Author Archive for Dr. Helen Harkness

Moving Through Career Chaos to Creativity – An Update

As most of you know, I have a tendency to be “ahead of the curve” in a lot of my writing and research. I have been researching both Chaos Theory and Happiness for years, and wanted to review some of my past findings with you – because the world is catching up with some of the trends I saw coming a number of years ago, as written about in the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal:

I suggested a journal volume focusing on two rapidly developing con­temporary fields affecting midlife adults – the Science of Chaos/Com­plexity originating from physics, and the Science of Happiness from Positive Psychology.

Integrating the Chaos Theory and Positive Psychology came as an instinctive response to finding a way to help my clients solve their career issues. My purpose in suggesting the study of these two fields to my colleagues was the re­alization that a basic (not necessarily a deep) understanding of the fields of physics and psychology is essential. Both of these are now generating cutting edge concepts which are moving from their original narrow sci­ence subject to countless other applications. Read More→

Green Careers – Client Perspectives

Updated perspectives on Green Energy and Its Impact

Current Careers in Energy – What It Means to Be Green

“The future is uncertain . . . . but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.” According to Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize winner in 1977 and author of Order Out of Chaos, and The End of Certainty. This uncertainty and the necessity for creativity is exactly where we are in our energy world today!

Though I am a long time career consultant and confirmed futurist, providing the last word on green careers pushed me to use my more experienced clients and contacts as resources. My company, Career Design, sponsors Pathfinders for the Future, to provide career information and mentoring sessions on careers and for the past six months we have focused on the energy field. Authorities from varying energy areas have presented programs which were all videoed for others to view later at no charge. As a result, Bruce Thomas, a former marketing professional in radio & TV and an early retiree seeking his next career, initiated a non-profit organization, North Texas Advanced Energy Collaborative (NTAEC), dedicated to the development of North Texas as an economic and innovation zone for advanced and emerging energy technology industry. This is a rapidly growing group focusing on collaborative business development and launching a website in May for posting articles and information statewide, nationally and worldwide.

I have asked two members of this group to write a brief summary of their insight and possible opportunities and challenges for careers in this exploding industry:

  • “What is “Green” is by Tony Robinson, M.S. He has been in the construction industry since 1979. Tony spent more than twenty-five years working on the design and development of energy efficient building products.
  • The 2nd submission, “Profitable Green Solutions” is by Eric Woodroof, Ph.D. He has been in the energy efficiency and environmental field for over 15 years, helping businesses and governments reduce their environmental impact. Dr. Woodroof serves on several advisory boards for professional associations.

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Five Points to Consider at Midlife (From Don’t Stop the Career Clock)

Just as there is no automatic system to successfully guide our career for us, there is no prescription for how we are to live our later life. Society and its institutions and professionals are trailing at least ten years behind in dealing with the process and problems of integrating aging and working.

DSCC-BookThose of us who are embarking on our first or second midlife are asking ourselves some critical questions: What is the purpose of our later years? Does aging have any intrinsic purpose? Is there work to be done after rearing children? What are the rules, rights, and responsibilities of older people? What are the strengths and virtues of old age? What is a good old age? Who can teach us how to grow old well? How can we deal best with time? Can we expect new thresholds to cross as long as we live?

Regardless of our chronological age, the most meaningful thing we can live for is to reach our full potential. We must find and develop the skills we enjoy using and pursue a positive idea of aging. And we must keep on a growth and learning curve. Read More→

Identify Your Success Criteria for Career Satisfaction and Success

Psst – Want the secret of “How to Create Career Satisfaction?”
Know What You Want From Your Career

Seems simple, right? It’s not that simple, but that is where the secret comes in. Career Design (CDA) has successfully helped countless clients transition their career since the ‘70s. They go through an in-depth self-exploration process to identify skills, interests, motivation, talents and much more.

One of the things all CDA clients do is identify their Success Criteria, which is a guide for them to use as they make decisions, especially those that relate to their career life and its effect on their personal life. Read More→

Make a New LIFE Resolution: Find Your Purpose. . .

Find Your Purpose You Can Pursue with Passion As Long As You Live!

It’s a New Year and now is the time for finding meaning in your life and work! This is exactly what CDA client, B.A. Norrgard, set out to do in February 2012. She started her journey of self-exploration with a battery of CDA Career Assessments and participating in the In-depth Skills Identification Workshop Series that countless Career Design clients have found to be one of the most insightful processes to add value to your life and work.

B.A., a woman of action, is making her mark on the tiny house movement in Dallas with a big splash! In December, she was interviewed by the Dallas Morning News and featured on the front page of the Sunday edition. Read the story here.

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Stop Aging in the Workplace! 4 Ways to Defy the Myths of Aging

Shattering the Mindless Myths & Misinformation of Aging is one of the greatest challenges for the Baby Boomer Generation!

It is critical to:3083796_illustration [Converted]TEST2

  1. Develop an innovative model integrating aging and working based on current research and rapidly shifting environmental realities
  2. Realize that today’s model for aging and working can be destructive, deplorable, depressing, and invalid; and that redesigning and implementing a new pattern is essential.
  3. Shatter the stereotypes and recognize the myths, misinformation, and negative effects of ageism in our society, workplace, and ourselves.
  4. Know that age does not automatically spell decline.

