Archives for personal growth

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. 

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. 

Feminism in Action at Epic Careering

Remember when I declared I was a feminist?

Well, that wasn’t just an empty cry of support for my fellow females, and if you know me, you know I’m a woman of action, not just words.

So, once I got off the fence and got on to the playing field for women, it was time to choose what I was going to DO to support women. It’s not like I haven’t supported women in the past, but with my declaration came a self-imposed accountability to level up what I have done before.

Previously, I have volunteered and spoken at the PA Conference for Women. I recently applied to return as a speaker on issues that help women increase their visibility and influence internally and externally for greater upward mobility. Cross your fingers I am selected to speak again.

In the past, I offered to be a career mentor for my (very active) sorority alumnae association. However, there was no infrastructure in the organization to help my sisters take better advantage of this, so I volunteered to co-lead the initiative.

Earlier this year, at the request of my former client, Christopher Waters, I led a 3-part video series on how to use LinkedIn to get the best job search results for the Delaware Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy. They have now engaged me for two Salary Negotiation Workshops to help train women on advocating for better compensation in their job search while transitioning from individual contributor to leadership. The first of these two sessions is tonight (April 13th) and is aimed at recent graduates and entry-level job seekers. The second session will be geared towards junior job seekers and takes place on April 29th. These events are aimed at but not restricted to women residents of Delaware. Register for either of the workshops here, or share the link with a female in need of closing a compensation gap, or just earning her worth.

To close the gender pay gap faster, both sides need to bridge toward each other – professional women and employers. With the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, the conscious leadership certification program I am launching this year after 3 years in the making, I am using case studies on the trickle-down cost benefits to closing the gender pay gap to demonstrate the conscious decision protocol that helps leaders determine and justify with transparency what is in the highest good, and closing the gender pay gap IS in the highest good!

In the past, I have given aspiring female career coaches and résumé writers tips on getting started or growing their businesses. I attended a virtual event for the Future Works Alliance PHL, where, as I shared in my feminist declaration blog, it was suggested that many women don’t sponsor and advocate for other women because they earned their scars and feel it’s other women’s right of passage to earn their own. So, in 2022, I am planning to offer free getting started tutorials and launch a program to teach the methodologies that I have developed that enable my clients to achieve accelerated conscious career alignment. I will offer this to men, too, but plan on targeting women with my content and marketing.

Not sure if advocating for women is a cause to which you are willing to contribute?

Consider that closing the gender pay gap will:

  • Add $482 billion to the US economy (by 2014 standards)
  • Reduce the poverty rate among women by more than half and among single mothers by just about half
  • Improve state’s economies – the larger the economies, the larger the growth

And, having more women at the top of corporate leadership will:

What can will you do to help close the gender gap and support the upward mobility of women to the influential C-Suite?

Ben Harper – Diamonds On The Inside (Official Video)

“By My Side” buy linksAmazon: http://smarturl.it/bymysideiTunes: http://smarturl.it/ByMySideiTunes Music video by Ben Harper performing Diamonds On The Insid…

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.

I Am A Feminist

I’ve never identified as a feminist. Perhaps that is because I was taught by the men in my life that it was a dirty word.

I might have even learned that being a feminist would damage my reputation and opportunity, assuming the doors to those opportunities had to be opened by a man, which is still largely too true. It could have been because the media of my time portrayed feminists as nerdy, angry, and unlikeable – three things that I aimed not to be. Perhaps it’s because I have often experienced my own gender being unkind, judgmental, and deliberately demeaning. Perhaps it’s because women have ripped off my ideas without giving me credit. Men have, too, but these women are in women’s professional support groups. I have not embraced nor been embraced by these groups.

Why is that?

This week, I attended a Future Works Alliance event led by its founder, Anne Gemmell, called Women, Work and COVID: The Future is Still Female. During that event, the question was asked: Why aren’t women women’s biggest allies in making it to the C-Suite?

Why do we find that more often than not, women are apt to not let other women shine too brightly?

