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You Are As Unique As Your Thumbprint

You Are As Unique As Your Thumbprint

In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we have a powerful conversation about the challenges facing women in the workplace and the options available to us to make more empowered choices. My guest, Kathy Caprino, shares her personal story of how she transitioned from Corporate America to marriage & family therapy to career coaching for women, as well as how she navigated the self-doubt and anxiety she experienced along the way. We also discuss specific steps you can take if you don’t feel that you’re in the right job, including, first and foremost, recognizing and embracing what makes you special.

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About My Guest

Kathy Caprino, M.A. is an internationally-recognized career and leadership coach, writer, speaker and educator dedicated to the advancement of women in business. A former corporate VP, she is also a trained therapist, seasoned executive coach, Senior Forbes contributor, top media source on careers, and the author of two books — Breakdown, Breakthrough and her new book The Most Powerful You:7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss. With her Finding Brave podcast, books, assessments, coaching programs, courses and other key resources, Kathy’s been named a Top Career Coach in the U.S. and internationally and her core mission is to support a “finding brave” global movement that empowers professionals to close their power gaps and reach their highest, most rewarding potential and impact in their work. Join Kathy’s brand new course The Most Powerful You to help you experience more power, confidence and authority in your work today.

For more information, visit, and follow @kathycaprino on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram and @ElliaCommunications on Facebook.


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Kim Meninger Welcome, Kathy, I am so excited that you’re here today, as I mentioned to you before we hit record, I’ve been following your work for such a long time. And I see a lot of alignment between how we see the world and the community that we’re serving. And so, I’m super excited to have an opportunity to chat with you one-on-one today.

Kathy Caprino Thank you, Kim, I’m so thrilled to be here. And I just have to give you a hug about focusing on the impostor syndrome. It’s so prevalent and so damaging. And here you are close to 100 episodes right or at all about it. And there’s more to learn. So really, bravo to you for, for focusing on this, we still need it.

Kim Meninger Thank you so much. I know you have a lot to say about this topic as well. So, I can’t wait to jump in. But before we get there, I’d love to hear a little bit more about you. What would you like to share with us about who you are? And then I’d love to hear your story as well.

Kathy Caprino Awesome. So, just you know, just as a little bio, I am now a career and leadership coach and a writer and a senior Forbes contributor, and a podcast host of Finding Brave — lots of things. But my key focus now is supporting mid to high-level professional women to build the career they dream of with power, with confidence, with bravery, you know, and make the impact they want to. So, that’s my world in my business. And I would love to dive into the story of me which you know, all right, here we go. If anyone’s heard by name, they probably know this story. But quickly here, I had an 18-year corporate career. And on the outside, it was very successful. On the inside, it was not. And in fact, you know, I talk about this a lot. I was an English major in college, and I loved ideas and books and I wanted to be an editor. That’s what I thought I wanted and, you know, at a big fiction publishing house and help authors birth their incredible ideas. Ha! I bailed on that dream, like four weeks after graduating from college, and I took the first job that was offered. And it was a marketing job in science publishing, good grief. So, you know, I learned a lot of things. And I made so many mistakes that I leverage now and everything I do with folks, but I built an 18-year career on what I was good at, but not what I love to do. And as I hit 40, and that’s 20 years ago, now, I faced, you know, a lot of bumps that turned into full-blown crises. I faced sexual harassment, gender discrimination, chronic illness, I had an infection of the trachea, of all things, who’s ever heard of it? Every three months for four years. And if anyone understands energy, you know, what is the throat, it’s the seed of who you are — your personal expression. I had zero work-life balance, right? I had little kids at the time, and I just wasn’t in the fabric of their life. I couldn’t balance it. It was a mess. But worse than all of that was waking up every day saying, “ Is this the work I’m going to be doing in my life? This is it?” Because it felt very meaningless. And I was in at the very end as the vice president in a very toxic, sick culture. So, the reality is back then, there weren’t a lot of career coaches that there are now you know, I saw a career consultant, and he gave me a battery of assessment tests. And he came back and said, well, the tests show you’re in the right field. And I’m going to poke my eye out with a stick. What do you mean? So, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t change because it 40, it’s hard to figure out what am I going to do? How am I going to start over? What am I doing? And one month after moving into a bigger home more financial responsibilities, because the senior leader at the time told me you have a huge career here — buy the biggest house you can. And one month later, I was laid off. And I was crushed. like you wouldn’t believe. You know it shook everything. It shook my confidence, my self-esteem, I really was rocked. And to make a long story, not so long. I was in my therapist’s office crying the week after. And he said, I know I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I know from where you sit, this is the worst crisis you’ve ever faced. From where I sit, it’s the first moment you can choose who you want to be in the world. Now, who do you want to be? Now if we knew that answer, we would already be doing it. And I don’t know. I want to be you. And he laughed. And he said, “What’s that mean?” And I said, “I want to help people, not hurt people and be hurt.” From that discussion, I became the marriage and family therapist, which was life-changing and I’m so grateful for the experience and the learning. But that wasn’t the ultimate destiny. Then I found coaching and then career coaching with women. So, what I love to say is, you know, I really turned my mess into a message. That was the goal in the beginning with my first book, Breakdown, Breakthrough. How can I help other people? I really didn’t know how to help other people because I hadn’t really helped myself. But after 16 years of doing this, and focus, and really, I’ve worked with, it’s 1000s of women in 26 countries now in six continents. I’ve heard about everything you can imagine about what is going wrong in a career and a life. And it’s very gratifying to have kind of new, hopefully, new insights and methodologies and frameworks that walk women through what it is to change when we’re scared. And it’s hard. And we don’t know how. So that’s the story.

