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Jennifer Depace is #ThrivingOnPurpose

You must meet Jennifer!

Once a sales and marketing manager,
Jennifer is now an inventor and children’s author.
You can find her latest product HERE on Amazon!
Check out Jennifer’s story below and learn how she
made such an inspiring change.

Current Career:  Inventor (Product Developer) & Children’s Book Author
Prior Career:  Sales and Marketing Manager

What is your purpose and passion?
I am most fulfilled when I am creating something.  I am least fulfilled when I don’t have an opportunity to produce something tangible. Right now, I am a licensed inventor and I am a writer of children’s books. Both allow me to fulfill my desire to create.
Why did you decide to change careers?
While outwardly successful, I was very unhappy in my career and now I understand why. I had no opportunity to express my best skill set! The company I worked for was very happy with me and compensated me well, which made me feel confused and guilty for not being fulfilled. Ultimately, I wanted an opportunity to figure out how to enjoy work, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around that while steeped in my previous career.
What steps did you take to change careers? 
I took classes in product licensing so I could “prototype” a career as a product developer. I enjoyed the challenge, and felt very rewarded when I got my first licensing contract. Regarding the children’s books, I kept writing and submitting and writing and submitting until finally I now have an agent and hopefully (fingers crossed) a book sale in the future! Both of these things required me to grow a thicker skin and become less afraid of the word “no,” which was in itself, very valuable.
What do you love most about your current career? 
I kept trying to tell myself that I had to whittle my interests down to one career, but that just doesn’t work for me! I like doing both! They are both creative in very different ways, and they nourish that part of me that hungers for a creative challenge.
How do you feel  since your career change? 
I feel much more excited about my future! I am learning constantly and growing as a writer and an inventor. When I think about it, I had stopped growing in my last career, and it feels energizing to learn and grow!
Did you find career change to be easier or harder than you expected? Definitely harder. I wish I had done it sooner! I think the hardest part is peeling away the expectations (mine and others) and deciding that, no matter how difficult, it is worth it to find some way to contribute to society that doesn’t drain you but in fact, energizes you. Working outside my talents and skillset was a huge drain on me. I always felt a bit like a fraud, but the worst part was not having the language to understand what was making me unhappy.  Now I do!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 
Hiking, fitness, photography, cooking (sometimes, when in the mood), reading, exploring.
What advice would you give someone considering a career change?
It’s always a good idea to invest in yourself. The more you understand yourself, the better your chances of designing your next career will be. You can’t be in the driver’s seat if you don’t know where you’re going. (Well, you can, but it won’t be very productive). If you’re not in the driver’s seat, then you’re just passively going along for the ride and you may end up somewhere you don’t like. That’s why it’s better to not give that control to anyone else, and design your career for yourself based on your likes, skill sets, talents and the world’s needs. If you are in a place where you cannot simply state what you want to do (I definitely could not before working with Career Design), then it would be invaluable to explore that further with people who are skilled at teasing out the truth, and who have your best interests at heart. Heather andHollis are very good at what they do, and they have a passion for helping people – a great combination!

Change is:  Necessary for growth
Jobs are:  Necessary for money, but can also be outlets for satisfying and meaningful contribution
Life is:  Fascinating
Final Thoughts: Don’t let fear drive you to action or inertia. Fear shouldn’t be driving, anyway. I definitely wasted some time in “paralysis by analysis.”  😉
We are so proud Jennifer is #ThrivingonPurpose!

3 Reasons LinkedIn is Crucial for Your Career

With over 575 million users, LinkedIn has quickly become one of the most powerful career tools of our time. The average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes on the site per month and every day this number is growing. Here are 3 compelling reasons why YOU should begin spending more time each week on LinkedIn.


1. You likely have more than Half a Million connections at your finger tips.

If you are connected to 500 people on LinkedIn, then you have direct access to over 500,000 people in your network. Wild, right!? When you learn how to use LinkedIn’s robust search features and authentically reach out, LinkedIn becomes one of the most effective ways to connect with target companies, employers, and clients.