Aging Myths: Physical – growing up/running down; Mental – shrinking brain; Psychological – nothing to live for; Creative – wilting inventiveness.

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Five Tips to Change Your Career

The Five Tips to Change Your Career

Do you read the Dallas Morning News “Five” column? In this popular column by staff writer, Hanah Cho, local experts provide five recommendations on a topic useful to small business owners and individuals. Read More→

Jeff Brady – Brand Echonomics

As many of you may know I am an avid reader. I will sit down with my pen, paper and a book and start to read and write. I take notes about every book I read. This helps me to recall them easier, but also serves as a reminder of the things I need to take action on.

brand_echonomics_jeff_bradyI recently read Brand Echonomics: Building a Message that Matters by Jeff Brady. Jeff is a former news anchor for WFAA and is currently host of The Texas Daily. In addition, he owns public relations firm in Dallas, Brady Media Group, that focuses on storytelling for big brands.

My message to all about this book is that you need to read it to understand how to create your Brand ECHO, not only for business owners but as an individual. Storytelling is the major key to success in your personal and professional life. You tell your story to others and they amplify your story to others creating the echo. We all need more story tellers!!

Below are some of my notes from reading Jeff’s Book, Brand Echnomics and I highly recommend you read it to get the rest of the story.

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Do You Have Worklife Wisdom? As Defined by Friends of CDA

What is your definition of wisdom?
How do you define this life’s goal we are all seeking?

A trait I have developed with a bit of my wisdom gained from experience is that I have a sharp crap detector! I seem to have a knack for detecting and questioning these rules and absolutes that we’re automatically supposed to accept. And when we examine them closely, we realize that they might have been true at one time in the past, but they’re not true at all now!

I am a researcher and in preparing for writing a chapter for Words of Wisdom, (co-authored by Dr. John Gray, Brian Tracy, myself and others) I reached out to CDA clients and friends for their definitions of wisdom. Here are the definitions so willing shared:

“Interesting question and one that I have pondered for a long time. I have studied the words and journey of Soloman in the Bible who was the wisest man mentioned in the Bible. I too have prayed for wisdom. It seems to me that wisdom and experience are linked together. To become wise means to have lots of different experiences in order to see things from different points of view. How can you truly understand something if you haven’t experienced it? As people get to know me, many have commented that I have done a lot. I want to be like the hospice patients I used to sit with. I want to live a full life and in order to do that you must get out there and risk. I have gone through many dirk nights and rough times, which once again, I am shaking off. The latest time has been several years long, but I am feeling better than ever and looking forward to my next growth time.

For those who are younger and less experienced, I would suggest finding mentors to guide them. I think our society does a really poor job of mentoring people these days. It is even harder for those who come from fractured families. When I speak of mentors, I am thinking of people who really know you and want to help you become your best, not those with a particular agenda of their own.

~ Deanna Schroeder

“In yoga philosophy there is a notion that we are creations of different energy bodies and that the inner most “light” of the ‘true self’ is converted by sheaths or ‘subtle bodies’. The Sanskirt word for them is Koshas. The 5 bodies are Physical, Energetic, Mental, Wisdom and Bliss Body. These bodies penetrate and make up a sense of ourselves. We often identify with our bodies, but don’t always ‘feel’ like it. Noticing the movement of the organs, the touch, sight, smell and taste of it. We recognize pain and comfort in a physical way. The energetic body hold the vitality of ourselves, when we are tired, excited, feel expansive or withdrawn and ‘invisible’ …empty. The mental body is where out ‘Samskaras’ or patterns lie. We hold close to the ideas, beliefs and thoughts that we have had that kept us alive so far.

The Wisdom Body is one of Awareness. It is an amalgam of information coming from intuition which intermixes visceral awareness with knowledge – like ‘grocking’. From Wikipedia : Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes part of the observed – to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. In a ideological context, a grokked concept become part of the person who contributes to its evolution by improving the doctrine, perpetuating the myth, espousing the belief, adding detail to the social plan, refining the idea or proving the theory. It is the closest to the bliss body, and when quieting the mental body of thoughts, the inner voice can be heard.

The Bliss Body is the closest to the ‘divine’ consciousness of the universe. Here, joy, ecstasy, dynamism and goodness.”

~ Anonymous

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Is our workplace a killer?

Women, who have always lived longer than men in the past, are now dying younger than before.

Men die 10 years earlier than Women and NOW the Female Life Span is falling!
Is this work world now killing both men and women alike?

workplace_killerWomen who have highly demanding jobs are 38 percent more likely to have heart problems than those in less stressful positions, according to new findings from the Women’s Health Study.

Generally, women have always lived longer than men by at least 10 years. The researcher that I am, I began to ask questions of my male clients and several psychologists and MDs: “Are you aware that, as a male, you will live at least ten years less than the average female?” The men consistently responded, “Oh, I know that.”
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