Kim Meninger Thank you so much for sharing that. And it’s interesting that you talk about that point getting laid off. That was really, when I was working, that was around the time that I started working in high tech was a couple years before that, when we were riding that wave, and boom, and then the economy collapsed. And a lot of my friends got laid off at that time. And I remember it was a really heartbreaking experience. And so many of them said later, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me, because I knew for a long time, I felt like it wasn’t the right place for me. But I wasn’t ever going to make that decision myself.” It felt like it was irresponsible. It felt too scary. But the universe intervened and they went in a totally different direction. That happened to you? No, that happened to… the people around you. And so, I was so early in my career at that time, I didn’t really have a lot of experience or a lot of context for these kinds of decisions and the experiences that other people had, but it’s stuck with me forever. I’ll never forget that.

Kathy Caprino Right? I mean, those are the exact words I used. And I, you know, kind of take a spiritual approach to coaching that what we humans think is the worst thing that ever happened often is the best thing that ever happened. But you know, we are so rocked, where am I going to make money? I’m so scared. There’s so much fear. Of course, it doesn’t appear to be a good thing. I mean, if someone had told me in that moment, this is the best thing I would have said shut up. You don’t have the challenges I have, but it was the best thing ever.

Kim Meninger Wow. And so, for women who are listening to this conversation and thinking, “Oh, my God, that’s me.” Right? “I am, I’m in that situation. And I would love to leave. But I have this scroll of reasons why it’s not the right thing or the right time, or I don’t know what I want to do.” What are some of the things that they can think about?

