Archives for career coaching

The Differences Between Therapists, Coaches, and Consultants—and How to Know Which One You Need

I feel like coaching is starting to lose a lot of its stigma and the people getting results are inspiring many others to seek it out. Perhaps another reason many more are seeking coaching is that conventional mental health treatments are not widely available. Many complain about not-so-patient-friendly enrollment processes and months-long waitlists.

Is a coach a good alternative to a therapist or psychiatrist? What kind of coach should you engage? How do you qualify them as someone who will actually help and definitely not hurt you?

Consider one of these if there is any area of your life where you have not been able to get the results you want on your own, or if you just don’t want to do it alone or want to be able to do it right from the get-go.

If you suspect you suffer from a mental illness and have not been diagnosed, know that an unlicensed coach cannot diagnose you. A licensed therapist must follow regulated procedures in order to do this. If you need or want medication, you will need to see a psychiatrist. Do not offboard yourself from any medications or adjust your dosage without your doctor’s approval and guidance because there are often withdrawal side effects. Understand and abide by any potential interactions. Read all materials made available to you on your medications. Do your own research on these, as well.

Some coaches offer “tough love” and “hard truth.” I had a coach who referred to herself as the “Velvet Hammer.” She was, in fact, my first coach and the coach who helped me get started on my own coaching path. She set expectations from our first consultation on how it will look for her to show me my blind spots—with caring candor. Hers was not an authoritative way, but some can be militaristic and intolerable of excuses. In all therapy, coaching, and consulting relationships, you are expected to be an active participant and partner. You won’t get back what you don’t put in. And, some people prefer and need a very no-nonsense, straightforward, highly structured, black and white, inflexible approach. For the most part, however, our brains don’t thrive in transformation under those conditions.

Coaches traditionally focus on the practical steps to transformation. Therapists traditionally focus on how your feelings and past experiences inhibit you. Many are somewhere in between, and a lot of coaching training focuses on beliefs and behavior patterns—the connection of which are often blind spots for people.

In my personal experience, I found therapy to be enlightening and validating. I learned some coping mechanisms, yet still felt victimized versus empowered, and I felt there was no endpoint.

Coaching, on the other hand, was future-focused and finite; the goal was to help me be self-reliant in executing new skills, disrupting beliefs and patterns of behavior that didn’t serve me, and replacing them with those that did until they were habits.

Not all coaching programs focus on habits. There are various studies on habits that purport varying amounts of time necessary to form a new habit, but it really varies from individual to individual. Know yourself. How long does it take you to form a new habit? There are specific techniques that can accelerate habit adoption, such as NLP and hypnosis. Find someone trained and certified in these methods if you want faster results.

There are limitless specialties and niches in coaching. I find it helps when my coach understands my particular challenges, like being a parent to an ADHD child. I have had coaches tell me this is just my excuse, and rapport was instantly and permanently broken, rendering any further coaching ineffective and obsolete. Coaches who invalidate your experiences, feelings, and reality ultimately fail the coaching test.

If there is one focus area of your life you want to transform, it’s highly recommended that you seek out a specialist in this area, be it fitness, nutrition, parenting, relationships, career, and/or leadership.

If you are a leader or aspire to be a leader, leadership coaching usually includes focusing on your career development. Career development is a byproduct of the work you do to become a better leader and rise to the challenges thereof, which have evolved and expanded over the years, especially in the last two years. Even within career and leadership coaching, there are various niches, such as by industry or function, helping post-deployment veterans, helping the long-term unemployed or returning mothers.

My particular niche is conscious careering and conscious leadership. My clients prioritize people and the planet alongside sustainable profit and either want to better influence their organizations to do so as well, or want to contribute their talent to other companies already in alignment with these values. This could be in a completely new field or role, or the same field and role. My clients may or may not know what to pursue or where to look.

Like therapists, most professionally trained coaches ask questions and ask for permission before they share an observation or advice. Whereas a consultant gives advice, a coach guides you to come to your own conclusions about what to change and do by asking reflective questions. In doing so, they lower your resistance to change and instill confidence in your own abilities to figure things out.

However, many coaches are actually consultants and not coaches at all. They will assess the current situation, identify the root cause, prescribe changes, and leave you to implement them, perhaps with some expectations on challenges you may encounter and things you can do to overcome them.

As you start evaluating your options, ask yourself:

  • Do I have a fragile state of mind?
    • If so, seek more immediate help. Contact NAMI to find resources. I can tell you from personal experience that they are there to give you an immediate lifeline and refer you to the help you need. The process of finding a partner can be daunting and, I’ve found, at times damaging in and of itself. I gave up for three months after my quest failed for the fourth time to result in help.
  • What expectations do I have of the outcomes I want?

A common question asked by coaches is, what do you want coaching to do for you in X months? What do you expect will be different and better for having had coaching?

It’s possible you won’t be able to fully visualize all that is actually possible. Be aspirational. An ethical partner will tell you what is realistic to expect.

Ask these questions of your prospective partners:

  • Is this individualized or group?
    • If a group, how do you manage the psychological safety of the group?
    • Do you qualify participants, and how?
    • What rules exist and how do you enforce them?
    • What type of one on one support is offered?
    • Does the group interact and how do you manage personal conflicts? (Conflicts have occurred in nearly every group coaching program with over 10 people in which I’ve been a participant, though not involving me.)
  • What do you know about the mind/brain?
  • Are there things I am supposed to do in between sessions and how much time is required?
  • How will you hold me accountable?

Referrals are great, but make sure you ultimately choose a partner who can fulfill your specific needs. If you wind up finding someone outside of your network, check reviews and LinkedIn recommendations. Consider reaching out to the individuals who provided LinkedIn recommendations to ask questions tailored to your needs.

Is Epic Careering the right career alignment partner for you?