2. LinkedIn is the #1 Social Network for Lead Generation.

LinkedIn is the best platform for finding new leads. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than the other leading platforms. In fact, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn! Build a network of authentic connections, and when the time comes, you will have a powerful base for growing your client base.

Linkedin lead generation

3. LinkedIn is a critical part of landing a new job.

The stats on landing a job through LinkedIn are astounding. Check it out:

  • 35.5 million people cite they have been hired by a person they connected with on LinkedIn
  • 70% of all jobs are found through networking. The more quality connections you have on LinkedIn, the more opportunities you have to hear about new positions.
  • There are over 20 million open job listings from over 30 million companies.
  • Roughly 122 million people have received job interviews through LinkedIn.
  • 87% of recruiters cite they check out candidates on LinkedIn, more than any other social media platform.
  • Job Applicants With a ‘Comprehensive’ LinkedIn Profile are 71% More Likely to Get an Interview.

Image result for linkedin job search statistics"


Regardless of your current career or what you hope to do next, LinkedIn is a great place to market yourself and build quality career connections. To learn more about LinkedIn and how to use the platform, join our upcoming “How to Really Use LinkedIn” Webinar.

Hollis Roberts, Certified LinkedIn Profile Expert, will teach:

  • LinkedIn’s role in today’s career space
  • How to organically grow a quality LinkedIn network
  • How to search for careers, clients, and connections like a pro
  • Tips and tricks for making the most of your time on LinkedIn

See upcoming workshop dates

Learn more about Hollis Roberts


From Money to Meaning – Chris Packard to Share on His Career Transition to Nonprofit – March 4th

Chris Packard moved from a highly financially rewarding career as owner/operator of five successful McDonald’s restaurants, the career he started at the age of 17 with only one semester of college. Years later, while extremely successful, he knew he wanted to do something different. He contacted me and we explored this possible next step.

Chris Packard - Career Transition from Franchise Owner to Non-Profit

Chris Packard’s Career Transition from Franchise Owner to Nonprofit

Chris realized that his earlier success was built on his keen management ability. He explored the nonprofit arena and soon realized that those in nonprofits did not have strong management training skills. So his goal became teaching management to nonprofit personnel. He returned to school and completed a masters at the University of Texas and is currently teaching one class, Economic Development for Municipal Staff for those in the nonprofit industry.

Attend this meeting and learn more about Chris’s midlife career change, which is now taking him to the top of the nonprofit world!!

Location: CDA offices in Garland. (Get our address and directions here.)

Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018

Time: 2:00 pm

Come learn how you too can have a highly successful career change from money to meaning!!

Email or use this contact form to RSVP .

Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic to Share on the Life of a Grower – February 24th

Are you a grower? Would like to know more about growing food and flowers then translating it into a full time highly satisfying and successful career?

Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic - Barking Cat Farm

Hobbies Can Turn into Your Future Career

Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic started Barking Cat Farm, a small acreage specialty farm, in 2004, thereby ruining a perfectly good hobby and opening up unexpected career paths. Barking Cat Farm focuses on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner.

Find out how two engineers walked away from their technical careers and developed a full-fledged career growing, selling and consulting on organic produce and flowers!

Location: CDA offices in Garland. (Get the address and directions here.)

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018

Time: 3:30 pm

Email or use this contact form to RSVP.

More About Our Speakers

In addition to regularly teaching horticulture classes, Kim is responsible for crop planning, variety selection, forecasting production, propagation, disease and pest control, soil health, marketing and more.

Laurie is the chief tractor mechanic, irrigation specialist, small equipment and fencing expert, insect identifier, and groundskeeper. She also helps with growing and sales.

Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Do come, bring friends, ask questions and be ready to learn!

We’re Planning Something Great

We don’t have any upcoming events on are calendar at this time. Please come back regularly to see what’s new. We have some great things in the works.

