The Job of Your Life with Karen Schaffer

Get out of your rut and find your passion

About Me

bio-karenschaffer1Here’s what I want to say about me: 

I’ve been a Career Counsellor and Coach for more than 15 years, & I’ve written three books on the topic. My perpetual middle child book, The Job of Your Life, I like to say is a bit of cult favourite amongst career explorers and the starting point of focus for this blog. It’s about exploring and connecting with passionate work, in a meaningful, authentic and realistic way, opening up some avenues of insight that most people don’t consider when thinking about their work and what to do next. Originally published by Prentice Hall, the 10 year anniversary edition with additional material is now available from Sentor Media. I love this book. After I published it, it kicked my ass and taught me lots of stuff sometimes painfully, but I love it. Writing it was one of the most glorious times of my life – it was like communing with Spirit everyday. One day I’ll write like that again.  I also love that people really connect with it and over the years have written me a lot of really beautiful things about how it made a difference for them.

Not to be neglected (I am a proud mama!), my other two books are the fun to the point of being silly, but still bang on, Canadian bestseller Hire Power: the ultimate job guide for young Canadians (now updated and republished by Sentor Media as Hire Power: the ultimate Canadian Student Employment Guide) and the compassionate and obsessively-resume-focused (there are a LOT of resumes in the damn thing and I vetted every one of them)  The Complete Book of Resumes, available from Sourcebooks Inc.

I appeared on TV a lot when I lived in Toronto. If you were watching too much TV in the late 90s you might remember me. I was guest expert for a large variety of television programs and talk shows, with repeat appearances on most, including Canada AM, Her Money, Breakfast Television, the Chatroom and Workopolis TV with Bruce Sellery.  Here in Halifax I’m still a semi-regular contributor to the Maritime Noon News call in show with the inimitable Costas Halavrezos (now happily selling spices at the Old Market) and newspaper reporters occasionally call me for quotes, which is nice.  Back in the day I was the “Career Expert” for the Camilla Scott Show and for Toronto’s Daytime. I have spoken to audiences that include career professionals and schools, universities and organizations. I’ve also been a regular contributor to The Toronto Star and the National Post.

Where did I learn all this stuff? Life mostly, asking lots of questions, doing lots of experimenting on myself and others to see what really works, finding great tools and learning from colleagues who have done similar journeys. I’ve also got a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology and an Honors BA in Cultural Studies from McGill University. I’ve had my own practice as a Career Consultant for over a decade and previous to that ran my own resume practice. For three years I worked at this cool, downtown Toronto recruiting company called IQ Partners ( ) as their Partner in Career Management. I remained associated to IQ Partners, representing their Career Management practice for several years after leaving Toronto for Halifax. You can still see my photo on their main web page if you stay on there long enough.

After moving to Nova Scotia in 2004 and running my own practice for four and a half years (that included a bit of ghostwriting and creative consulting too) I had the opportunity to take on another job of my life, becoming Career Counsellor at Saint Mary’s University. Helping university students figure out their next steps is another expression of my work in teaching others to learn the secrets of exploration and decision-making without making yourself crazy or being permanently embedded on your sofa.

As you might have already noticed, if you leave a comment,  it encourages me to blog about the answer if I have something to say (which I normally do and if I don’t I will confess it and we’ll work the answer out together). I still do some private practice career coaching via telephone so if you are interested in working with me you can email karen AT karenschaffer DOT COM

As a side note, I’m also a certified Flow Yoga teacher, under the training of Kaila Kukla (, a yoga based in the mysticism of Tantra and the philosophy of the Tao.  I find that the yogic side of me has defined new ways for me to help clients interpret their own personal flow of career development and discovery.


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