Our unique holistic approach integrates life coaching, neuroscience, organizational psychology, time management, habit management, personal/executive branding, a blend of career coaching and consulting, and leadership coaching. That’s a lot, and it’s because I constantly invest in identifying and training in new breakthroughs as they are proven.

Schedule a free consultation to see if we fit your needs.

Which Way The Wind Blows

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupWhich Way The Wind Blows · Peter FramptonFrampton’s Camel℗ An A&M Records Release; ℗ 1973 UMG Recordings, Inc.Rel…

Karen Huller, CEO of Epic Careering, is the co-founder of The Consciousness Conference (ConCon) and the C3: Corporate Consciousness Co-op community on LinkedIn. She is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a conscious career and leadership development firm specializing in executive branding, talent-values alignment, and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of Mrs. Huller’s 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

Mrs. Huller was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She serves on the board for the Upper Merion Community Center, which she helped establish, and is an advisor to Florida International University for their Women in Leadership program. For her service as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. Mrs. Huller has also been the lead singer for Harpers Ferry, a rock cover band, for 20 years. She lives in King of Prussia, PA with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

What a Recent Trend in Careering Has to Do With My Intuition Journey

This year I have embarked on an introspective energetic and spiritual journey. My coach this year is very unlike the business coaches I have had in the past, and the program in which I am immersed will strengthen my own ability to make intuitive, powerful decisions for my business, to consult with greater wisdom, and to live with a greater sense of peace. 

It’s confronting work, to say the least. I have to deal with all my stuff, as any conscious leader does in order to prevent it from directing behaviors and actions, as it tends to do. 

In the midst of this, things go haywire. It seems what can go wrong, does go wrong, as it’s showing me where my stuff has been hiding and taking control. It makes me realize just how many of my daily decisions are driven by trauma and beliefs I formed when I was not yet fully conscious. It makes me realize how not fully conscious I am. 

About 8 years ago I wrote about a pattern I was recognizing in my clients, as my services officially expanded to include leadership coaching and the level at which I was working with my clients deepened significantly. I noticed that many of them had survived the recent recession by taking career opportunities that were out of alignment with what they really wanted and who they really were in order to survive and provide for their families. The dominant emotion that was driving these emotions was fear. However, at the same time they were making decisions from fear, my clients during that recession were making decisions and acting from desire, passion, and faith, creating alignment in their career that has led, in most cases, to years of career growth and happiness since then.

I see a pattern now forming among my clients now where they chose to chase opportunities that satisfied their egos, but not their souls. These jobs provided a standard of living that made them feel successful, and yet that success has begun to feel empty. 

One of my own personal discoveries on this journey is that, because I felt insignificant, discredited, and powerless in making my own decisions, I chose my current path of being a self-employed expert who thrives on making a meaningful difference in the lives of my clients. 

Certainly, that doesn’t sound all that bad, does it? However, I need to heal that trauma. It leads me to be very attached to the outcomes of my clients, which I only have so much influence over – admittedly, even with as much coaching mastery as I have acquired so far. 

No, my choice in vocation 15 years ago was not a mistake, even if it was driven by a need from my ego to compensate for what I felt I was lacking in my power. However, when the world starts becoming more volatile, less predictable, and I witness suffering in others, it throws me into “savior” mode, where I have to make a difference, so I focus my attention on it, and it consumes my thoughts, my behaviors, and actions, and has a cost to my relationships and wellbeing. Also, it impacts my outcomes. The energy of needing and forcing and the frustration of not getting a handle on a situation turns all of my efforts into wasted endeavors with few to zero positive outcomes. Essentially, my energy is at odds with my mission. 

Co-founding the C3 community with Lawrence as my partner shifted a lot of that, and was the catalyst of me delving into this journey. I realized that there are a lot more people than just me “on it,” whatever problem “it” was that day. I also realized that even the perception of the load being shared made me feel lighter. That lightness produced better results in my initiatives and my life. It disintegrates the inertia and resistance.

Now, I can make an empowered choice to stay in my vocation, and I do it because I love it and I’m damn good at it. A greater lightness in myself aids my clients much more, consciously and subconsciously. Results are coming easier for us both. If you read me regularly, you also know that this year I created the possibility that I can co-create other things in my life of a more passionate, fun nature. I played with my band last week and re-captured a part of myself that I had let slip away because of the heavy obligations of saving the world and my kids. I had forgotten how it felt to be in the flow like that – channeling the music, emanating it out, and receiving the love from the crowd back. I want more! 

I am realizing more and more of my blocks and limiting beliefs, and seeing how they have been at cause for areas of my life where I feel stuck. Who knows how this work will shape my future. 

I have worked with clients through the years who came to me because they wanted to achieve a particular goal, only to find that the goal was borne of a belief that no longer seemed valid.  

As consciousness spreads, more and more people are rethinking their motivations and changing course to feel more aligned in their career and their lives. I have been amazed at how doing this work has attracted more of these people to me. There is data to support my personal observations, as well. Now with the benefit of retrospection and years’ more wisdom, many mature millennials are seeing how they made decisions for their lives based on “truths” that proved to be obsolete over time. Remember, this was the generation that started to shape “modern” workforce policies, some of which fizzled over time, as they were targeting young millennials who inevitably matured, while many remained, though haphazardly executed. Gen Z is sure to shape the workforce further, and my hope is that they will grab the opportunity they have, with the full support of their elders, to further influence people and planet-friendly policies, cultures, and operations. 

My challenge to you is to figure out your why. Why are you where you are? Is there someplace else you’d be better off in the future? Is now the time for change – and, again, why? 

Fascinate me. Please share your findings, if you can be so bold. 

