Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want

Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want

by Katie Kelley


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, April 21


How has your answer changed since childhood to the often-asked question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For most, the answers tend to begin with excited seven-year-olds confidently and excitedly screaming out things like, “A basketball player!” or “A fireman!” or “A cook!” and then ten to fifteen years later those same kids are shrugging their shoulders while saying, “Not sure. Maybe something in accounting?”What happened? (Besides only growing to five foot eight and not being able to even reach the net when you jump.) When did we lose the courage to find our true calling and not just settle for what make sense in today’s workforce, or what our parents pushed us toward? Career Courage is meant to help you conquer your fears, shed misguided ideas, and muster the strength to let go of a safe job and stage your next act. Whether you’re a college grad contemplating choices, a seasoned professional seeking new directions, or a stay-at-home mom preparing to reenter the workplace, this invaluable guide book poses tough questions about motivation, confidence, character, risk tolerance, and more. The answers will power your journey forward as you learn to:• Clarify what really matters• Express your point of view• Build strong relationships and a robust network• Think like an entrepreneur• Prioritize a truly fulfilling life• And more!Starting or changing careers can be a scary, soul-searching process. Career Courage will give you the strength and guidance you need to break free from your fears and find fulfillment in the workforce.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814436745
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 03/02/2016
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,231,838
Product dimensions: 6.08(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Katie C. Kelley is People Development Director for Fuerst Group, parent company of KEEN footwear and Chrome Industries. Her own career pivots include stints as a psychotherapist, a medical salesperson, an ABC Television Contributor, and, most recently, as an executive coach with clients that included Google and Time Inc. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Motivation: Clarifying What

Really Matters to You

Eric began his career as a junior client coordinator at a premier

Southern California entertainment agency. Over the years a his natural salesmanship, ease around celebrities, and uncanny ability to close lucrative deals for his clients had propelled him to the higher echelons of the talent business. When a rumor about impending layoffs began drifting through the office, Eric felt confident that the agency would not only keep him on board but even promote him to Senior Vice-President. So why was he lying awake at night, his heart beating with anxiety?

For the first time in his career, Eric had begun thinking long and hard about his future. The constant travel, fifteen-hour days a and high-pressure negotiating had won him a certain amount of fame and fortune, but looking ahead to more of the same made him feel like a hamster on a treadmill. Despite a hefty bank account a he felt bankrupt in terms of personal fulfillment. Fifteen years earlier, he had dreamed of finding a life companion, building a great home life, and discovering pleasures beyond the fast-spinning world of work, work, and more work. When and how had his work and personal life gone off track?

Eric’s situation is not uncommon. At some point, perhaps at many points, during our careers, we wonder, “Is this all there is?

Am I really happy? How did I get so far away from the future a had dreamed about when I got out of school?” If you’re like Eric a you must do some deep and honest soul-searching. This chapter will help you gain clarity about what motivates you—what really matters to you in both your work and personal lives. You’ll learn that one size does not fit all and that real satisfaction comes from finding your own unique sweet spot, the best possible combination of deeply satisfying work and a rich personal life. Remember that, as we stressed in the Introduction, a career and a life are a journey, not a destination. As time passes and you grow and change, your “true north” will evolve. The trick is to do so consciously and wisely.

Understanding Your Basic Motivations

You can begin by thinking of yourself as a leader in charge of your own destiny. All leaders play many roles both inside and outside their offices. Like so many of the women I coach, Suzanne serves in multiple roles as a “Do-It-All Mom and Junior

Executive”: chauffeur, gourmet cook, wife, mother, head fundraiser at her daughter’s Montessori school, and marketing man-ager for a sleek start-up firm. She feels as if she’s living in a whirlwind. And she is one unhappy woman. Eric knows exactly how she feels, although in his case he wishes he could serve in more rather than fewer roles. Both of them have achieved some measure of success, but they have lost sight of the most important role anyone can play: their true selves. How can they recapture their unique, innermost desires, drives, and ambitions? If your race to success has sidelined your true self, you will never find your true calling and your most fulfilling personal life.

Expectations shape us in many ways, but we need to discover and heed our own expectations for ourselves and not just struggle to fulfill those of others: friends, family, teachers, coaches, peers a and colleagues. When you more clearly understand yourself, you can begin making decisions that will move you closer to a richer and more rewarding life. Few people I have met know more about doing that than one of my most cherished mentors, Cindy


When I first met Cindy I had recently relocated to Portland,

Oregon, from Manhattan and had just launched my coaching business. I knew very few people in town and was feeling very isolated in this far corner of the country. Cindy greeted me with a huge smile and folded me under her incredibly strong wings.