John Murray Presents on Maximizing and Protecting Your Wealth

Career loss resulting in financial chaos strikes when least expected! So become financially prepared! You need a plan, a process and a system for saving, investing and keeping out of debt!

Former CDA client, John Murray of 818 Group, LLC, and special guest Keith Chapman of Chapman Wealth Management will present.

Maximizing and Protecting Your Wealth
Using the Innovative Ideas of the LEAP SYSTEM®

They will discuss the following critical points and much more:

  • How stock market volatility may erode your wealth
  • How we are taught to transfer away much of our wealth
  • Why traditional financial planning strategies may fail

Read More→

Career Maturity Workshop – January 22 & 29, 2017

Dr. Harkness and staff are providing a two-session career workshop to help teenagers determine their future career direction based on their interests, skills, and current and future workplace needs.

Career Maturity Workshop for Teenagers

CDF2-5-600These seminars – for children and their parents (the final session) – are designed to teach children and their parents about the critical importance of mapping student education/interests to future jobs. The seminar, which is underwritten by the Career Design Foundation, introduces students and their parents to the concepts of Career Design Associates, a leader in re-careering for adult workers. For the Career Design Foundation classes, Dr. Harkness and her associates are soliciting students and their parents – usually recent high school graduates or incoming high school seniors – to participate in the career workshop series at the Career Design offices in Garland. Read More→

PathFinder Meeting – April 28: Mary Louise (ML) Dubay

CDA PathFinder Meeting – Confectionary Entrepreneur Mary Louise (ML) Dubay

ML_Toffee BiteCDA’s Pathfinder for the Future series is designed to help people move forward in their future careers. Our April speaker is Plano small business owner Mary Louise Dubay, founder of Toffee Treats. Mary Louise is an example of someone who made a 180-degree-shift, leaving the corporate world to volunteer in a non-profit and found her own business.

Her story is based on a family tradition. The holiday season always found Mary Louise with her Grandmother watching the pot as the secret family recipe toffee cooked away. Throughout the years she continued the family tradition of making holiday toffee, adding a few of her own special ingredients to the golden, buttery candy along the way. Out of this experience – and with inspiration from those who tasted her holiday treat – a business was born. Read More→

Sara Agritelley Discusses Re-engaging Her Career at Midlife

Sara Agritelley to Present at CDA Pathfinders Meeting

Helen-SaraA1300Former CDA client Sara Agritelley currently serves as a Supervisor of Benefits Service Center at Milliman – an international actuarial consulting firm specializing in employee benefits.

Sara is using her knowledge of – and passion for – the investment & financial planning fields to coach & inspire others to do the same. She started as a Benefits Representative assisting individuals with their 401k accounts & quickly moved through the ranks to be promoted to a leadership role within the division.

Sara spent 12 years raising her family, and was able to utilize Dr. Harkness’ knowledge and services to relaunch her career. Prior to taking time off to raise her family, Sara spent 17 years in the financial services industry. Read More→

HR Expert and Coach Dr. William H. Behrendt to Present

Behrendt_2011_3307Our February speaker is noted human resource executive and coach Bill Behrendt, who joins us to talk about re-careering in his own life. He’ll also talk about futures in the health care field. Dr. Harkness met Bill when he took her Career Coaching class at UTD.  He has completed this certification and moved to a very high level in the field. He is now planning the next step in his career.

Bill most recently served as Vice President for Human Resources at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where he was responsible for all “people” issues at the Medical School, and its University Hospitals and Clinics.

Bill’s recent accolades include the 2015 “Talent Development Champion of the Year” by Skillsoft, and the “Top 10 Breakaway HR Leadership” Award from the Global HR Summit in 2011. He also received the 2014 Strategic HR Leadership Award from Strategic HR Excellence, and was winner of the 2012 “PRISM” award for Excellence in Coaching from the International Coach Federation – N. Texas Chapter. Read More→