Annie Lennox – Why (Official Music Video)

Annie Lennox – Why (Official Video)Listen on Spotify – http://smarturl.it/Lennox_SPTTListen on Apple Music – http://smarturl.it/Lennox_AMEAmazon – http://sma…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

7 Blog Posts That Will Catapult Your Career in the New Year

Happy 2022! I know a lot of people have been impacted by COVID during the new year, as we were, and you may not have gotten to start off like a rocket toward your goals as you might have hoped.

Also, the reality is many people, on top of sickness, also deal with financial, housing, even food, insecurity. Side gigs have helped many people stay afloat or finally catch up on some financial goals only to have to give up that extra income, and potentially also lose their main income, when COVID hits them. In the midst of supply chain issues and labor shortages due to mass resignation and absenteeism, some companies have had to make cuts.

Then there are those who found themselves hospitalized who are now wondering how they will pay for their care. Bottom line is, COVID’s impact on people goes well beyond physical illness, and many are struggling financially right now. Many people are unable to hire a career coach to help them get back on track to take advantage of the opportunities left vacant by others or created from sectors that have thrived in spite of or because of the pandemic.

In previous economical downtimes, it was imperative to be competitive, as there were way more people than opportunities. Granted, the prospects are much better today, but that doesn’t change some people’s personal job search hardships. The conventional job search of today still winds up creating a cascade of negative, demoralizing, and discouraging experiences that can leave some wondering what’s wrong with them and why companies can’t just see that they have the potential to be great. It can really mess with your head, and we’re all shouldering a lot right now.

Over the past 9 years, I have written many blog posts with advice that, when applied, will dramatically shift your job seeker experience into one of control and choice – the good kind of choice where you have to choose between one great offer and another very different, but equally intriguing offer. The only dilemma is that you have to decide which opportunity to accept. Even if you choose wrong, you can rest assured that you will know exactly what to do in order to create new opportunities and land somewhere better, though the processes you will learn from my blog posts will prevent making that wrong choice.

Whether you are just getting off to a slow start thanks to COVID or have been discouraged by lackluster results with your current job search efforts, the following blogs/vlogs, if applied, will be exactly what you need to ignite and exponentially accelerate your momentum and get results that reassure you that your next best career move is just ahead.

  1. Ask yourself these questions to better clarify what you want, who you want to want you, and how to appeal to them: 10 Steps to Being the ONE Who Gets the Offer: Avoid “Bland Brand”
  2. Give your achievement-based résumé bullets a boost with a branding touch up: A Two-Letter Word That Heightens Your Brand
  3. Check your résumé for these 10 things: Scrap your résumé if it has these 10 things and then watch this video that tells you what you want to do instead.
  4. Set up your schedule so that you are creating habits out of the most effective job search activities that produce the best results: 5 Job Search Activities That Will Keep Your Momentum Up, Even If You Slow Down
  5. Found an opportunity you want to pursue? Plans A Through D for Getting Noticed by Employers
  6. Mix things up and be in action when you feel like you are at the whim of employers and recruiters: 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Power in Your Job Search or Career
  7. Lastly, sometimes when things aren’t going how you hoped and you can’t manufacture motivation, you need to step away and refuel your spirit. Follow these steps to put yourself back in the game: How You Respond to a Slump Determines How Quickly You Recover

Some of you have expressed that you miss my practical job search advice. It’s true that my content has evolved in the past few years. I really felt like my best advice was already captured, though, and it’s all available for you on my blog.

Feel free to search the blog for things that you are facing now for which you need advice. Chances are good that you will find helpful insight and answers in past blog posts so you can move past your challenge and into effective action.

The Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started

REMASTERED IN HD!Music video by Black Eyed Peas performing Let’s Get It Started. (C) 2004 A&M Records#TheBlackEyedPeas #LetsGetItStarted #Remastered #Vevo #O…

Karen Huller, CEO of Epic Careering, is the co-founder of The Consciousness Conference (ConCon) and the C3: Corporate Consciousness Co-op community on LinkedIn. She is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a conscious career and leadership development firm specializing in executive branding, talent-values alignment, and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of Mrs. Huller’s 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

Mrs. Huller was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She serves on the board for the Upper Merion Community Center, which she helped establish, and is an advisor to Florida International University for their Women in Leadership program. For her service as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. Mrs. Huller has also been the lead singer for Harpers Ferry, a rock cover band, for 20 years. She lives in King of Prussia, PA with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Highlights of 2021

During my 15 years of coaching and running a business, I have been blessed to work with so many leaders across industries from startups to Fortune 100 companies. In these last few years, however, I accepted a challenge to align myself only with those who aim to elevate humanity, not just their status or income.

Since committing to this focus, my work has become exponentially more meaningful and fulfilling. Now, when I look back at my year and reflect, I see that as a result of the work that I do, conscious leaders are more influential and better positioned to create conscious change for their organizations and the people around them. This trickles down in awesome ways, and I can see how my work not only makes work better for more people but also makes their lives better.

Here’s a sampling:

  • Because my repeat client since 2015 got yet another promotion at her nearly-carbon neutral Fortune 500 medical technology company, customer complaints are able to be addressed more promptly. Additionally, feedback is delivered to product teams, which leads to higher product efficacy and fewer complaints. In her new role, she will help to centralize quality management systems so that high standards are met globally consistently.
  • Thanks to my stateside partner, I coached a female executive who is now working more collaboratively with her new CEO and the current board to add diversity across the very top levels of leadership.
  • Thanks to my Aussie partner, I worked with a female leader in engineering who mitigates the risk of geotechnical projects. She also served as C3‘s ConCon Conscious Leadership Award Committee Chair and taught the other members of C3 how to get more things done with clear, intentional, direct communication. I also saw another Aussie client continue to expand her empowerment message to girls and women to pursue careers in STEM. She served on at least a dozen panels and has built her following of STEM female future powerhouses!
  • One of my South African clients is an executive who has a team member developing a solution that will eliminate single-use plastics from packaging in 3-5 years. I can’t take any credit for that, but as a leader for his next team, he will trust their expertise and give them the opportunity and resources to solve similar problems impacting our planet. They will love him!
  • My other repeat South African client navigated a few pivotal changes by promoting her brand and being her bold self. This landed her on another team within her Fintech company where she is no longer working on dying legacy products largely ignored by company leaders and customers alike but instead providing blueprints to successful DevOps integration of AWS, the hottest, fastest-growing cloud-based platform. She is now on a team where her experience and outspoken voice are valued. She also avoided recruitment by a notoriously unconscious big bank by making internal inroads instead. They almost had her – it was close. Whew!
  • I welcomed back other repeat clients as well, including one who is now an entrepreneur. I got the chance to support her in launching her luxury travel advisory firm, and my team and I also helped her son launch his new career!
  • Another repeat client, whom I had helped get accepted into the Union League about a decade ago, came back to have me help him evaluate potential changes in his career path. I was able to help a longtime friend do this, as well.
  • Sometimes, especially in times like these, so much changes so quickly that long-term plans get put on hold. I carried over a couple of clients from 2020 into 2021 who I am sure, once they fulfill their short-term obligations, are going to be complete game-changers. One of them is just too good, and she keeps getting engaged for more work. In the meantime, we are able to take time crafting a vision of the future where she makes amazingly valuable and effective breakthroughs in behavioral health that she helped to fund, research, and present in the academic world, and then makes these breakthroughs more visible and accessible to the people who actually need them.
  • A bunch of my students from 2020 landed roles that are in alignment with the goals they had before their world came crashing down. Some of them are now also helping people navigate careers themselves! I’ve successfully duplicated my efforts, which means each of those people will someday have a year like this, and take some credit for their clients’ game-changing career moves that make the world a better place.
  • During the past year, I also turned down working with people who didn’t value my process and whose aim was not aligned with the highest good. By not helping a former Fortune 100 CEO land at a private equity firm, I didn’t contribute to mass layoffs. Yay!

When I get to reflect on a year like this, I realize I have met some truly talented and impactful people through my work.

Additionally, through the C3 community and ConCon, I am helping to bring together changemakers just like myself. And together, we will expand our impact and spread ripples of conscious leadership so that more people can reach their highest potential and leave a legacy that makes the planet a better place.

Through it all this year, I have had Lawrence and Cynthia by my side, and I even added a new crew member, Kristin, to help me make sure all of these amazing people go where they will be happiest and most impactful, even if that means staying put.

Plus, I did all of this from home, for the most part. I didn’t attend any in-person conferences, trainings, or networking events, and yet, my impact reached around the world.

That’s pretty cool. I do hope to return to engaging in in-person events this year, but I also proved that it’s not necessary. As long as I have my health, my mission, my fellow co-creators, and my family, I will keep on keeping on.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Good Year For The Roses

The new deluxe album ‘Look Now’ out now, order here: https://ElvisCostello.lnk.to/LookNow Explore more music from Elvis Costello: https://lnk.to/wWTFSMusic v…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Happy Holidays from Epic Careering

The holidays can be a very difficult time of year. If one more thing on your mind is your career, I just want you to know that Epic Careering is here to help you decide if a change is needed in 2022, what that change may be, and how you can feel better aligned in the new year and beyond, whether that’s where you are or somewhere new.

Epic Careering is your go-to for conscious career alignment.

Simply send an email to me at karen@epiccareering.com to get expert support with:

❋ Discovery

❋ Branding

❋ Coaching

Sending you warm wishes this holiday season!

*****************************************************

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Highlights of My 15 Years in Business

Today I celebrate the 15th anniversary of the day I officially started Charésumé, LLC (dba Epic Careering.)

I clearly remember the Memorial Day weekend right before my business launched. I fasted and cleaned and organized my office to prepare my mind, my body, and my physical space for a new beginning. That beginning has led to many other beginnings over the past 15 years. It hasn’t all been easy, but it’s been fulfilling and made a difference in many lives.

The #1 highlight has always been my clients. There have been so many amazing clients I have gotten to coach, but also to learn from – how they succeeded, how they overcame challenges, how they influenced change, what they had to endure. Along with my helping them, there have been many professional redemption stories – clients who realized their potential, found a new professional home, and thrived financially and personally because they were nurtured in being their whole selves, inside and outside work hours.

While my clients reached new professional heights, somehow, I managed to keep my business going through two pregnancies, births, 4 years of breastfeeding, and 5 years of either no school for my kids or half-day school.

Other highlights include:
  • Additional publications on Philly.com, ReadersDigest.com, and CPAJournal
  • Working with Tracy Davidson of NBC10 on her Jump Start events, doing LinkedIn training, and being interviewed at the studio for a segment
  • Many radio interviews and podcast features
  • Being Professor Huller, teaching and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders to follow their dreams
  • Drexel University’s recognition as a published faculty member for Laser-Sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 days
  • Winning a Feedspot top 100 Career Blog award
  • Three years of YEA Philadelphia students who learned how to start a business, some of which still prosper today!
  • Winning 2nd place with my StockJock team at Philly Startup Weekend (Adam, Anas, John, John’s friend)
  • Growing into Corporate training and State (DE) training
  • Founding and co-managing the C3 Community on LinkedIn, engaging the awesome Lawrence Henderson as my partner
My clients have been from:
  • Comcast
  • UPenn
  • IBX
  • GSK
  • QVC
  • TD Bank
  • ICON
  • SAP
  • ADP
  • Oracle
  • GE
  • GM
  • Qlik
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Honeywell
  • J&J (& subsidiaries)
  • Aramark
  • Quest Diagnostics
I have spoken at/for:

The PA Conference for Women, GVFHRA (local SHRM chapter), Philadelphia Great Careers Group, Jump Start Your Job Search, Black Data Processors Association, ChemPharma, AichE, FENG, TPNG (where I was also co-chair for 2 years.)