Sharon Clinton, Deputy Executive Director of Culture, Compliance and Organizational Infrastructure in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, who led the breakout room discussion on racial and gender bias on the path to C-Suite, asserted that perhaps it’s because women at the top have scars from the battles they fought to get there. Perhaps there is a potential resentment for women who achieve the same without or with fewer scars.

When I likely needed it most, I avoided mom’s clubs. I tried them, and they were exactly as I feared – a bunch of women judging other women.

Since we were young, we have sacrificed each other to save face, tearing each other down hoping it would lift us up. These were the dynamics of female dominance that we learned. We rewarded each other for making fun of each other whether it was through prank calls or whispers. Gossip was like social capital. If you had some, everyone wanted to talk to you. It’s even worse now with social media.

I have to be honest – I don’t think I would have made it out of middle school alive had there been social media! I knew very few nice girls who did not succumb to these twisted power games. These girls usually, smartly, were well-liked by all, but not super close with anyone. It was as if the closer you got to a friend, the more drama ensued. We dealt with our own insecurities by redirecting people’s attention to the flaws of others.

You’d think we’d all grow out of it.

Some of us have. Some of us, honestly, have not.

I gave up vying for popularity in high school and sought out diverse relationships instead; I joined clubs. There was always so much drama among my girl friends (and that didn’t change much even as we aged). Sometimes I felt more comfortable with guy friends – equally loyal, less dramatic.

I’m a sorority girl, and from my impression of women’s groups, you may not get that. I did not intend to pledge a sorority; I was recruited by a friend from high school. Those girls got to know me and, not only accepted me for who I was, mistakes and all, but also appreciated and celebrated my uniqueness. The sorority I chose and that chose me still has an active alumni association. In fact, we will meet virtually this weekend for our annual luncheon. Pledging, for all intents and purposes, was like training in how to be the most sister-like friend you can be. Was there drama? Yes. Did everyone like each other? No. However, groupthink influenced a sense of loyalty and collaboration that superseded personal conflicts. It was actually a GREAT experience in working in harmony with other women, and I wish more women had the same type of experience. From what I discern, not all sorority pledging and sisterhoods accomplish this, but it seems Vice President Kamala Harris has enjoyed such an experience.

My first job in recruiting was in an all-female boutique executive search firm. I hadn’t realized how well women could work together and nurture each other without men around until I had this experience. How I missed those days when I had been psychologically bullied and bad-mouthed by “mean girls.”

When I started my company, most of my clientele were men purely because I was coming from technical recruiting, and technology is dominated by men. My mentors were men. I had a male business coach advise me to put my picture on my website to leverage my (much younger) appearance to attract more of my target audience. (I didn’t – that was never for what I wanted to be valued, especially by clients.) I had known women more experienced than I, but they didn’t really do much for my career. In fact, they usually took more than they gave.

The Harvard Business Review found in 2010 that women are over-mentored yet under-sponsored, and that remains true. Men continue to get promoted more than women. There are also deficiencies in other kinds of sponsorship, such as childcare support.

This is a problem that impacts us all. Data shows huge economic losses linked to racial and gender disparities and lack of sufficient childcare.

Over 2.5 million women lost their jobs during the pandemic. In December 2020, 100% of people who lost their jobs were women, according to data cited by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) this past Tuesday.

Our current climate of rugged individualism has proven to be not only toxic to overall mental health, but has proven to be devoid of any benefit even to the individual. Shared prosperity has not been shared by all, as the Congresswoman also pointed out on Tuesday. Data shows that even prosperous people would be that much more prosperous if populations who have been left behind were given the opportunity to catch up.

A McKinsey report from August of 2019 explains the economic impacts of closing the racial wealth gap. Their data shows that by closing the gap, the U.S. GDP would rise by 4-6% in 10 years.

A study by the International Monetary Fund also links higher growth to industries and countries with more women in the workforce and greater gender equality.

Keeping all of this in mind, it seems logical to me that enabling more people to prosper by eliminating their obstacles and challenges to doing so is beneficial to everyone. By empowering people with education and training, and ensuring that they have equal access to resources and opportunity, you have fewer people needing financial support from the government and more people contributing to innovation and progress. Growth is accelerated when efforts are focused on the populations with the most challenges and least access.

