Tough, Workable Advice
Career Rehab

Tough, Workable Advice

Professional coach Kanika Tolver guides you in diagnosing your career dissatisfactions and offers hard-headed advice about how to launch a new path.

Contagiously enthusiastic

Professional coach Kanika Tolver is the CEO and founder of Care Rehab, LLC, which helps students, professional and retirees transform their careers. Her profound belief in social commitment and helping people lead “epic lives” led her to offer this program to anyone who suffers from “Career SAD” (stress, anxiety and depression at work) and wants to change course for the better. Her suggestions are not particularly groundbreaking, but Tolver’s passion and joy make them contagiously enthusiastic. And her ideas are, in fact, quite practicable and actionable, which sets her career self-help apart from most.

If you’re seeking contemporary career guidance that reflects a mindfulness about today’s workplace dynamics, parallel books that might help you include Traction by Gino Wickham and You Were Born For This by James Nestor.

Negative symptoms

If your career makes you feel dissatisfied, Kanika Tolver urges you to embrace the strategies companies employ when creating new products. First, she says, identify what in your worklife makes you display negative mental and physical symptoms.

Career rehab is both a state of mind and a plan of action designed to help you restore and renew your career.Kanika Tolver

This will become your diagnostic tool in your “Rehab YOU” journey. 

Diagnose your life

Tolver offers a “Rehab You Evaluation” to help you identify aspects of your working life that you should change. Ask if your career path makes you happy; assess your education and skills; promote yourself on Linkedin and get comfortable selling your brand.

To that end, Tolver presents these archetypes and asks which one you are: a “Cool Geek,” “Corporate Rebel” or “Career Dropout” seeking a new path.

Manage stress

Tolver’s catchphrase is Career SAD – symptoms of career stress, anxiety and depression. Among the many somewhat obvious insights she offers is that workplace stress adversely affects your performance, work quality and relationships.

As many current authors do, Tolver suggests channeling your stress and negative emotions into self-care: meditation, exercise, taking regular breaks, journaling, healthy eating, family time, and creating space in your schedule to relax after work and on weekends.

Personal brand

Tolver recommends that you never view yourself as an employee. Employees, she contends, do what they are told. She prefers that you market your personal brand based on her “Three E’s”: your education, expertise and experience.

“Date jobs”

The author maintains that you should date potential jobs as you date people. This tactic provides several benefits: employers may pay for your professional training or education; and working with more companies correlates with increases in salary and in opportunities for traveling for work and expanding your professional network.

When you date jobs, you can rapidly and easily increase your career salary because you are constantly landing new jobs and learning skills as you travel your career path.Kanika Tolver

Tolver breaks this approach down using her archetypes. Cool Geeks should spend two to three years at their first job to build experience. Corporate Rebels should date jobs for one to two years. Career Dropouts should spend one to three years at their current job while they prepare to launch new careers. This section gives you Tolver’s more original tactics and her archetypal guidance seems like worthwhile common sense.

“Hustler” mentality

Embrace a hustler mentality, Tolver advises, by actively pursuing useful connections to launch your personal brand. She admonishes you not to exaggerate your accomplishments; be clear about your motives; have conversations rather than collecting business cards; and follow up with new contacts. Network online and in person in a way that matches your personality. The author demonstrates emotional sensitivity when she writes that introverts can prioritize smaller social events, while, for example, extroverts can be keynote speakers or panelists.

Get paid

Tolver is adamant that you must recognize your worth and demand fair pay and treatment. Companies tend to offer unfairly low salaries to women and minorities, she laments, while offering higher paychecks to white men. She provides the Bureau of Labor Statistics as an online site at which to compare the salary a company offers you to your industry average.

As you network like a hustler, you also have to get the money, power, and respect like a hustler.Kanika Tolver

Presenting hard-headed workable tactics, Tolver makes that case that you should ask new employers for between $10,000 and $15,000 more than your current annual salary. Walk away from bad offers.

Leave jobs

Tolver states flat-out that you should quit your job if your employer or company culture doesn’t align with your goals. Send a farewell email to the entire company, expressing gratitude. Say goodbyes to everyone, in person, on your last day.

When you leave your job to transform your brand into your own business, Tolver believes you must embrace a calm, patient attitude. She warns you to have six to 12 months of savings in the bank, a cost-effective health insurance plan, and meditation or spiritual practices to maintain your resilience.

Basic and direct

Tolver plows a familiar field: how to negotiate the fluidity of today’s job market while seeing your skills and experience as the valuable assets – for yourself and any potential employer – that they are. Her advice takes the form of a book-length, but never dull, pep talk, as if she were a coach in your mirror looking back at you and reminding you of your strengths and how to manifest them. At this, Tolver proves quite adept. You’ll likely fly through her book and return to the sections that most connect to your specific needs as you consider your career options.

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