I have been mentored by:

Ford Myers, Ed Callahan, Jon Wagner, and Dr. Dawn Francis.

I have developed the following programs/inventions:
  • Jack Shipley helped me gamify the Accelerfate Career Campaign tool
  • Jedi and the team at OpenForge, after a successful crowdfunding campaign with 76 lenders, helped me turn Accelerfate into a mobile game prototype
  • Wharton MBA students who helped develop the prototype for an Online Executive Branding tool
  • The Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint was a 3-year labor of love that took all of my years of learning and experience to curate and develop with various coaches helping me along the way with content, curriculum, format, media, marketing, and enrollment – This is the future of my practice and the very best thing I have created thus far to make a lasting difference in this world
I have invested in studying under …

I would like to thank the talent who have supported me and my mission over the years, my interns and assistants – MaryKate Sullivan, Heidi Jenkins, Angela Mosely, MJ Concetta, and my current virtual assistant, Cynthia Harder, who has been with me for over a year and a half now.

A couple of other people who made these highlights possible are my mother-in-law, who came weekly to watch the kids while I commuted to the city to teach, and my mom also helped watch the girls while I attended conferences and earned certifications. I’d like to give a shout-out to all my kids’ caretakers who made it possible for me to be my best for my clients: Betsy Czarkowski, Elissa Salamy, Emily Vandergeest, Jenna Bednar, and Kait Brennan.

All of these people and experiences have brought me here today, and I absolutely must give major props to my husband, Tim, for supporting me emotionally, financially, and physically. He doesn’t understand the ins and outs of what I do, but he knows I love it, and he knows I’m good at it, and he has total faith in me, and that means everything, especially when I lose faith in myself.

If you are reading this to the very end, thank YOU! I don’t often hear from the people who follow me, but from time to time someone lets me know that what I am putting out into the world weekly is making a difference for them, and just to know that the time and care I put into this weekly effort is reaching other people is enough reinforcement for me to continue to do so.

Thank you all for an amazing 15 years, and here’s to the next 15 years. I look forward to more conscious co-creation.

Grateful Dead – Touch Of Grey (Official Music Video)

You’re watching the official music video for ‘Touch Of Grey’ from the Dead’s 1987 album ‘In The Dark’. We will get by, we will survive….Subscribe! https://…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

The Dangers of the “Average of 5” Rule

I have learned profound wisdom from Jim Rohn, but one thing he taught, which many other coaches echo, is that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. The advice around this is to surround yourself with people who already have aspects of the life that you want for yourself to elevate your station in life.

One study confirmed that it’s not only the five people closest to you, but also the people who are close to them, and so on. The reason, they identified, was norms. “Your perception of what is… acceptable … and your behavior changes” according to what you see more regularly.

A few dangers could arise from following the “average of 5” rule too strictly. Let’s explore some of them.

On one hand, if you aspire to be a visionary entrepreneur, by all means, seek out opportunities to spend time among visionary entrepreneurs. Spending time with people who have achieved what you aspire to achieve is one great way to keep you motivated, and it serves as a pull rather than a push. It will also most likely shorten your path from current reality to achieving your desired reality if you can learn from them how to overcome challenges, navigate most successfully, and expand your sphere of influence to include people in theirs.

On the other hand, people use this “average of 5” rule to justify cutting poor or unambitious people out of your life. I do agree that, while very hard, it’s important for self-preservation to put distance between you and toxic people in your life – those who seem to intentionally make you feel bad, whether conscious or subconscious. However, we know it happens – some people make it big and forget where they came from. They lose touch with the struggles of everyday people. It’s why self-aware executives participate in the show Undercover Boss. Even if you don’t intend to, you can forget the reality of not having money, status, luxury items and vacations, etc.

Yet another problem is that sometimes people do get left behind, and you can’t make and keep any guarantees.

Sometimes naturally, just as a byproduct of growing and changing your lifestyle, things you once had in common with people shift. You can become people that no longer have the same struggles that originally bonded you. The bonds can weaken and you could become unrelatable to each other. Sometimes ego is in the way of someone else wanting more for you (e.g. why should you get what they don’t have). Other times, people will “punch holes” in your plans because they fear losing you. They fear you changing or they fear being left behind. In another possible scenario, they could genuinely believe that you’re more likely to fail than succeed, which is really a reflection of their norms, and they are trying to “save you” from getting hurt or disappointed.

When people get left behind, the divide can widen. Feelings of hurt can manifest as anger and resentment. One person can turn the rest of your old crew against you.

Now, on the bright side, people can just as easily become more likely to succeed because you do – the same way you are more likely to smoke or gain weight along with those closest to you. So it stands to reason that if you intend to follow this advice, and cut out or intentionally distance yourself from these people who are below your measure of achievement, then their chances of being positively impacted by your success is much less.

Another danger is falling into a new crowd that may elevate your pay or status, but denigrate your core values. If you are not mindful of keeping your norms aligned with your values, you may start to lose touch with your values and act in ways that start to seem acceptable, because more of your close contacts act in those ways, even if they are in direct conflict to what you had decided individually were your values. Think about the celebrity college scandal. Even in that illegal situation, one person allegedly involved couldn’t see what was wrong with it – everyone was doing it.

Still more dangerous is this “go get yours,” “rugged individualism,” “drop the baggage holding you down” mentality.  While we are fighting as a nation about how to deal with mass shootings, seeing how we put controls on guns without taking away freedoms, and knowing that mental illnesses are on the rise and also contribute. What to do about this seems to escape us, except to try to strip away the stigma so that we can get that conversation going. Leaving people behind can also be dangerous.

