Caroline Dowd-Higgins Career Coach • Author • Speaker Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:20:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Working Life Podcast with Connie Kadansky Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:05:12 +0000 Connie Kadansky is a Professional Certified Coach and Owner of Exceptional Sales Performance talks about the power of sales and the value of coaching in every career.

]]> 0
Leadership Action Steps Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:00:38 +0000 Whether you are an emerging or experienced leader, everyone can use a refresher about how to keep your leadership skills sharp. Check out these action steps for leadership success.

]]> 0
Your Working Life Podcast with Julia Tang Peters Sat, 27 Sep 2014 16:48:32 +0000 Julia Tang Peters in her book: PIVOT POINTS identifies the five pivotal decisions every leader must make, pinpointing decision-making styles that can advance or stall careers and organizations.

]]> 0
Confidence On Tap – Part 3 Keep On Learning! Sat, 27 Sep 2014 16:38:08 +0000 In my previous blog posts ‘Confidence On Tap’, Parts 1 and 2, I discussed how practicing bold body language and taking continuous action steps towards goals can have a positive affect on your confidence level. Since it’s ‘Back-to-School’ season, I thought it would be apropos to continue the confidence discussion by focusing on the positive impact that continuing education can have on your overall confidence.

Feeling out-of-the-loop in your profession can take the wind out of your confidence sails – however, taking online classes, attending workshops or conferences, any type of continuing education, can go a long way in giving you a confidence boost.

I’m always looking for professional development opportunities that I can work into my schedule, and I encourage you to do the same.

Many of my coaching clients have sought out job-related educational opportunities such as seminars, conferences, etc. to help them stay ahead of the curve in their respective industries. As a result, their confidence levels go up, and, in some cases, their paychecks do too – a number of clients have received job promotions and raises, thanks, in part, to their continuing educational pursuits.

If you’re not sure whether your organization offers professional development, ask your manager. She/ he will appreciate the fact that you’re being proactive about expanding your knowledge/ skills base, and that you’re serious about moving ahead in your career.

It’s vitally important, if you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, to seek out continuing education to keep you competitive in the marketplace and at the top of your game.

Here are five types of professional development you may find helpful:

Mentorship. A number of companies offer mentoring programs where you’re matched with a higher-up in the organization who can offer one-on-one guidance. Mentors can also be found outside of work through professional associations.

Online Classes are a convenient way to pursue professional development anytime day or evening – whenever you can fit it into your schedule.

Seminars are a good choice if a lecture-type format suits your learning style.

Workshops are excellent if you appreciate a more hands-on approach where you’re learning by doing.

Conferences provide an educational immersion featuring thought leaders, authors, experts and peers.

An Invitation:

If you’re looking for an empowering conference focusing on career and business transformation, I highly recommend the 2014 Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women coming up this fall. Women from all over the country will be heading to the Midwest for this exciting conference happening October 21st in Indianapolis, and, I hope you’ll consider attending.

I’m helping to organize the event, and, let me tell you, it promises to be an incredibly educational, inspiring, confidence building experience – especially since Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, authors of ‘The Confidence Code’, as well as crisis management expert Judy Smith – Executive Producer and inspiration for the popular ABC series ‘Scandal’ – are the keynote speakers.

I’ll be presenting during the breakout sessions as will ‘Passages’ author Gail Sheehy, Pamela Ryckman, author of ‘The Stiletto Network’, and many others.

I invite you to be a part of this transformative conference, and I encourage you to pursue other professional development opportunities as well. Continuing education is a valuable confidence booster and well worth the investment!

]]> 0
2014 Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:21:31 +0000 I’m speaking at The Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women which will be held on October 21st at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Register today!

]]> 0
Vacation Matters: Don’t Be A Work Martyr! Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:54:35 +0000 Since the summer vacation season has drawn to a close, I invite you to take stock of the time you’ve had off so far this year. Have you taken all the vacation that’s coming to you?

According to an eye-opening new study commissioned by Travel Effect, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association, forty percent of Americans are leaving paid vacation days on the table. That translates to 430 million days of unused vacation time a year, and, as a result, American workers are feeling more overwhelmed at work than ever.

The study entitled ‘Overwhelmed America: Why Don’t We Use Our Paid Time Off? surveyed 1300 Americans to find that one of the top reason workers don’t take their paid time off (PTO) is because they feel someone else can’t do their job. The study also revealed that workers forgo vacation because they dread returning to a huge backlog of work. In addition, they fear that they’ll be seen as replaceable if they’re away for any length of time.

“Americans suffer from a work martyr complex,” said Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association. “In part, it’s because ‘busyness’ is something we wear as a badge of honor, but it’s also because we’re emerging from a tough economy and many feel less secure in their jobs. Unfortunately, workers do not seem to realize that forfeiting their vacation time comes at the expense of their overall health, well-being and relationships.”

While it can be challenging for me to ‘power down’ and get into vacation mode, I’m always happy I did. My summer getaway this past July was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. How about you? Are you able to disconnect from the office?

If you have PTO coming to you, take it. Here are five reasons why it’s in your best interest:

Breaks Stress Cycle. The Travel Effect study found that one in four workers are chronically stressed, so vacation is key to breaking the cycle of overwhelm that can ultimately lead to job burnout.

  1. Disconnecting from work can help you reconnect with family members – creating shared memories and strengthened bonds. Vacation can help you reconnect with and rediscover yourself as well!

Gives Perspective. Taking time away from your job is a great mental reboot that helps you take stock of where you are and where you’re headed in your work. A greater understanding of the ‘big picture’ is a valuable by-product of vacation time.