Kathy Caprino I do want to, I love this question, I want to share five steps that everyone should go through if they’re ready for any kind of change. And, and I do want to say this, we’re a person, when we show up to our professional life, I can’t stand it. When I hear people trying to split apart a person on the professional, we’re the same. So you know, if this doesn’t speak to you professionally, I’m hoping it will speak to you personally too. But quickly, there are five steps, but I’ll give you the thing I think everyone should do. But the five steps are when you really want change and are stuck, step back for an empowered perspective of who you are and what you want. When we’re desperate for change. We also kind of think of ourselves as a loser. How can I mess this up so badly? We forget, we humans look only at the tip of our noses, we forget how amazing we are. And everyone is amazing. I can tell you that with 100% certainty. You have gifts and talents that the world needs, but you probably don’t even recognize them. People. Number two is let go of the thinking patterns and behaviors that keep you stuck. So this is the therapist in me. What I see over and over, and I saw all of this that I talked about I lived through. So, there’s no judgment here. But there’s this thing called the pendulum effect, that’s the term I’ve coined where you’re broken down in where you are. So, you want to go to the farthest ends of the earth. So, I was a corporate VP, I’m going to become a therapist. And I thought there’s no way that the challenges I faced as a corporate VP would reappear as a therapist. Well, I was wrong. They reappeared — boundary problems, narcissists, partnering with a narcissist, you know, and I’d had a lot of narcissism in my life. So, we want to let go of the thinking patterns and behaviors that are co-creating problems for us. Because no matter what job you have, or career or field, you’re going to have those again, if you don’t work on powering yourself up, right? The third step is, say yes to your most compelling visions. I run a course the amazing career project. And it’s so interesting, it’s 16 weeks, sometimes the beginning weeks, people are so scared to make a change because of money, because of obligations, that they won’t even brainstorm who they could talk to, or what they could consider. They’re too scared to even have a conversation. So, I’m saying, “Think of those compelling visions you have, you don’t have to risk anything yet. You just have to get moving talking about it and thinking about it.” But then the next step is trying it on. And this is where I’m going to tell everybody. You can make amazing change without risking anything right now. And that is to try on the thing you say you want to do. So, people say to me, oh, I’m a, you know, corporate finance manager. But I really want to write a book. Well, writers write, speakers speak, designers design. If you want to be a writer, you don’t have to chuck your job to write. Most writers have other jobs. Start writing, write the blog, write the article, start being the person you say you want to be. So, that’s the step I would have everyone take now. And the final thing is we don’t make these big changes alone and in a vacuum. We need help. We need an accountability structure. And that can be truly a coach, a professional coach, it can be a mentor, it can be a coaching buddy, but we don’t do these big brave things just alone by ourselves, we need a structure for that. Hmm, there’s a long answer.

Kim Meninger Those are really, really helpful. When I think about what you’re saying, I also think about the natural tendency that many of us have to go to the, “Well, that’s what I’d like to do. But I’m not capable, right?” The sort of, the self-doubt piece of, “Sure I have this vision,” or, “Sure I’d love to do this, but no one would ever hire me, or there’s no way that I can ever get there.” Do you have thoughts on?

Kathy Caprino I have a lot of thoughts on that. So before I go directly to that, since your podcast is the Impostor Syndrome Files, I want to talk about how impostorism shows up it. Can I do that? In addressing this? So, you know, I’ve interviewed people about the impostor syndrome. In fact, a KPMG Deputy Chair Lori Lewinsky, Laura Newland Lewinsky, they did a big study on impostor syndrome and 75% of the executive women that they interviewed say they suffer from it. But they define it this way — as an inability to believe your success is deserved as a result of your hard work and that you in fact possess the distinct skills and capabilities and experiences you need. Instead, their inclination is to internalize that where they got was from luck, or something outside of their control, like being in the right place at the right time. I want to talk about impostor syndrome in three ways. And then I’ll get back to your question. I think it’s three things. Number one, not believing you’re good enough or worthy enough to do what you’re doing or to dream what you’re dreaming. Number two, you have a dirty little secret that you’re desperately afraid if folks find out, you’re going to be humiliated, rejected, chucked out like I’m too old. Like when I started my therapy training, I was 41. I was sick to my stomach the day before the day of walking into it, it was Fairfield University, thinking I’m too old, I’m going to be laughed at. And basically, 80% of the class was my age, you know. They were corporate refugees going, “God, there’s got to be a better way.” But we have dirty little secrets, most of us right, where we don’t think if people really knew who we really are, we’d be rejected. And the third thing is that we can’t really authentically be who we are and be successful. That, if we really let out who we are, what we think, what we’re afraid of, we’re going to be wholly unsuccessful. So, this question this issue of, yeah, I have a dream. But how could I ever make this happen? First of all, I want to tell you… fact — you know, it may be that you need more skill in this particular area. Like I wanted to be a coach or a therapist. Well, okay, well, you got to get training. You might have a therapeutic ear, you might be a great… A lot of people say they want to be a coach because they’re good listeners. Well, that’s not coaching. Coaching is a lot more than that. Sure, you’ve got to be a good listener, but you need a lot more than that. So, so if you want to, then yeah, you’re gonna have to get rigorously trained, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. Doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of it. So, if you have this question, but I do want to say this, you know, I sing on the side, I have, I’m a tennis player on the side. I, you know, rose to kind of a high level in singing. “Does that mean I wanted to make a living as?” But no. So, what I would say is think about what you want, and make sure it’s, truly figure out, is it a hobby that’s going to enrich your life and build your confidence and creativity and make you so happy? Or is it truly a professional route? But if it’s a dream that’s way ahead of you, then get on the path to making that dream closer Does that answer that question?

