TEDx Youth: For Students and Everyone Else – What Path Are You Paving For Yourself?

Here’s a TEDx Youth Talk for students that I think everyone should watch.


There are some great questions in this video for young people who are contemplating their post-secondary path…AND some good questions for the rest of us to ponder as well!

  • How well do you know yourself (your Personal Capital)?
  • What do you know (your Intellectual/Skill Capital)?
  • Who do you know and who knows you (your Social Capital)?
  • Who knows that you know what you know (how well do you “brand yourself” and communicate your “value proposition” to society, which leads to Financial Capital)?
  • What road are you paving for yourself?

Some quotes from this video:

“Your (college/university) MAJOR might not matter; get a MASTERS in SELF.” – know yourself!

Your degree is…”an INVESTMENT in your dream, not a GUARANTEE of a job.”

If you need help with figuring out your dream or your value proposition to society, or know someone else who needs help in these areas, this is what I do as a Career & Leadership Coach. I’d be happy to help!

Kevin Schafer
phone: 613-299-1833
toll-free: 1-855-801-7522

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…3…2…1…Launching Your Dreams

Rocket Launch

I’m pleased to officially launch Cardinal Career Management Services! So the journey begins!…

Every great company, every great product, every great conquest starts with an idea. Before the first steps are taken, the concept is born. The idea then takes shape, is analyzed, is reshaped, analyzed again and eventually a plan is formed.

Many of us have great ideas, thoughts and dreams floating around in our heads, but when they are stalled in the ideas stage or the planning stage, we don’t even get off the launch pad. It is only when we EXECUTE the plan that our dreams take flight.

What stalls our ideas and dreams? Why do we tend to think and plan and dream, and then stop short of pursuing what we want? My wife has put a saying on the side of our pantry: “DOUBT kills more dreams than failure ever will”. Many of my clients have had great ideas, but also have had a difficult time getting past the doubt to pursue their dreams. I have stood in those shoes myself many times, so I understand the crippling power of doubt and fear.

Cardinal Career Management Services started with ideas…and doubts…and fears. What has helped me through the doubt and fear has been the support and encouragement of those who aren’t as affected by my fear as I am – objective, third-party, knowledgable individuals who I know have my best interests in mind. My wife, foremost, has been an incredible support through all my scary decisions. I’ve had a great professional support group through Career Professionals of Canada, which has provided seasoned, sound advice that I know I can trust. Without their support and encouragement, I know that I would still be sitting on the launching pad…if I would have even got that far.

1. What are your dreams and ideas for moving forward with your career? What ideas are floating around in your head? They may be good ideas or maybe not-so-good ideas, but what are they? Get them down on paper or record them somewhere.

2. Who is your support network? Your support network can provide some good objective perspective regarding the feasibility of your ideas. They likely can help come up with additional ideas as well!

3. What is the plan? If your idea survives your support group, then what? You don’t have to chart out the whole course, but at least know what the next steps are.

4. What are you going to DO about it? A theme that you will see throughout my blogs, my website and my coaching practice is, “From ideas to action”. That’s the scary part – taking the risk to hit the launch button – but it’s also the exhilerating part too. By stepping out with proper planning, due diligence and support, you will discover that you are capable of much more than you feared! You will grow both personally and professionally!

So I encourage you to think about your ideas and dreams, seek support, create a plan…and ACT!

If you need help implementing your career plans or executing a job search, give me a call. I can give you a quick assessment of how I can help. I’d be happy to be part of your support system!


I will be frequently sharing articles, insights and motivational blogs relating to careers and leadership through the Cardinal website, social media and a periodic newsletter. I invite you to connect with me using the social media “Follow” and/or “Share” buttons at the bottom of each page and sign up for my newsletter using the widget on the left side of each web page.

If you know of anyone who is going through a challenging time in their career, please consider letting them know about Cardinal. I would be pleased to help!


As a launch special, receive two extra bonus sessions when you sign up during the months of September and October. If you’ve been thinking about engaging a Career Coach, this would be a great time to reach out and inquire how I might be able to help you in your career journey.

 For a free, no-pressure assessment, give me a call:




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Navigating the Winds of Career Change

SailingThis summer while on the water, I was struck with how managing our career path requires us to be aware of the conditions around us and be ready to quickly adjust when our environment changes – much like sailing.

