligned with your values. Want to get your message heard? This work has to be done from the inside and the best time to start is now.

I am working with Maegan to define my brand so it aligns with my personal and professional values and reflects the message I want to lead with. It has been a fun and refreshing process to discover the brand I want to show the world. Thanks, Maegan for being a trusted part of my Personal Board of Directors!





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Handling Personal Issues On the Job: 4 Tips To Help Sat, 03 Jan 2015 19:21:21 +0000 In a perfect world, we’d be able to do our jobs without personal issues ever causing a ripple. Our work life would stay neatly in the work compartment, our personal life would stay perfectly in the personal compartment, and each area would behave itself and not cross the other’s boundaries…

Of course that’s not the way things usually work. “Life happens”, as the saying goes, and the scales balancing work and personal life are bound to weigh more heavily toward the “personal” at various times throughout our careers.

Marriage or divorce, a big move, pregnancy, health or financial challenges, issues with a parent or child…any number of life events can make carrying on the day-to-day duties of a job more challenging.

The question many of my coaching clients ask when personal issues start to take center stage is, “How much should I tell my boss and other work associates?”

While there is no hard and fast answer since work cultures and relationships with colleagues can vary greatly, I advise using discretion whenever possible.

Here are 4 tips to help you discreetly navigate your personal issues in the workplace:

#1 –  Avoid Over-Sharing

In today’s social media driven world, people think nothing of sharing the minutest details of their lives with hundreds of online friends and a growing contingent feels that this is spilling over into the workplace. Leadership and Communications consultant, Peggy Klaus calls it “O.S.D” – Obsessive Sharing Disorder. “It’s a continuation of online behavior,” Klaus says, “…or as I like to say, Facebook in your face.”

Over-sharing personal issues at work can have negative consequences that can lead colleagues to see the over-sharer as a victim, self-absorbed/narcissistic, or uncommitted/ unable to fulfill the responsibilities of their job due to their problems.

#2 – Confide Only In Those You Trust

If you want to share news that you’re engaged or closing on a home, by all means, spread the joy at work. On the other hand, if it’s more serious news that you don’t want broadcast at the copy machine, I recommend sharing it with just one or two of your most trusted work friends if you need support. For additional confidential support, consider contacting a representative from your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if one is offered.

# 3 – Keep Your Boss In The Loop

If your ability to do your job is being compromised – either due to frequent absences (for outside meetings or appointments) or undue stress – it’s important to be straightforward with your boss about your circumstances. The more honest and direct you are, the more your boss can help create a situation where, ideally, you have the workplace support you need to work through your issues.

#4 – Consider Timing

Timing can make a difference in how personal news is received in the workplace and the ensuing consequences. Divulging personal news prematurely (eg: pregnancy, spouse’s out-of-town job interview) could make you more vulnerable to unwanted changes (eg: getting passed over for projects or promotions).

You are your own best PR representative when it comes to how you’re perceived in the office. Judiciously sharing upbeat personal news can help put you in a positive light, while over-sharing negative news can do the opposite.

If you’re dealing with serious personal matters that are affecting your ability to do your job, be discreet, but also proactive. It’s important to let the right people in your workplace know so you can get the support you need.


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