Growing up, we made ourselves susceptible to feeling as if we deserved the criticism of boy/men. I bought into it. I let the men in my life define me as a woman and I rejected female influence because of how bad it made me feel. Well, I have two daughters now and that ends with me! The gender revolution is far from over. I see now how much my resignation has hindered ALL genders and races. It’s time I stand up for women!

So, I proudly declare: I am a feminist!

Women have not stepped up fully because hurt people hurt people. Women, it’s time we heal ourselves to heal each other. It’s time we fully step into our divine feminine power and be in awe of ourselves and each other. It’s time WE define what being a woman is, intentionally. While we demand respect and recognition from our male counterparts, we need to do this for each other as well. Let’s heal together.

Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

From the 1980 Motown album, “diana”

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.

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. 

Cheers to More Connection, Growth, and Sharing in 2020

I’m ready, 2020.

I started my New Year’s resolutions a bit early this year by doing a deep dive in self-assessment. As I’ve been shifting my professional goals toward more contributions to conscious leadership, I’ve really had to examine where I’ve failed to apply all that I’ve learned over the past 20 years. It’s humbling, and frequently embarrassing, but necessary.

Once the challenge of reflecting is done, I know that making a public proclamation of my 2020 intentions is the best way to transform intentions into actions and actions into results.

(I’m not calling them resolutions, as it feels like a re-solution that didn’t work before.)

Let me just dig right in, and rip the band-aid off.

I believe I have grown a bit stingy with my time, but more so, my presence. This could be due to overextending myself. How to reconcile this is tricky. I have been making contributions to various communities, but I’ve felt as though I was never giving them enough. It’s time to really own my time, and keeping a calendar is what I know works.

In the year ahead, I commit to focusing more on specific contributions I aim to make and delegating everything else that keeps me from making a contribution that feels like enough.

This means letting some things go. In 2019, I really improved in this area. In the next year, I’ll continue to pick up steam – letting old hurts go, letting physical stuff go, letting others take on tasks I’d feel compelled to do, and forgiving myself for where I fell short of my own expectations – this is the hardest one. The better I get at this, the faster I can go from ego to highest self.

Letting go requires balance, though, as I have to know when NOT to let things go, too. I still intend to speak up for myself, to stand up to those not leading with good intentions, and to be a stand for my clients and students – to shine a light on the self-talk and outdated systems that threaten to give them less than what they really want in the long run.

I also will be more vigilant about money and will work on my confidence as a good steward of finances. I will no longer continue to pay for programs that don’t support forward progress.

I’ll be sharing a lot more in 2020. Once I’m clear how best I can communicate and share, I will do so on a regular, predictable, reliable schedule.

I want to get more connected to people’s nature. To be with people, really with them. There will be much more openness, eye contact, deep soulful conversations. I will be more mindful of how I respond and punctuate conversations. I will improve my awareness of others’ feelings. I will learn how to be a better conversationalist and how to channel my curiosity while recognizing and neutralizing judgment. I want to get better at understanding how individuals prefer to be respected and regarded.

I will put myself on a follow-up schedule so that I stay in better touch with clients. I will organize more get-togethers and create more opportunities for people in my network to connect with each other, which I know is where the magic happens.

There’s one place where I have not walked the walk, doing exactly what I recommend – sending thank you sentiments. I’ve certainly dropped a heartfelt gift or note sporadically, but I want it to be a regimen, and not just the delivery of said gratitude, but the practice of really being in gratitude. This has been a part of daily routines before, and it’s time to work it back in with new rituals that will become part of systems. I will do this for how it transforms me, but also how it transforms my relationships and nurtures my network.

Sadly, I’ve been curating a collection of wonderful things I could do to better serve my mission and better support people’s professional growth, but have not done a good job in several years bringing offers into creation and I’ve never done a great job of enrolling large quantities of leaders in them so that I make the impact that I want.