During the summer I enjoy recreational sailing at our family cottage in the beautiful Muskokas, but navigating our cottage’s lake can be tricky as the winds are very gusty and unpredictable. There are times that the wind shifts so suddenly that it sends me scrambling to adjust the sail and shift my weight so that I don’t capsize. At other times I can be going full speed ahead and within seconds I am becalmed (stalled with no wind). The very nature of sailing involves making many small adjustments and sometimes some large adjustments. But that’s all part of the fun and the challenge of sailing.

“The only thing that is constant is change” Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher

In this day and age, the winds of career change are more unpredictable and gustier than ever. If we try staying on the career path that we charted at the beginning of our career, or we get caught daydreaming while at the helm, we can easily find ourselves off-course or dead-in-the-water – like the time that I grounded my friend’s yacht because I was watching the scenery instead of keeping my eye on the depth finder. Layoffs and rapid technological changes require us to be alert and responsive or be left behind. It’s a human tendency to wait until we HAVE to act – usually making it more difficult to recover than if we had acted proactively.

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” Peter F. Drucker, Business Management Expert  

Throughout our career journeys, we often need to make small adjustments along the way – attaining certifications, obtaining training, taking on new responsibilities or adapting to new methodologies. Sometimes larger interim career changes are needed to get us to the desired end-destination (tacking in sailing terms) – like additional education or a job change. And other times the end-destination itself needs to be completely reassessed. There isn’t an auto-pilot for managing our careers – we need to take the helm ourselves!


As you chart your career course and set sail, here are some steps to consider:

  1. SearchingIdentify your destination. What are your aspirations? What are your career goals? You might have a 5-year goal or a 10-year goal. If you have a career goal that matches your strengths, passions and work style, then you are more likely to enjoy the voyage…and enjoy the destination when you arrive.
  2. If it’s a challenge for you to identify a long-term career goal, I encourage you to look for help from someone who can help you explore your long-range goals…for example a Career Coach or a mentor.
  3. If identifying a long-term career goal is still a struggle for you, try to identify a shorter-term goal – your NEXT waypoint in the journey. Sometimes we only have enough light to illuminate our next step. Given your CURRENT skill set and experience level, what is one short-term action that will likely open the most doors for you? When you arrive at your interim waypoint, you will likely have a different perspective and vantage point in which to make the next decision.
  4. Chart your course. Determine what path lies between your current position and your end destination. Navigating - MapThere might be a couple of hops necessary to get you to your desired career! You don’t necessarily need to get there in one leap. It might require some courses, another degree or some additional job experience. What is YOUR next step?
  5. Don’t let obstacles deter you from setting a worthwhile goal. When charting your course, there will very likely be some obstacles in the way of your dreams. Worthwhile change usually comes with challenges, but many times obstacles that may seem like mountains are merely speed bumps when we examine them as part of the bigger picture. When you see obstacles that are in the way, instead of throwing the dream away, ask yourself, “What would it take to get around this obstacle?”
  6. Watch and be prepared to make adjustments along the way. Conditions are certain to change along your career journey. You have a choice to be proactive or reactive. Not choosing, by default, is actually choosing to be reactive. Block off time in your schedule to read career-related materials, attend seminars, network, listen to podcasts, and watch related videos. By watching the conditions around you, you are more likely to notice when you will need to make adjustments!
  7. Get on board! You can have your end-destination planned and your course charted, but unless you get in the boat and start to set sail, it does you no good at all! Once you embark and cast off, the journey will most certainly be more exhilarating than standing on the dock.
  8. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride along the way!


What simple change can you make now to help you move one step closer closer to your career destination?

Who can keep you accountable for that next step?


Kevin Schafer is the founder of Cardinal Career Management Services,
focusing on Career Improvement, Leadership Development, Retirement Planning & Job Search coaching for clients across Canada and world-wide. (www.cardinalcareer.com)


If you need help in establishing your long-term career goals, in determining some intermediate waypoints, in adjusting to the environmental factors around you, or in just getting off the pier, I would be happy to assist you.

Call for a FREE, 15-minute, no-pressure assessment:

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