Break Up With The Job For Your Dream with Kanika Tolver

Barry O’Reilly welcomes Kanika Tolver to this week’s Unlearn Podcast. Kanika is the bestselling author of Career Rehab and founder of a consultancy business of the same name. She has coached hundreds of clients, helping them discover opportunities to do their best work and to find higher performance roles that are better suited to them.


How To Break Up With Your Job

Despite fear and anxiety about job security, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic, Kanika says, that you shouldn’t be afraid to seek the right job or to break up with the wrong one. She and Barry discuss practical advice: 

  • Turn your anxiety into accomplishments. For example, you can upskill by getting a new certification, and expand your network. Connect with recruiters or hiring managers who can help you get a new position. [Listen from 4:40]
  • Join a new online community. Apart from learning new skills, you may be able to connect with experts. [Listen from 5:25]
  • Fearlessly resign when you know you’re prepared. To prepare, think about what you need to do to get ready, what you can learn, and who you can connect with or who you know that can refer you. Taking these small steps builds your confidence to fearlessly resign. [Listen from 8:20]



You Are The MVP

Whether you’re thinking of changing careers or starting a business, think of yourself as the product. The first step is a Career Rehab Diagnosis, a self-assessment of what is and isn’t working in your career. Make adjustments based on what you discover. Next, Kanika says, list your career, education and personal goals. The next step is to think about financial goals and culture fit. [Listen from 14:55]


Barry comments that it takes so much unlearning for people to recognize that they deserve to have a fulfilling career in a place where they’re recognized for who they are and what they bring to the table. Kanika cites Barry’s book about reevaluating past behaviors. We need to stop thinking that we should conform to fit the company culture. Instead we must recognize that we’re the MVP (minimum viable product), and negotiate job offers with this mindset. She remarks, “They should be just as happy to have you as you are to have them. So I think when we shift our mindset to looking at ourselves as products and services – we have unique offerings – then it changes the direction of the conversation. Instead of you just praising the company, no – praise yourself and then get with the right company.” [Listen from 17:05]


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Divorcing The Job For The Dream

Innovating your behavior is imperative to live your dream. Incorporate continuous feedback as it helps you to continuously improve. Another key point is that you should never settle in your career or your business. You have to be resilient in order to be successful. [Listen from 19:35]


Kanika also shares the following advice:

  • You have knowledge and skills from your job that you can transfer into your new business. [Listen from 24:25]
  • Start creating your personal brand: you need a track record before you can divorce your job and marry your dream. [Listen from 25:55]
  • Don’t overthink it. Just do it. [Listen from 30:35]
  • Consistency is all it takes. [Listen from 31:35]



Looking Ahead

Kanika is excited about the future of the workplace. The current crisis has proven that workers can still add value working remotely, so she expects more companies to transition into remote. She is also looking forward to more virtual events so new speakers can get an opportunity to spread their message. Information sharing and online networking is being normalized, she believes, and she is looking forward to seeing how businesses and careers pivot during this period, as people develop new communication skills. [Listen from 32:15]




Book: Career Rehab: Rebuild Your Personal Brand and Rethink the Way You Work




Listen and subscribe to the Unlearn Podcast at
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