This year, that changes. I’ve hired a team of coaches to hold me accountable and to help me craft, create, promote and deliver programs that transform corporate careers for my clients and their teams. They will help me finally put together the pieces of the puzzle I’ve been staring at cross-eyed, and to systematize all of this so that I can deliver consistent quality, not let anything or anyone fall through the cracks, and be a reliable solution provider.

I have a TON of content, as well, just sitting in various files where they’re doing you no good. As I’ve scaled back outgoing marketing, I’ve also started to become a harsher critic of myself, and have been scared to be too revealing of who I am through what I create. At the risk of your judgment, but also my own, I’ll be more unabashed in my expression.

All of these proclamations scare me, but that’s only when I think of myself as the person who fell short. If I focus, however, on all I have achieved, I know I’m totally capable. I have confidence in the talent supporting me, including my coaches and my virtual assistant, Cynthia.

Now comes mapping it all out. Thank God I don’t have to do that alone!

I’m excited for a new year and a new decade. I’m ready to redeem myself where I fell short, and even to make more mistakes and gain more wisdom.

I’d like to take a moment to send you a new year’s wish that you can look back 10 years from now and know that you gave the 2020s everything that you had, and so it gave you back everything you want. And, I wish that you know you’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania.

It’s me. I’m a friend in Pennsylvania.

This time I’m sending you a special gift, a song – not my song, but sung by me. It’s my first big, bold share in accordance with my 2020 proclamations, as well as my last big share of the decade. I hope you enjoy it.

https://vimeo.com/382118169/585b1c6382

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. 

How Have You Grown Since the Last Olympics?

Olympics by Peter Burgess of Flickr

Olympics by Peter Burgess of Flickr

The Olympics are here again.

I can’t believe another four years has passed by so quickly. I revisited the vlog, 8 things that Corporate America can learn from the Olympics, and while those eight things are timeless, I think about everything that has changed since then.

When I made the video my daughters were eight months and two years old. They were both still in diapers and both still napped, which is how I was able to make the vlog. I was still nursing, which meant that every three to five hours I was either attached to my baby or attached to a machine for 45 minutes (my babies were not as efficient eaters as others). I preferred being with the babies, though that meant not having any full day adventures away from home.

My sister-in-law had not yet passed, and I had no idea that we would lose a nephew on his 28th birthday, prompting me to seriously reevaluate the time and the sense of urgency that I give to my most meaningful projects. I also reevaluated the amount of time I feel is acceptable to bring about meaningful changes and momentum for my clients in their job search.

It was another election year, but I knew who was getting my vote. Our financial world was still feeling the effects of the depression, though at least all signs were pointing towards a continuing recovery.

When I was recruiting and an employer wanted a certain number of years of experience, a question I always thought it was important to ask was, “what would someone learn in those extra years of experience that they would not have learned in a lesser number of years?” This is especially true in a world where technology is making everything evolve at such a fast pace. What are the lessons of the past that need to be carried into the future?

I made a shortlist of universal lessons and skills that I have acquired in the last four years. However, I really want to know about you and what you have learned in the last four years that have enabled you to increase your value to make a more meaningful impact in your job.

 

Mine:

I have learned, practiced, and then demonstrated and taught the value of my authentic story. I have learned that I can be more inspiring and reach people on a deeper level if I am real about the darker places in my life. I feel like I am more myself with people now than I had ever felt free enough to be before, and it has made me bolder. I am more willing to experiment and take risks, and more willing to “look bad” if an idea fails.

I have adjusted many of my programs to be much shorter. They are now three-months long instead of six-months, even for my executive clients. I focused on productivity, learning from experts like Tim Ferris and Neen James on how to fold time, work smarter rather than harder, and make things happen faster. I then worked those lessons into my coaching and products.

My paradigm shifted from learning new ways to reach my audience for the purposes of building an empire and a legacy, to challenging myself to serve my audience in the highest ways possible. This means constantly reinvesting in improving the products and services I offer, and innovating new, groundbreaking tools, technologies, and programs, as well as being a lifelong student of personal and professional marketing.

 

What are your learned lessons? What are some significant ways that you have evolved in the past four years? What have you learned that has been a game changer?