Author Archive for Dr. Helen Harkness – Page 2

Why Having a “Sharp Crap Detector” is Essential is Today’s Workworld!

When I was writing the book, The Career Chase 15 years ago and was explaining the necessity to become a Change Catalyst to learn new skills for the new rapidly upcoming age, I listed what I thought those new skills would be. Very quickly I said it would take courage, and confidence to change. We would have to make a commitment and take the challenge. It would require creativity, cooperation, curiosity, competence and this would result in compensation and gaining career control. Then I added common sense and noticed when I listed these traits somehow, automatically, they all started with a C. “Aha”! That’s when I realized I had learned something from that Ph.D. in English! If nothing else, I could alliterate.

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Entrepreneurship: Do You Have What It Takes?

A CDA PathFinder For Your Future Event on Entrepreneurship

By 2020, forty percent of American’s are predicted to become freelancers, self-employed, part-time workers or work in portfolio career. Is this for you?

Want to know more? Attend this CDA PathFinder Meeting!

Hear the details of becoming a Tiny House entrepreneur from BA Norrgard who created A Bed Over my Head. You’ll also meet Leigh Ellen Key, who with Matt Warmuth, founded Jigsaw Ticket, LLC, designed for young adults to achieve a satisfying career and avoid overwhelming college debt! Read More→

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→

Is a Green Career in Your Future? Experts Share the Scoop

Green Energy Careers

Perspectives on Green Energy and Its Impact

“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.

Current Careers in Energy – What It Means to Be Green

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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Todd Wagner – From Lawyer to Yahoo to Philanthropist

Former Client Todd Wagner and CDA

Todd Wagner has presented at Career Design Associates a number of times since he was client of Dr. Harkness’ in the early 1990s. Todd is a great example of a client who has reinvented himself a number of times – from Lawyer to High-tech Entrepreneur to Investor and Philanthropist. Todd has made his efforts and his investments count in a variety of ways, often for the benefit of society. He is committed to being a change agent.

Phase One – Running From The Law

Harkness_Wagner_lowres-7029Like a lot of lawyers, Todd Wagner is bright and articulate, and the law seemed like a good fit for him.

However, as he said in a Dallas Morning News story in 2004, he describes people trapped in jobs as doing “the walk of the living dead.” He’s experienced it twice, and both times, career counselor Helen Harkness came to his rescue. Dr. Harkness and Mr. Wagner first crossed paths in 1991, when he took her informal course at Southern Methodist University called “Running from the Law” – a sort of group therapy for disgruntled lawyers. At 30, he fit the bill. He’d gone to law school for lack of anything better to do and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1986. Read More→

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→

Free Talks for Parents: Mapping Your Students’ Future Career!

Join Dr. Helen Harkness, Executive Director of Career Design Foundation, and Leigh Ellen Key, President, Jigsaw Ticket, LLC, for TWO free talks – June 22 and June 23 – on the critical importance of mapping student education/interests to future jobs.

Free Career Course for Students


Second date and location added in Downtown Dallas (see below)!

Our goal is to share vital information on the future of work and the necessity for career management for teens. We would like to stimulate a lively discussion and feedback session to discover what is seen as the most pressing concerns about helping your student prepare for their future work life. We are striving to gain clarity to support the future of your teen and to contribute valuable insight as we develop resources and programs to help you and your teens make sound decisions. 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

Identify Your Success Criteria for Career Satisfaction and Success

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.

Scientific research is increasingly documenting that job satisfaction – having work you enjoy getting out of bed and doing – is a major factor for a healthy long life. The major problem with most of us is defining, deciding, and knowing what brings us work satisfaction.

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

A Story of Inspiration  – A Career Change to Find Your Passion and Purpose

The sounding message I want everyone that walks through the Career Design doors is “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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Defining Human Skills: Skills for Your Future Career

Skills Identification for Determining Your Future Career

person_working_at_deskAn important part of the re-careering process is identifying your natural talents, personality traits, and learned skills that you have acquired through your work-life. You must identify skills that you like using, are good at and want to use in your future career.

To determine this, all Career Design clients go through the CDA Skills Identification Workshop Series, in which they complete 32 to 40 hours of in-depth study in group participation and self-paced skills identification exercises.

A skill is the ability to do something well. It comes from one’s knowledge, experience, or aptitudes and relates to competence, excellence in performance, expertness and proficiency.

First, you need to define the different classes of your Human Skills, so you can translate them to your future career:

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