Dr. Helen Harkness started making a positive impact on professionals in career chaos beginning in the mid-1970s. Her work is based on her own experiences and those of others trapped in careers that did not fit their skills or their temperament. Her groundbreaking work preceded Gail Sheehey’s book Passages, and she clearly understood that Alvin Toffler’s predictions in Future Shock were operating right in front of us.
Dr. Harkness is known internationally for her life’s work with adults of all ages who are changing careers. Having helped more than 15,000 adults and youth during a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Dr. Harkness remains committed to helping her clients find a purpose they can pursue with a passion, for both meaning and money.
Clients she has worked with include Todd Wagner, B.A. Norrgard, Scott Spreier, Ron Watson, and others mentioned on this site. Enjoy a few stories these clients have shared below.
Our Career Change Clients Have Done Amazing Things
Todd Wagner – Social Entrepreneur
Dr. Harkness first began her work with Todd Wagner in 1991 when Todd attended a career change course taught by Dr. Harkness at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Todd’s career transition from law firm to high-tech led him to found Broadcast.com with Mark Cuban, which later sold to Yahoo! His latest business is Charity Network, tying together for-profit and non-profit. Read Todd’s complete story here.
B.A. Norrgard – Tiny House Entrepreneur
When B.A. Norrgard entered the doors of Career Design in February of 2012, it was no normal day for her. She was a woman on a mission to find a career that provided her meaning and money, and upon meeting with Dr. Harkness she knew immediately that a new journey was on her horizon! And a new career she found indeed, as one of the first to enter the Tiny House Movement. B.A. and her tiny house have traveled all around the country! Read about B.A.’s transition and claim to fame here.
Scott Spreier – Communications Consultant
In today’s uncertain times you can no longer count on starting a career at a young age and then doing it the rest of your life. Scott Spreier, a CDA client from decades ago, can attest to this. From working in the U.S. Air Force to his work as a journalist and landing at Hay Group, he is a communications expert and coach. He has come back to CDA on several occasions to talk and share with others in career transition. Read more about Scott now. And don’t forget to ask Dr. Harkness to watch the CDA Pathfinders video of Scott.
Ron Watson – Real Estate and Investment Adviser
Career transition is nothing new for Ron Watson. He first walked through the doors of Career Design in the 1980s, and has been around periodically ever since! Through his career transitions from accountant to business consultant and investment adviser, he has quite a story. Over a decade ago he transitioned into real estate and has survived the industry’s ups-and-downs. At one CDA Pathfinders meeting, Ron shared the guiding questions he uses to make life and work decisions with the group. Get the rest of his story, and see the questions here.
Sheree Anshel – Nurse
Sheree Anshel had a solid career in health care on the operations side, working in the U.S. and abroad. But was she doing exactly what she wanted? Her lifelong dream was actually to become a nurse. Could Sheree achieve happiness and financial success by changing things up at mid-life? And was going back to college a smart move? Working with Dr. Harkness put her on the path to answering those questions, developing a workable action plan that led to Sheree’s nursing degree and a successful career transition. Today she’s semiretired and still travels – for fun! – and is a member of the Mary Crowley Cancer Research center’s institutional review board for clinical trials. Read more about Sheree here.
Follow our events and stay up-to-date on what’s happening with CDA clients and friends.