Kim Meninger That does, and I love your personal story about starting something new at 40, which, you know, we tend to think of as that’s the time when everything gets harder in the career or..

Kathy Caprino Where you should be making most of your money, don’t risk it and blow it and go off and do something. I mean, people said to me, my own accountant, said, “Well, you’re not gonna make any money in that.” I fired him. Wow, I fired him. I’m like, “Is this, this the kind of support network I…?” Wow. But there will be naysayers. I, my corporate VP friends, a few of them said, when I, in fact, a lady in the grocery store, when I said, I’m going to become a therapist, study therapy. People said, “Why do you want to do that? You don’t think you have anything good enough going on in your corporate world?” And back then, before I was a therapist, before, I’ve studied some spiritual things about letting go, before I built my boundaries, I cried. When people said that. One woman over for dinner with her husband said, “You’re going to be burnt out and broke” when she was over for dinner. And as the food was simmering, I went upstairs and went into the bathroom and burst into tears. So, I will say, to do the work you dream of, you have to be more brave and more powerful.

Kim Meninger I love that you use the word brave. I think that’s such an important part of this whole conversation because there is the internal sort of mindset piece that we’re talking about. But there’s also that external feedback. That is very powerful. And I think that people really do spend a lot of time thinking about what are other people going to think, right? Or it’s keeping up with the Joneses in the workplace, right? There’s all kinds of pressure points along the way of I’m going to disappoint my parents, I’m not going to, I’m going to fall out of step with my peers, whatever the case may be so..

Kathy Caprino 100% You know, this latest book of mine, The Most Powerful You, I talked about, because a few years ago, I got so struck, like with a thunderbolt, that what is going on here, that no matter these are mid to high level, professional women around the world, no matter what field, no matter if they’re making a million dollars, or 50,000, no matter their socioeconomic level, their education level, their role, why are they bringing the same exact challenges? And what is it that they’re missing in their life that they come for help? And what do they get from the coaching we do? And the answer was, they’re missing bravery to address head-on what is not working and take accountability to change that. But number two, that’s not enough. We need power. And that’s internal access to power and external access to power. You know, so many women, and I don’t mean to paint every woman with the same brush. But I’ve got statistics on the numbers of women that struggle, they are so afraid to reach out to help. I call it isolated power gap. Number three, I think three, four, number four, isolating from influential support. When they’re struggling, they don’t think they’re worthy enough to reach out to someone 10 steps ahead. And they’re scared to death of it. And they don’t know how to do it. And they don’t know how to phrase it. But you know, on LinkedIn, you know, what do I say? There’s a lot of, you know, I’ve got a lot of resources on that. But it’s a worthiness problem. It’s a worthiness problem.

Kim Meninger You’re right, you’re right. And when you think about addressing that root problem of worthiness, where do you start? Where, what’s the first step?

