Former Opera Singer Finds Her Passion as a Career Coach and Shares with Women How to Recharge, Reignite, and Reinvent Their Careers




Contact: Stacey J. Miller
Email: sjmiller at

Former Opera Singer Finds Her Passion as a Career Coach and Shares with Women
How to Recharge, Reignite, and Reinvent Their Careers

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — April 10, 2014

· A Harvard graduate with an Economics degree, Jessi was the picture of success in her Vice President, six-figure position at Bear Stearns in New York City. She was young, thriving in her corporate career, and enjoying the life of an executive woman, when one day everything changed. When Bear Stearns and JP Morgan merged, Jessi was laid off. In a matter of moments the rising young executive in the New York financial district became an unemployed Ivy League grad looking for work. In the scariest job market since the Great Depression, Wall Street jobs are scarce and unemployed junior executives are a dime a dozen.

· Natalie enjoyed her career as a corporate lawyer in the cutting edge, fast paced legal world for 20+ years before she began to burn out and find her work unfulfilling. Not only was it debilitating physically and emotionally, living by the billable hour was finally taking its toll. But how does a recovering lawyer find a job that plays to her strengths and allows her to take off the golden handcuffs while still being fulfilled and financially solvent?

· The glass ceiling is weighing heavily on Theresa’s head and she wants desperately to earn what she feels she is worth in an organization that respects and values the skills and experiences she brings to the table. But in this tight economy, she wouldn’t dare make a move without a better job to go to. How can she investigate options without alerting her current employer and sounding the alarm that she is looking for greener pastures?

“In this tumultuous economy, many women have been forced to reinvent themselves due to downsizing and workforce cutbacks. Others have realized that their careers did not honor their values and they were on a live-to-work carousel and could not get off.” So says Caroline Dowd-Higgins, a former opera singer who traded in her performing career for far more fulfilling and emotionally rewarding work that plays to her many strengths. Today, she is the Director of Professional Enrichment for the Indiana University Alumni Association where she leads an expanded alumni career enhancement and leadership development program that has captured the attention of executive coaching guru, Marshall Goldsmith, and Spencer Stewart, CEO, Jim Citrin. She also maintains an active private practice coaching individuals and corporate clients, and she speaks nationally on professional development topics specializing in the empowerment of women in the workforce. 

For her book, This Is Not the Career I Ordered (Reinvention Press), Dowd-Higgins interviewed more than 400 women across the globe. “These women, who represent a variety of career fields and diverse experiences, shared their hopes and dreams as well as their failures and emotional journeys so others can learn from their experiences,” says Dowd-Higgins. Yet they have all successfully transitioned professionally and have mastered the art of change and reinvention. They include Ellen Covner who traded her legal career for the landscaping life; Angela Jia Kim, an accomplished concert pianist who now heads an organic skin care business; Debbie Waitkus whose discomfort as a CEO of a 130 million dollar private mortgage banking firm convinced her to turn her passion for golf into a profitable organization; and Alicia Sable Hunt who, while working in oncology care, developed a line of foods that provides nourishment to patients who have lost their appetite and taste.

After talking with so many women, Dowd-Higgins learned that many – while successful now – once struggled with the guilt and uncertainty of giving up one career to pursue another, especially if their education or training supported the original career. “I can tell you from experience, it’s a scary step to take,” she admits, “but once you let go of the guilt, it will be very liberating and, eventually, confidence building. And it will allow you to thrive in a career that matches your values, interests, personality, and transferable skills.” She hopes that her readers will learn from her, and from the many fabulous women who have successfully reinvented themselves, how to “discover and monetize your passion, take calculated risks, and live an authentic career life.”

This Is Not the Career I Ordered:
Empowering Strategies from Women Who Recharged, Reignited, and Reinvented Their Careers
By Caroline Dowd-Higgins
Reinvention Press
ISBN: 978-0-9827318-0-2

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