Promotes Creativity. Stepping away from the day-to-day can help get the creative juices flowing. Great ideas for work often bubble up when you’re enjoying an ocean view or hiking a mountain trail, and not thinking about work. Jot down any kernels of creative inspiration, then get back to the R&R.

Overall Well-Being. Studies have found that, weeks after a satisfying vacation, the positive effects ripple into every area of workers’ lives.

Vacation from work helps you recharge and replenish your mind, body and spirit, and that benefits you, not only professionally, but personally as well. I encourage you to shed the ‘work martyr’ mantle and take the vacation you deserve!

]]> 0
Your Working Life with Jude Bijou Sun, 14 Sep 2014 00:08:43 +0000 Jude Bijou is a psychotherapist, professional educator, and consultant whose theory of Attitude Reconstruction® is the subject of her multi-award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

]]> 0
Gail Sheehy’s 10 Dares to Take in Your 20s Part II Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:50:07 +0000 Gail Sheehy’s new book Daring: My Passages is a memoir of  life experiences from a woman who knows how to embrace life – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Gail very generously agreed to allow me to feature her Huffington Post blog about 10 Dares to Take in Your 20’s – here is Part II.  Thank you, Gail for sharing your insights on my blog! Gail’s dares for people in their 20′s can ring true for all of us no matter what our age.

by Gail Sheehy Part II :

6) Dare to Attach Yourself to a Mentor and Kill Yourself to Show Your Stuff

I would never have made it to prominence in my profession if I hadn’t attached myself to a mentor in my twenties. As a graduate student, I appealed to renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead by letting her know I wrote for New York magazine. She literally let me ride with her to Columbia and made me her journalistic outlet, sending me to chase down stories about major cultural shifts. In turn, she gave me an insight that would became my m.o: “Whenever you hear about a national tragedy or a racial clash or a controversial inauguration, drop everything to get there, look down into the abyss, and you will see the culture turned inside out.”

Attaching yourself to a mentor is even more important for young people today. As my friend, the economist and acclaimed author Sylvia Hewlett has documented, “the route to success” for Millennials in the workplace is to identify a senior executive who will be your sponsor.   Demonstrate that you will make her or him look good, and your sponsor will invest in your future and help you quick-climb through the ranks.

7) Dare to Postpone Marriage Until You Can Support Yourself Independently

“Every other generation before them said ‘I’m waiting for Mr. Right.’ Milllenials say ‘I’m waiting until it’s right for me.’” — Celinda Lake, National President of Lake Research.

Being independent and self-actualized before marriage is crucially important to your career growth and personal happiness. Daring to delay marriage has elevated the socioeconomic status of women, especially college-educated women. They use their twenties to gain advanced education and build the competence and confidence that makes prospective employers salivate. By waiting to marry until they’re 30-plus, research shows that women will make more money—about $18,152 more per year—and are also likely to be happier in family life and take more pleasure in their work.

The intrinsic benefit of delayed marriage may be even more important. Waiting allows women to reach for other life goals, like promoting diversity by joining Teach for America, or training to be a champion athlete, or following a passion for making music, or writing a novel, or launching a social movement. The longer you wait to attach yourself to a life partner, the less likely your marriage is to come apart.

8) Dare to Pursue a Career in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math

Women who work in STEM fields often face discrimination from their male peers, but perseverance can pay off big. As Lisa Lambert, a senior Vice President at Intel Capital, recently told me, daring to pursue a career in technology has allowed her to provide for her family in ways she couldn’t have imagined. She isn’t the only one. From mathematicians to dental hygienists to software engineers, women in STEM jobs earn significantly more—a whopping 33 percent more—than the average full-time working woman makes.

9) Don’t Dare Let a More Senior Person Intimidate You or Steal Your Ideas

You are so enthused about your new theory of non-relativity, you spill it to your a tenured professor and he wants to own it. How to say no? That was one of my biggest dares.

When I interviewed a senior psychiatrist at University of Southern California about his study of adult development, he literally backed me into a corner and proposed that I collaborate with him on MY book. But I was the writer, and I was developing a new concept about the stages of adult development and the times of transition between each stage, which would become my book Passages. He threatened: “No one will take you seriously, you’re just a journalist.” He knew exactly where to needle my self-doubt. But I declined his offer. “You can write your own book,” I said, “and I’ll write mine.” It paid off.

Passages remained on the New York Times bestseller list for three years. His book never made the list.

10) Dare to Change Your Career When You Turn 30

So many of us grow up being warned not to quit. During your 30’s, it is predictable to feel more or less restricted by the choices you made in your 20s—even though those choices might have been perfectly appropriate at the time. Karen Fan, for example, chose to drive ahead as a supercharged seeker of success during her 20’s, happily rising through the ranks of the banking world. But having a child completely transformed her priorities. In her early 30’s, faced with the choice of succeeding as a high-powered executive and failing as an absent mother, she dared to quit her job and raise the money to start a business of her own. Now able to spend quality time with her daughter, Karen knows she’s made the right choice for a different stage of life.



]]> 0
Professional Development: How Can I Get Better? Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:49:34 +0000 Marshall Goldsmith taught me how to ask my friends and colleagues: “How can I get better?” This exercise will help you improve in your life and career.

]]> 0
Your Working Life with Gail Sheehy Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:39:24 +0000 Gail Sheehy, iconic author of sixteen books, including the classic New York Times bestseller Passages, has a new book: Daring: My Passages A Memoir, which captures her defining moments and the influential characters with whom she interacted.

]]> 0