Kathy Caprino Well, I would say this, you know, power gap number one is where to start, which is not recognizing your special talents, abilities and gifts. What I’ve seen is that this is so multifaceted. But first of all, I want everyone to understand you are as unique as your thumbprint. There is literally no one on the planet that has your amalgam of trials, tribulations, successes, accomplishments, perspectives, your ancestral background, the whole thing. And the world is in desperate need of what you have to offer. But first, you have to recognize what that is. And one of the problems is when things come easily to us, we don’t see that it’s special. Like, you know, I was a singer, I’d love to sing on stage in front of 1000 people. Well, you know, people have said, I think it’s ranked number two as the most stressful thing in the world, to public speak, you know, under, you know, losing a spouse. So, but I was like, well, I kind of like it, when, when you are good at something. And it comes easily to you, you don’t really recognize that as a talent. I have this thing called a career path assessment, 11 pages of questions I wish someone had asked me. And if I’d answered them, honestly, I don’t think I would have made as gross errors as I had in my career. But one of them is, how are you special? How are you, how do you stand out? And here’s what I see about women. They’re intensely reluctant to say that they’re special. And that’s, you know, this is not to bash men, but we live in a patriarchal world. And we all know what that means. But feminine is pleasing, malleable, not a braggart, not someone who puts themselves in front, in front of others, we’re trained not to think like, I’m special. I’m great. So, the first step is to write down, and you can take my free career path, path assessment, if it’s helpful, what are the things you’re most proud of that you’ve ever done? And I don’t care if it’s when you were seven, you helped an elderly woman walk across the street, and it made you feel… everything that you’re proud of? Then dimensionalize — What were the outcomes that were generated from that? Then dimensionalize — What were the skills I had to do that? If you force yourself, I guarantee you, you’re going to begin to see how you’re special. Number two, ask people who love you, your friends, your family, why, why do you have a friendship with me, you know, number three, this is one of the most potent things — get on LinkedIn in a big way. How you do LinkedIn is how you do your career. And I can look at people and because I am on LinkedIn constantly, I can see in five minutes, how you’re showing up in your career in ways that you don’t want to be showing up. Meaning, I can tell if you’re engaged, if you understand how you’re talented, if you know what the outcomes are that you produced, get on LinkedIn and power that darn thing up and get your connections to 500 plus, but ask for recommendations. When you get written recommendations, I remember right after I got dumped, and I got on LinkedIn, I truly thought I was the worst leader in the world in that two-year vice presidency. And that was very painful to me because I always wanted to be an inspiring manager. I thought it was terrible. Because I was getting my tush kicked. And I was not myself. One person wrote gratuitously a recommendation on LinkedIn, and she was not in my division. And I knew who she was, of course, but she said something like, “Kathy is the person I wanted to be as a leader” and I literally cried. Because that recommendation healed a myriad of, you know, painful memories. So, there’s work to be done. But we need to do it, to recognize how that we’re gifted, everyone has a gift. And many people have many gifts.

Kim Meninger I think that’s so important. And you’re absolutely right about the way that we’re conditioned not to see ourselves as special. And if we don’t mark the moments along the way where we are special, or we’ve leveraged our skills, we’ve used something that’s unique to us to effect an outcome. Then when we do get to where we are going along the way, we always feel like it’s a fluke, right?

Kathy Caprino That’s right. That’s what builds the impostor syndrome. You know, one of the… I had the impostor syndrome a lot in my corporate career. But one real episode of it was when I was at a book club company, I was hired as a product, Product Development Manager, I think it was called. But, pretty quickly on they knew… it was book clubs, it was books, and I wasn’t going to be developing the products, that was the editorial staff. But I was really good at market research. So, I became the research you know, development research manager and then research director and then executive director. But the reality was, I loved it and I was great at it. So quantitative surveys, qualitative focus groups, presenting big reports on what we should and shouldn’t get into as you know, directions. But internally, I always felt like an impostor because I was an English major. I never studied statistics. I never studied research methodologies. So, for eight years doing this good work, I always felt like I probably shouldn’t be in this job. What a waste of time, why was I getting those promotions? If I, what… and what I should have done? And everyone, I hope you’re listening on this, address the dirty little secret. I was in New York, why didn’t I go to NYU and take a statistics class? They would have paid for it? Why didn’t I take a few classes in research methodology? No, I kept it secret. And part of that is we’re trained not to also, we’re trained not to ask. I know, you know, in my later years, I would negotiate higher salaries. And I’ve even done it in very illustrious organizations where I’m a contributor or contractor. And, you know, the first few years, I would feel like if I asked them, they’re going to just dump me, forget it. Not only are we not giving you more, you’re out. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.

Kim Meninger You know, and when we talk about it like this, which is why I talk to people about this, right? Because it really showcases the absurdity of this thinking, but when you’re in it, you don’t feel, it feels very real.

Kathy Caprino Very real. I remember when my first class in my therapy masters, I was challenging the professor. And I didn’t mean to, I raised my hand, and I said, “I don’t quite understand this, blah, blah, blah.” And she got visibly upset. I literally walked out of that class thinking I might get kicked out of the program. How ridiculous. So I told a friend, I said, “Listen, did I come on too strong? Like I’m a little afraid.” And she said, “I think you’re crazy. First of all, it was a question we were all asking ourselves, but we were afraid to ask it. And secondly, kicked out of the program? Yeah, no, of course not.” This is why you need other people in your corner. You cannot figure this stuff out yourself.