There is another way to look at this. As per my last blog about raising corporate consciousness, just as people can elevate so much further in income and status and become removed from their poorer or less ambitious connections, people can also evolve too far in consciousness and lose touch.

Not all of us will be monks or spiritual gurus and live a life detached from material things altogether. It seems so far fetched. Most of us will not risk our 9-5 jobs, healthcare, etc. to chase butterflies, so to speak. However, some people have found ways to live in which their lifestyles are provided for as a result of imparting their wisdom to a following or tribe. Though the average everyday person* can certainly glean wisdom from these teachers, there is too much dissonance from the current reality of a guru to the current reality of an everyday person for a guru to serve as a true model.

* Let’s define the everyday person as someone who works for someone else to generate their income, carries some debt, follows a budget out of necessity, and would need a loan for very large purchases. This person may have religious beliefs but is not necessarily living according to them at all moments. Life is challenging, and sometimes also very time-consuming. So much so that self-care, self-reflection, and spiritual practices are sacrificed.

We need people at various levels in the middle to serve as ladders, to stay relatable and somewhat in resonance with the lower levels to inspire them to elevate.

So, if you’ve heard this advice and it felt wrong to assess your friends and family’s worthiness of being close to you, honor those feelings. Do bring new people into your sphere of influence to help you elevate, but keep your hand outreached to those below. Not everyone will be willing to take your hand, especially if your rise has been less than gracious. However, work with the willing, and, based on the science backing up the “average of 5” rule, gradually more and more will elevate at their own pace.

Pearl Jam – You Are

Pearl Jam – “You Are” (Riot Act Album) unoficial video clip

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

A Bold Calling – A Life of Service

This week I want to dedicate the blog to shine a spotlight on those still living and continuing forward Dr. Martin Luther King’s life’s work by living a life of service.

Do you know someone or are you someone who has dedicated his or her life to make the world better?

  • A social worker
  • A lobbyist fighting for social justice, equal rights or environmental protection
  • A priest
  • A teacher
  • A doctor or nurse
  • A soldier
  • A public servant
  • A coach
  • A researcher or author
  • A non-profit founder or leader
  • An investor putting funding into products and services that move us toward “the dream”

Not everyone will get out today, this week, this month, even this year and offer their talent, time, and energy to help a cause move forward. I’m not shaming anyone. Sometimes we have to focus on obligations, if even for the sake of all who depended on us. It’s just life.

I know you want to honor Dr. King’s legacy, so here is an option that can take all but two minutes and will keep the flame of service alive by honoring the efforts of those who inspire you with their service.

Please leave a comment to tag and recognize this person or people for all, or even just a little, of what they do. Tell us what they do to inspire you and how they make you feel. Then make a promise to do an act of kindness within a particular time frame in that person’s honor. Once your act of kindness has been done, post a picture, tell us about it, and tag the person you honored again.

#CauseARipple #MLK

Dreams Mashup (NAS vs Sweet Dreams vs MLK)

Martin Luther King Jr.-I Have a Dream Speech NAS-Street Dreams Marilyn Manson-Sweet Dreams Music mashup

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

If I Die Today, If I Live Another 40 Years

Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of announcements of people dying young. The reasons have varied. It has made me increasingly aware that life is precious and must not be taken for granted.

It seems safe to assume that I have plenty of time left – but nobody knows for sure.

On Halloween, my daughters and I visited a local historic cemetery that had reenactments of Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers. It was hard to find a headstone for anybody who lived past their 40s. In today’s day and age, the life expectancy dictates that I am now at the midlife mark.

Not long ago, I read that people my generation, especially women, are more prone to a midlife crisis, due to the ideology that we could have it all. This month, I’ll be tested for adult-onset asthma and chronic bronchitis. I had pneumonia two years in a row. I would not say that I’m having a midlife crisis at all, but I am coming to terms with my mortality. You see, there was a night last year and there was a night this year that I thought I might not wake up.

When I fell ill in 2018 with acute sinusitis, then bronchitis, then pneumonia, it lasted several months. I suffered not just physically, but also emotionally, financially, and mentally. Because breathing itself was difficult, most of my go-to’s for self-care weren’t even possible.

I couldn’t meditate. I couldn’t do self-hypnosis (or hypnosis for anyone else, for that matter). I couldn’t do yoga. I couldn’t even watch a comedy. I couldn’t go outside and be in nature since my allergies caused my distress.

I was running on about 30% energy, which meant that I was not getting 70% of the stuff done that I should have been for my business, for my kids, for my house, for my bills, yadda yadda yadda. Add to that a glitch in my healthcare that suddenly tripled our bill, and a mandatory trip to the ER care of a minute clinic nurse practitioner who would not let me leave with my kids unless I had a ride for them and someone else to drive me to the hospital.

To boot, I had just invested thousands of dollars on a coaching program and I had just taken my kids to Disney. It was the worst possible time to not be able to work at full capacity.

After several months, I recovered physically, but the financial repercussions took several months more, and the mental repercussions lasted much longer. I fell into a depression like I hadn’t experienced since I was very young.

Thankfully, I was able to pull out of it by being vigilant about my self-care. I even invested in a hot tub.

In March when somebody I loved was murdered, I was glad to have been more mentally stable through that. It could have broken me. My world view did shift, though. It was a reminder that we could go at any time.

This past October when I got sick, I was determined to prevent the downslide experience of 2018.

Thankfully it was not as severe for as long. I was still able to go outside, laugh, and practice meditation, yoga, and self-hypnosis on most days. I was probably at about 60% energy at my lowest, and I’m running about 90 to 95% now.

I know gratitude has major benefits for mental health. In my New Year’s post, I proclaimed to make being in gratitude more of a ritual and habit. In an effort to keep my head and heart strong through this sickness, I took stock of all of the great things that I did in my life. After I did this, I had a very eerie sense of peace about dying.

