Episode 78: Career Rehab with Kanika Tolver
January 4th, 2022
36 mins 1 sec
About this Episode
Welcome to Kanika Tolver, speaker, CEO/founder, and author of Career Rehab. Kanika is a tech program manager who has build a business around helping people find and get the jobs they really want and will really love. Kanika inspires people around the globe to pursue their dreams, build their personal brands, and she is part of our tribe of people urging people to be the CEOs of their careers.
In 2014 Kanika was unhappy in her job as a project manager at a Federal agency, and she decided to check herself into Career Rehab and work on her skills, revamp her resume, and check out what it was like working the private sector. She had experienced toxic management and she was done being in an environment where her ideas weren’t heard.
To make the big change from government to private sector, Kanika learned what private sector employers are looking for. She revamped her Linkedin profile, learned new skills like Agile/Scrum, and built her resume around skills to show her fit. She made sure she would be found, her skill gaps were filled, and posted her resume -- and the jobs came to her.
Kanika’s first private sector role was in consulting servicing the public sector. She was recruited by Deloitte to be a Senior Consultant, and started "dating jobs." Kanika told people to date jobs -- get what you need from the job, and get out as soon as you see yourself tapped out. At Deloitte, Kanika learned the power of building a professional network.
Kanika quickly built a network internally and externally- not only with other black women, but with all types of professionals so that she could get a well-rounded picture of what success looks like and what she needs for success.
It was important to Kanika to get all sorts of perspectives to have a holistic view of success, and in her words, “network like a hustler.”
An architect designs a house based on what they need in the house, how many rooms, what features, and how it will fit on the land. Kanika tells people to do the same thing with their careers. What do they see themselves doing and then what skills or experience do they need to get to get there. She builds a personal goals list and a career goals list and then figures out how to make both work together.
At the beginning of careers, we think more about money and getting a job vs on a must-have or nice-to-have list, but having clear goals and understanding where you’re going and where you want to go in your life and career - that will help you to assess opportunities.
Who needs career rehab? Kanika wrote her book for three personas:
- cool geeks (people with < 5 years of experience) who are ambitious and energetic but don’t know what they don’t know
- corporate rebels (mid-level or senior professionals) who are ready to be promoted, and are rebels for their own causes
- career dropouts who are making a big career change and switching careers.
Kanika teaches us that we need to market ourselves and build personal brand. She talks about millennials being the masters of personal brand. She talks about building ourselves and doing things to be able to market. A degree is a foundation, but focus on accomplishments and branding to showcase how you can be an asset to an organization. She encourages people to create content: blogs, podcasts, tweets, etc.
We asked about introverts: How do they brand themselves authentically and comfortably? and Kanika advises to build authentic and deeper relationships. If you’re shy and scared to go to networking events, bring an extraverted coworker or friend to push you.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can get in the way of us finding our path in our career. Finding career clarity through any of those times is really hard, because it’s so hard to see ourselves as strong when we’re not feeling our best. Kanika tells people to focus on personal goals first, and that will often shed some of the baggage and help create career goals to find personal clarity.
After we identify the mental barriers, identify what you enjoy doing and align them to your talents and strengths and build your skill set and learn what you need to move forward.
Kanika on Twitter: @kanikatolver
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CareerRehab/ and https://www.facebook.com/KanikaRTolver