Kim Meninger Wow. Oh, you’re absolutely right. And there’s something so powerful about saying it out loud and getting that kind of a reaction.

Kathy Caprino I know, she laughed. She’s like, “Oh, my God.” And actually, to end the story, I passed with distinction, you know. So, but the point I think is, you know, I did, here’s another point. I do say this and believe this, we are what our childhood taught us to be unless we unlearned it, or healed it. And I was raised by a Greek mom, and an Italian Dad, I love them to pieces. Mom is 97 this month and survived COVID. Dad’s in heaven but lived to 93. And they were my staunchest supporters, but I grew up with mom, in particular, you don’t challenge. And when I was about to write this in the book, you don’t challenge, you know, authorities and I said, “Mom, I need your permission here. Because I’m going to say that I couldn’t challenge my mother. What do you think?” And there was dead silence. And then she said, “Yeah, I could see how you would think that.” I go, “Oh, thank goodness.” What do you mean? She said because I’m Greek. You know, I grew up, be seen and not heard. You don’t question your authorities. You don’t challenge them. Yeah, I and I raised you that way. Well, the problem is, I grew up and I couldn’t speak up for myself. So this is issue number 521. Here, boundaries. You can’t have a happy career if you don’t have strong boundaries. You can’t catch every ball that’s thrown at you. You have to know when to say, “Wow, that were some interesting feedback, but I’m not going to take it because it’s not accurate or speaking up about unfairness.”

Kim Meninger That’s such a great point. I think that is going to resonate with a lot of people who come from different cultural backgrounds who have different kinds of parents, with different parenting styles and making that transition into a workplace where we are implicitly encouraged to challenge but also receive backlash sometimes when we do, is there’s a lot of mixed messages and that gets tangled up in the messages that we were given as children. So, it’s no wonder that people are experiencing self-doubt in navigating…

Kathy Caprino You’re so right. And you know, I, I’m interviewing a lot of people about risk-taking. And you know, they all say now, yes, take risks, leaders support that. Not really. Not quite yet. I mean, certain cultures do and certain fields do. I think tech, you know, high tech, obviously, it’s all based on you know, innovation which is risk. But there are cultures that say you should do it but and risk is also speaking up to challenge outmoded beliefs and assumptions. Some cultures embrace that, some cultures smash that down like a pancake. So, you know everything we say here. There’s someone in the world who says, you know, no, that’s not true. I spoke up and challenged you know, I, I talk about power gap number five challenging mistreatment instead of acquiescing and doing nothing, but we have to be very careful how we do it. For some cultures, you can go to your boss, if there’s another senior person mistreating some work cultures, you’re going to be fired if you do that. Some cultures, you can go to the HR team, other cultures, forget it. Sometimes you need to go to a lawyer sometimes. So it’s not a one-size-fits-all. approach. But it is, listen, if you’re being mistreated or something wrong is happening not just to you, but if you see it around you, you have to find a way to address it and might be, your way might be quitting.

Kim Meninger Yes. And I think that’s where the bravery piece comes in again, too, because I think a lot of times, at least it’s been my experience. And like you said, we don’t want to paint all women with the same brush, but generally speaking, I think women tend to feel more like they’re hanging by a thread that, you know, one misstep and this whole thing is going to come crashing down. And so, we are a lot more cautious. And we don’t feel like we have as many options. If you don’t see yourself as special, you feel like oh, I was just grateful to have a job, right? They’re doing me a big favor by giving me this job. And then I feel like I don’t have options. So if I speak up, and I take this risk, they’re gonna fire me and no one else is gonna have me.

Kathy Caprino That’s right. That’s right. And you know, that’s why I say I don’t care where you are in your career. And I don’t care how happy you are, you should be interviewing really regularly, you should be talking to recruiters, you should be going, I don’t mean just to kick the tires, you know, and waste everybody’s time. I need for you to understand your value in the marketplace. Because often when it happens, you come back and say, I could be making $30,000 more tomorrow and get out of this. But sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. And you come back and you say, you know what, this is good what I have. But if what you have is not exactly what you want, then take steps now to change that and change yourself in it. Because I always say, let’s say you feel broken down, mistreated, not recognized, passed over, quitting isn’t always the answer. You can actually work to turn that around now. So I’ll often say to people look, let’s, if they come to me for coaching, let’s do a two-pronged approach. Let’s get you looking at, I always say, do what you must to stay afloat, but also plant the seeds for your future self. Let’s get you interviewing, let’s get that LinkedIn profile working, your resume, let’s hear you talk about yourself and get out there. But in the meantime, change what you have here. If you have a toxic boss that’s mistreating you, what are we going to do about that now? Now, if it’s terrible sexual harassment, you go to a lawyer immediately. And then, then you’ll work on, you know, what’s the best exit plan here? Because you could get a settlement. But the answer isn’t to quit, usually, because you’re, you want to be a stronger energetic match to the thing you really want. And often we have to do work on ourselves for that ever to be the case.