Let me be clear – I have two kids (8 and 9) and I am determined to watch them grow up and have kids of their own. I am not ready to die. But after I looked at that list, I realized that I have done a lot of things on other people’s bucket lists. I was happy for myself, but also very sad for others. I started to think about what’s left to do. Because if I’m going to get many more years, I’m going to want to do many more things in those years – as much as possible, as much as I’m able.

As I’ve shared, I hired a team of coaches to help me realize my vision.

I feel very good about the impact that I’ve made in people’s lives so
far working as a one-on-one career coach, an adjunct professor, and an
instructor. I want to do more. I want to make work better for many more people. I want to apply my personal experience as well as the experiences of my clients over these past 15 or so years, and to take what I’ve learned about conscious leadership, neuroscience, quantum physics, human performance, mental health, wellness, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and transformation and relay it on a much larger scale.

On a smaller scale, I want to be a better professor. I want to remember what it was like to be a young adult – scared, a bit to a lot defensive, somewhat fragile. I want to be a better bridge to the “real world” so that what I teach them has a much greater impact on who they become as leaders.

I have some other bucket list things, like seeing Alaska and northern lights, visiting Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

Most importantly, I want to be a great mom. I want to be better at loving them through their mistakes and missteps.

Have you ever made a bucket list? What’s on yours?

Have you ever made a list of cool things you’ve done? What are your top 5 accomplishments?

Neil Finn & Friends – Anytime (Live from 7 Worlds Collide)

From the concert film 7 Worlds Collide. Recorded Live at The St. James Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand in April of 2001. Live band features Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) on guitars, Lisa Germano (John Mellencamp) on violin & keyboards, Phil Selway (Radiohead) on drums, and Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing) on bass.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Being In The Friend Zone As A Manager: Strategies To Help You In 10 Sticky Situations

Having a friend at work can make work more bearable, can make the time go faster, and can even enhance your reputation. A Gallup study recommends not just having friends at work, but to have a “best” friend at work, citing multiple workplace health benefits.

However, there are the friends that you make as you work together closely, and potentially friends knew from somewhere else who wound up working at your company. The advice Gallup gives may tempt you to get your friends hired at your company, and there are certainly many companies who want you to refer your friends – the whole birds of a flock theory. Some will even pay you if your friends get hired.

Before you decide to bring your friend into the company, I want you to think about some hypothetical situations you may likely face, especially if you are the hiring manager and you’re considering hiring a friend to be on your team.

Of course, there are times when you’ll make friends at work, but for the sake of this article, we’ll stick with a friend you knew from before. Look for future blogs about the other possible work friend situations.

1. When They Can’t Get Past Who You Were

The friends I’ve known the longest remember when I was young and stupid. They’ve seen me at my lowest. They know and accept me, my mistakes, and my flaws, for the most part. They also have most likely benefited in some way from my strengths, even helping me recognize what makes me special.

Just because they accept me as a person and friend doesn’t mean they’ll accept my authority as a manager.  They may not like the way I manage at all, actually. And, just because they accept my shortcomings doesn’t mean that they won’t exploit them, even subconsciously.

2. When They Wind Up Being Not Who You Thought They Were

There certainly are friends who know how to be professional and understand how to respect your friendship and your leadership. There are probably not as many of your friends who can do this as you think, though. Your past history can be a good indicator, but being a recruiter taught me that with people, you can never be 100% certain.  It really takes two highly emotionally intelligent people to appropriately handle the sticky situations that arise, let alone maintain a friendship through them.

3. When You Have to Manage Performance

As the manager of your friend, you are held responsible for their performance, as you are equally responsible for the rest of your team’s performance. You have to be extra vigilant not to be harsher nor more forgiving of your friend.

Enforcing standardized metrics can ensure that everyone gets held to the same standards.

You have to have a relationship set up from the get-go where you both agree that honesty is kindness. The affection and acceptance that you have for each other can either make it harder or easier, to tell the truth.

This agreement has to go both ways, but you also have to establish that same agreement with all of your team members. Otherwise, if your other team members see your friend as the only one who can talk to you candidly, they will wind up confiding in your friend their concerns, especially those about you. Your friend can then become an unofficial, involuntary delegate to deliver feedback.

Think about how you have both broached difficult conversations in the past. Has it gone both ways? How have you handled it? What were the feelings around it, spoken or unspoken? Do you have a relationship in which honesty is delivered with love and good intentions? Has it helped you both become better?

4. When Your Best Friend Makes A New Best Friend

Of course, you want your friend to make new friends at work…just not a new best friend. However, that’s exactly what can happen. You may have been friends since childhood – a function of the fact that you lived in close proximity to each other, had mutual interests, and other mutual friends.

However, at work, there may be a greater diversity of people with different interests, beliefs, life experiences, and passions to bond over.

Sometimes it happens that what your friend and new friend bond over is you. This is the worst-case scenario of your friend making a new best friend. When you’re the manager, you also often are the scapegoat, and the common enemy. This can really get toxic and degrade morale for the team as a whole. If you get into this situation, I recommend also getting a coach. You will regularly want an objective opinion and someone who can help you check your ego so that you address this from a professional standpoint and without letting your personal feelings dictate if, when, and how you put the kibosh on workplace commiserating against you.

5. When You Are Accused of Nepotism

If your friend winds up being a superstar and getting promoted ahead of other team members, expect that you will have to defend the equality of the opportunity. You will be scrutinized on anything more you could have done to set your friend up for success.

You’ll have to think about if, in the extra time that you spent with your friend, you offered extra trade secrets. You’ll have to determine if their intimate knowledge of who you are giving them an edge in learning from you or earning your favor. You’ll also have to determine if you have felt freer to give them an edge through the information you shared about the other team members.

It’s also possible that they have learned from some cultural tips or tips from earning more recognition, money or perks even before they started.

