Karin Ohmann is a Swiss native with an intrinsic joy for life and a passion for unconventional knowledge. She loves being around others. Her “essence” comes alive when she can inspire joy in people, make them happy, giving them warmth and supporting them in their endeavour. She advises her clients on how to thrive in their career by knowing their talents and turning those into their Unique Selling Points. She believes that as your hidden talents become visible, you are given a wholly new perspective when it comes to making decisions. Karin has evolved a holistic approach to analyse a person's talent portfolio.
1. Tell us about your childhood and upbringing. How did it help you to become who you are today and how would it reflect on your future?
I grew up in Switzerland where I lived with my mother, father and brother. Our parents instilled a strong work ethic in us from a very young age. They themselves have always been hardworking and entrepreneurial and this is a trait both my brother and I inherited. As a family, we are very close-knit and I believe growing up in this positive, down-to-earth environment is responsible for the values that I hold in the highest esteem: loyalty and integrity - always finding the silver lining to every cloud. Having lived all over Europe and Asia I have come to view everything through a truly global lens - whilst my entrepreneurial spirit is a core part of my identity.
2. What is your mission in this world?
I have dedicated my entire career to helping others find fulfilment in their work. I love helping people ‘un-earth’ their innate talents - I believe that, in fact, that is my natural talent and so I feel truly blessed to be able to help others find their ‘spark’ on a daily basis. For most people, work life accounts for more than 50% of your waking hours, for this reason, it is so important that we enjoy what we do.
In recent years I have evolved a holistic approach to analyse a person’s talent portfolio. I do this by combining my many years experience as an executive search and assessment specialist with a philosophy that I studied during my time living in Southeast Asia. Its underlying idea is, that wer are born with a package of energy which dictates our personality and character traits. My holistic analysis uncovers what ‘tools’ my clients have at their disposal - obvious talents – but also those talents, which due to social environment, education, degree choice or other external influences, have been neglected or have remained hidden. As these talents become visible, my clients achieve a completely new perspective regarding what they can do. With this information we work together to build their ‘personal brand’ - setting them on the right path to pursue a career best suited to their natural skill set.
3. You are very passionate about empowerment. Why do you believe that continual personal development is so important for everyone?
I believe that development belongs to life. As humans, it is imperative for us to embrace change. As our environment and personal needs evolve, so must we. Personal development comes in many different guises; it is isn’t necessarily just learning new skills - although that is very rewarding. The work I tend to do with my clients focuses more on self-discovery. Through learning more about ourselves we are better equipped to interact with others and the world around us.
For instance, if you are, in your heart, a true creative and yet find yourself in an environment that is all about attention to the minutiae you are going to feel unfulfilled. You may find that those around you are not appreciating you - this is because they are seeing all the ways you are not fitting in rather than your untapped potential - essentially you are a round peg in a square hole. This is where I come in - I work with my clients to help them understand their natural affinities and tap into their potential. Through this sort of personal development, all of a sudden the amount of energy you put into your career becomes equal to the satisfaction that you take from it - which is a place where we as humans thrive.
4. Please describe the things you do on a typical day.
I think most parents and entrepreneurs would agree that there is no such thing as a typical day. That being said, there are definitely some common themes from week to week. I quite often kick the day off with either sports or a walk with my dog - this helps to get my energy flowing and gives me some time with my thoughts. I often use this time to mentally prepare myself for the day ahead. From there I will generally spend some time preparing for sessions with my clients before meeting with them in person where possible and via Skype for my international clients. On certain days I focus my energy on writing blog articles, feeding my profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook or on creating various marketing material. I either work from my home office or from my desk at a co-working space, which is also a hotbed of like minded individuals - a real opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs.
When I am not coaching, you can generally find me working on my own personal development. Most recently I have undertaken a public speaking course and a social media course - both are skills that empower me to reach more people who are currently struggling on a career path that was not made for them. For me, a very important part of my day is being there when my children come home from school. While I believe it is valuable for them to see their parents working hard, I also want, more than anything, for them to grow up in a secure and loving environment.
5. How would you describe your experience working with women – what is your opinion about their talents and skills?
I have been truly blessed throughout my career, as I have met and worked with many talented women. I count myself especially lucky to be present for their “Aha!” moment. This is the point where we discover their innate talent. This is particularly satisfying when it is a skill they had previously given little or no time to. Without wanting to make sweeping generalisations but my experience has been that women are forced to be ‘leaner’ decision makers. We have to navigate a number of factors, wearing our many different hats, in a bid to satisfy the needs of those around us. These factors have made it necessary for many of the women I work with to hone skills that aren’t so much nature; but instead a means of managing the many demands placed upon them; as mothers, wives, homemakers and entrepreneurs. Having a great arsenal of strengths and talents does have a flip side though - it can make it difficult to focus in on one or two. That is where I come in - we work together to achieve the “Aha!”
6. It seems that people and businesses must apply your recommendations on their own to be successful; how can they keep themselves motivated?
It’s like with everything in life - you are the only one who can take action. But, once you have figured out what you really want to do in life and how your character, strengths and talents can support you on your way to reach your goal, it’s quite easy. During my coaching sessions I focus on uncovering and leveraging your strengths and talents, that’s the heart of all the work we do. From there we create a roadmap and an action plan, setting out practical steps to empower you to secure a job that satisfies and fulfils you. A big part of this is helping you to formulate your talents in an “elevator pitch” so that you are more confident in talking about yourself with potential employers, in job interviews or in general with your network - self promotion is a big stumbling block for a lot of the people who come to me.
7. How important is having the right motivation to be successful?
Being successful is a mindset but the triggers are very different from person to person. It could be financial reward, recognition, helping others, saving the world or being the best in your industry. Motivation is very important but it can be a very fickle beast. For that reason I believe that discipline is as important, if not more so. It is discipline that will help you achieve your goals on the days that your motivation has taken a hiatus.
8. What is your proudest moment as a coach?
For me the proudest moments are two fold... The “Aha!” moment is always a really powerful moment being there to witness the exact second where the spark of realisation and excitement occurs. The only equal to this is when my clients write to me from the desk of their new job thanking me for helping them to achieve a happier, more fulfilling life.
9. Do you have a favourite quote regarding business/entrepreneurship that you would like to share with our readers?
It’s a well known statement by Confucius and it is one that I live by:
“Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”