Kim Meninger Yeah. That’s such a great way to think about it. Because there, I think you said this earlier, too, that that’s gonna follow us and not that, in certain kinds of egregious behaviors, you’re absolutely right. There’s, there’s a difference there. But if, if I’m feeling taken advantage of, that’s going to follow me until I learn how to set boundaries, right?

Kathy Caprino Or, as you’ve pointed out until I recognize that I’m truly valuable. I don’t need to, I don’t deserve this. I don’t have to settle for this, right.

Kim Meninger That’s right. And I think it’s so much if you’re, if you know, you’re going to leave. There’s no better time to work on those skills because you’re not, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Kathy Caprino That’s right. And, you know, when you, when you can do that and turn it around, I once had a course member who said, “I want out of my job now.” “Why?” “I can’t stand my boss and she can’t stand me.” And I said, “Let’s, let’s dig into that. Tell me how you feel about your boss.” And she said, “I think she’s incompetent.” I said, “Do you think you should have her job?” She said, “Yes.” So I said this, “That very well may be true, but everything is energy and your boss knows you feel that. And when we know someone thinks we’re incompetent, they become the enemy. Because our system can’t hold that because you’re a threat to me. And my amygdala goes to, it’s a, you know, a tiger in the cage. I want you to change how you feel about your boss. She’s like, I can’t. Well, she did. And it turned it around and she got a promotion. I do not, I do not jest or exaggerate. This is how we can work.

Kim Meninger That’s really powerful. Yeah, my goodness, I can, I could stay here all day talking to you.

Kathy Caprino Me too to you, Kim.

Kim Meninger So do you have any final thoughts that you want to share?

Kathy Caprino So, if any of this resonates, I would ask you all to remember that you are so unique and valuable. And there is no time like now where the world needs you. So if you can’t believe it for yourself, believe it for who you can support, the outcomes that you care about, the org. And this is the, the final piece. Happiness in a career isn’t just the functional things we do. It’s the people around us, too. They uplift us, too. We respect them. And it’s also the outcomes that the organization supports. When you have all three of those, I love my functional work, I’m not just good at it, but it comes naturally. And I enjoy it, you don’t want just a career that is hard. Number two, I really learn from the people around me. And, and I value them. You know, in my last time, I didn’t respect basically anybody there. Okay. And thirdly, I’m really proud of the outcomes that this organization supports, and thus that I support. That’s what we want you to go for. And that’s what you deserve. So if, if any of that is missing, I would definitely take these steps to power yourself up. And you know, my book hopefully would help, The Most Powerful You.

Kim Meninger Yeah, absolutely. And I wanted to ask you that to know like I said, I’ve been following you, particularly are articles, and even sometimes before I’ll see who wrote it, I’ll just read the article, and then I’ll be like, Oh, that’s great. And then realize it was you. Oh, thank you. How can people find the book? We’ll put it in the show notes too. But for anybody who’s listening right now, where can people find you if they want more?

Kathy Caprino Thank you for that. So is my primary site. You can find everything there. is my podcast. But I also have a course based around the book, it’s the digital companion to the book, The Most Powerful You, and you can find The Most Powerful You anywhere that you buy books, Amazon anywhere. But The Most Powerful You courses:. so some people get a lot out of a book and they, they’re off to the races. Other people say I need some extra help. I need some extra training, some extra coaching. And that’s The Most Powerful You

Kim Meninger Wonderful. Well thank you so much, Kathy, this has been such a great conversation and so helpful, I’m sure, to so many. So I really appreciate your taking the time to talk to me. Thanks again for having me. I so enjoyed it.

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