As I got to know her, I came to appreciate her basic, or core, motivation:

to keep people from feeling alone.

Cindy, CEO and founder of The Link for Women, which provides events and programs that assist women in reaching their full potential, has helped countless people, myself included, to understand and apply our underlying drive in our personal and professional lives. To help us do that, she uses Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, a simple diagram that looks like a target with three circles inside (Why, How, What) that helps people discover what really makes them tick. Sinek’s Golden Circle almost always transcends a mere job description because it goes beyond what we do and how we do it to why we do it.1 Like Sinek, I believe it’s important that we start with the Why.

Understanding and naming my Why took more time than I’d like to admit. As I described in the Introduction, I spent the first stage of my career gaining credentials as a psychotherapist but as a practiced my profession I began feeling more and more empty inside. I came to realize that while I really did want to help people lead happier, healthier lives, I was not gaining fulfillment from trying to do that as a psychotherapist. When I stopped and forced myself to reexamine my life and work, I realized that a could remain true to my Why even if I radically altered the What and How of my career.

• My Why: To alleviate pain and inspire action.

• My What: I work to develop the next generation of business leaders.

• My How: I am a teacher and coach; I make use of broadcast and social media; and I have written this book to share my message with a wider audience.

Sinek’s Golden Circle helped me to understand that I was not getting enough satisfaction from working as a therapist because a was only fulfilling half of my Why. Yes, I was helping my patients alleviate their pain, but I felt deeply frustrated with the fact that traditional psychotherapy felt like such a passive way to help people.

Passivity was not in my nature. I wanted to lead, rather than follow, my patients to a better future. During talk therapy, the patient guides the process and direction of the work. This completely suppressed my drive to move people toward action. Now a as a business coach, I fulfill my basic Why, I just do it in a much more action-oriented way.

Eric thought of himself as a talent manager, but that only described what he did for a living. Never having thought deeply about why he did that work, he couldn’t put his finger on what was keeping him awake at night. Deep inside, below his conscious awareness, he was feeling anxious about the lack of meaning of his life, not about keeping his job. Nor had Do-It-All

Suzanne stopped to think about why she felt so unhappy as she struggled to maintain the whirlwind.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Beginning the Journey 1

1. Motivation: Clarifying What Really Matters to You 7

Understanding Your Basic Motivations 8

Designing Your Motivational Game Plan 13

Scripting Your Unique Career 20

Clarifying Your Vision 22

2. Confidence: Conquering Your Worst Fears 29

Discovering Your Discomfort Zones 3 1

Designing Your Confidence-Building Game Plan 35

Fortifying Your Confidence Factors 36

Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize 40

Adjusting Your Emotional Thermostat 44

3. Risk: Thinking Like an Entrepreneur 51

Raising Your Risk Quotient 52

Designing Your Risk-Taking Game Plan 58

Confronting Your Fear Factors 60

Remembering Your Passion Purpose 65

Perfecting Your Entrepreneurial Trifecta 66

4. Character: Linking Who You Are and

What You Do to How You Relate to People 71

Playing Well with Others 73

Designing Your Character-Building Game Plan 82

Managing Your Power Bank’s Deposits and Withdrawals 86

5. Harmony: Orchestrating a Life While

Pursuing Your Life’s Work 93

Composing Your Unique Harmony 94

Diagnosing ADABS 96

Assembling Team Trinity 108

6. Vision: Connecting the Dots to Your Future 113

Making the Case for Strategic Thinking 114

Going Back to the Drawing Board 118

Adapting to Surprises 125

7. Community: Designing Your Powerful Network 133

Networking Your Own Special Way 136

Evolving Your Network 142

Sustaining the Flow 149

Figuring Out What It All Means 150

8. Influence: Mastering the Key to Effective Leadership 153

Walking in Their Shoes 154

Observing Effective Influencers 155

The Influence Window 161

Avoiding Major Missteps 166

Becoming a Good Politician 169

9. Fortune: Keeping an Eye on Your Finances 175

Assessing Your Return on Investment 177

Owning Your Bottom-Line Responsibilities 182

Thinking Your Way to Financial Success 186

Keeping Happiness on Your Balance Sheet 189

10. Pivots: Staging Your Next Act 193

Recognizing Your Pivot Points 194

Deciding When It’s Time to Make a Change 200

Weighing All the Options 203

Conclusion: Wishing Can Make It So 211

Notes 213

Index 215

Customer Reviews