You have to hand out trade secrets, or “hot” clients, or prominent projects, to all your team members, or at least give them equal opportunity to earn them. Set them up equally for growth opportunities. Be prepared to back up your recommendation or promotion decision based on expectations that you made clear to each team member on what it will take to earn a promotion.  Cite specific examples of performance that warranted the recommendation and performance that fell short of what you previously communicated.

Keep in mind your friend most likely wants people to know that he or she deserved a promotion, or things could get really bad for them, too.  It can make it harder for them to succeed with their own team if there is a belief that it wasn’t by merit, but your friendship that got them there.

6. When You Have Bias For and Bias Against Your Friend

We all do this thing to protect ourselves from looking bad where we assume that we’re unbiased. However, bias operates without our conscious awareness. It really takes quiet self-reflection and heightened self-awareness to recognize it in ourselves.

You know your friend very well, and may be able to identify ahead of time, sooner than other team members, when something is off, and what to do to get them back on quickly.  You may have additional insight into what tends to interfere with your friend’s mood, or how they act when something is bothering them.

Make it a habit to spend time regularly in quiet reflection assessing your response to your friend in comparison to your response to other team members. Ask yourself hard questions, and listen and record the responses in a journal. Sometimes you can’t recognize a pattern until it’s visually there in front of you.

Also, make it a practice to schedule time getting to know such things about your team members. Be proactive in asking them how they are dealing with challenges at work, or even at home.

7. When Your Friend is Dealing with Life

It happens to all of us –  accidents, death, financial difficulties, relationship problems, etc. When these things happen, they don’t happen in a vacuum or a silo. They tend to bleed into other areas of our lives, including our work.

You may even know personally the people in your friends’ life who are impacted by these life events, and so you may be dealing with life by association. This is when you need your friends the most. As your friend’s manager, however, you have to make sure that you are extending the same sympathy, time off, support, understanding, and slack to all of your team members when life happens to them, as well.

And, you’ll have to work harder to build a relationship with other team members in which they feel comfortable confiding in you when life happens.

8. When Your Team Gets Jealous

Your team members may see you being a good friend, and crave that kind of friendship with you, as well.

My old boss was an Ironman, very dedicated to fitness and competitive events. On our team of about 10, there was another fitness buff, and they would go for runs together. It wasn’t long before the murmurings of favoritism started to impact morale, engagement, and productivity. They went ignored for a bit of time. This particular account manager was also enjoying a great amount of success in earning new accounts. It could have been his great attitude, aided by his good physical health and confidence. It could have been how much more he was enjoying his work, having a great relationship with his boss. Even if there was 0 correlation between this buddyhood and his success, there was the perception that there was. Thankfully, my boss was working with the same coach our company made available to us all, and he was mindful and considerate of this concern.

His solution was to give the other team members equal opportunity to socialize with him after work hours and when the team performance warranted, he instituted a happy hour at the office. He brought in a couple of six-packs and we had beers together – a limit of two, for liability’s sake. This was one of several ideas proposed and voted on by the team.

Find the things you like in common with each of your team members, and make time to do them together. Propose that you do some “1:1 team-building” during lunch hours or before/after work.

Be aware of unreasonable requests for time outside of normal working hours, however. Also, stay mindful of how much time during work you spend chit-chatting with your friend and allocate equal time for everyone.

9. When They Don’t Share Your Good Opinion of the Company

For you, the company is a great place to work, which is why you wanted to share the wealth with your friend. However, it is apparently not great for everyone. Perhaps it’s better for managers than it is for non-managers. Perhaps the structure you appreciate is inhibiting your friend’s strengths. Perhaps his or her lifestyle doesn’t work as well with the company hours or flex-time policies.

If your friend decides that the company isn’t the great career move you thought it would be, there can be impacts on your friendship.  It’s even possible they’ll think they were better off where they were before you convinced them to join you. Once a change like that is done, it generally can’t be undone, at least without some apologizing and groveling. I hope if you find yourself in this situation that your friend is forgiving and honest as opposed to secretive and resentful. And, I hope that you have ample notice of their departure so that you can backfill the position and your mistake doesn’t impact operations and reflect poorly on you.

Sometimes revelations from your friend can taint your once-favoring opinion of the company. You may start to see things you were blind to, and you can’t then unsee them.  They may also form opinions about people – people you manage. Be very careful that this doesn’t create biases.

10. When You’re Ready to Move On

Do you owe it to your friend to fill them in on your aspirations to leave? Do you trust that if you do reveal your plan it will stay between the two of you and not get leaked to other team members or your boss prematurely?

If your team finds out your friend new first, will they be salty about it?

Is there a reasonable amount of time after hiring your friend that you are obligated to stay?

Whether your decision is career-motivated, situation-motivated, money-motivated, or lifestyle-motivated, you risk that your friend will feel left behind, unconsidered, and even betrayed.

People may vary in their advice for these situations, but these are hard questions, and there is no one right answer. You may have to ask yourself these questions if you decide to hire your friend.

Hiding anything from someone who knows you well is much harder to do and get away with.

Other situations that can be very hard to navigate include when you know that a layoff is coming but can’t tell anyone, including the person you tell everything. And, when you get fired and your friend gets your job.

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As you can see, there’s a lot to consider!

If you are a job seeker wondering why your friends won’t help you or hire you, consider that it might be a blessing in disguise and the best thing your friend can do for your friendship in the long-term.

What sticky situations have you been in with friends at work?

Dionne Warwick – That’s What Friends Are For

https://music.apple.com/us/album/dionne-warwick-the-voices-of-christmas/1482137630 Dionne Warwick’s official music video for ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ ft. Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder. Click to listen to Dionne Warwick on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/DionneWSpotify?IQid=DionneWTWF As featured on Love Songs.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.