Conferences | Professional development days | Retreats  Networking events | Webinars | Podcasts


Karen Schmidt shows people how to have more satisfying careers

If your audience is looking for advice on how to advance their careers I can help. My presentations address a range of popular event themes and can be delivered as a keynote, interactive workshop or panel discussion.


Career Pivot

How to wake up and turn your career into reality

Research by the Gallup Organisation has found that across all countries only 13% of people are in their dream career (Gallup call it being engaged). Another 17 % are in their nightmare career actively disengaged, contributing nothing and being kept alive by the system. The remaining 70% are not engaged. They’re like zombies, mindlessly sleep walking through their careers.

This keynote is designed to help people wake up and turn their dream career into reality. It fits with a range of themes including:

Success |  Authenticity |  Mental Health |  Wellness | Engagement

I share my story of going from success to failure and back again. Along the way I discuss a low risk process they can use to create their dream career. They will discover:

  • What happens when you start sleep walking in your career
  • The difference between a career dream and a dream career
  • The real reason career change usually fails
  • 5 step pivot process to make your dream career a reality (Core, Alignment, Direction, Leverage, Momentum)


Future proof your career

How to design a career that lasts

The workplace today is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. We are facing threats on many fronts including AI, outsourcing and the gig economy. Careers for life are a thing of the past. It’s easy to see why so many people are concerned about the future of their career. It doesn’t have to be that way if you can figure out how to future proof your career.

This topic is designed for people who want to stay ahead of curve in their career. It fits with a range of themes including:

Change | Disruption | Future of work | Sustainability

Your audience will learn how they can position themselves for career success into the future. They will discover:

  • How to read the warning signs that your career isn’t future proof
  • The 5 career scenarios you want to avoid
  • The hidden motivation behind the interest in future proofing
  • Why following career trends is a mistake
  • A 5 step pivot process for creating a future proof career (Core, Alignment, Direction, Leverage, Momentum)


Accelerate Your Career

5 ways to get your career into top gear

The workplace today is highly competitive with more people going after fewer opportunities. Qualifications and hard work help but they aren’t enough. What you need is something to set you apart from the rest, a way to accelerate your career without causing you to burn out.

This topic is suitable for people who want to find a way to stand out from the crowd and get their career moving ahead. It fits with a range of themes including:

Attitude | Success | Mindset | Future of work | Disruption

Your audience will learn about the 5 key attitudes they’ll need to get ahead in their career regardless of their field. These attitudes are like cogs in your brain that when activated can help to get any career into top gear. They will discover:

  • Why qualifications plus hard work no longer equal guaranteed career success
  • How knowing where your unhelpful attitudes about work come from will help you to succeed
  • 5 attitudes you need to develop if you want a successful career today and into the future (Mastering change, Thinking self employed, Managing your own career, Promoting yourself, Lifelong learning)
  • 3 simple steps to get your career into high gear starting now


Career Refresh

How to get your career back on track

We all spend so much time on our careers that it’s easy to become stale. Some people mistake this for needing to change careers and later find out that doesn’t solve their problem. What if instead you could find a way to make the most of the career you’ve got by simply hitting refresh?

This topic is designed for people who love their career … just not all the time.  It fits with a range of themes including:

Goals | Mindset | Resilience | Passion | Worklife balance

Your audience will learn simple yet effective strategies and tactics that will help them to enjoy their work regardless of the circumstances around them. They will discover:

  • Why we all need to refresh our careers on a regular basis
  • How to recognise when you’re starting to go stale at work
  • One simple career boost you can do right now
  • The 5 step F.R.E.S.H. formula for reviving your career (Forward Thinking, Resilient, Enthusiastic, Stretching, Holistic)


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My experience

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I have over 15 years experience as a speaker at events in 8 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region.  I am a Certified Speaking Professional, a title held by less than 10% of speakers internationally. My qualifications include a Bachelor of Adult Education degree and I am the author of 5 books on leadership and personal development. Combined with my background in Human Resource Management and a further 20 years spent helping people advance their careers I have first hand experience and stories to share.

I’ve spoken at events with up to 1,000 people using both sign language and foreign language interpreters. I’m a flexible, low maintenance speaker and can easily adapt to your changing needs.

My style is energetic, entertaining and authentic. I enjoy interacting with my audience before, during and after my session so everyone gets the maximum benefit from your event.

I’m available for conferences, professional development days, retreats, networking events, webinars and podcasts. I can present keynotes, deliver breakout sessions and facilitate panel discussions making me a versatile addition to your speaking program.


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What clients say

“Karen is remarkably easy to work with. She is professional, reliable and always delivers what she says she will. On top of that, her sessions are creative, inspiring and most importantly, applicable. Guests always leave with ideas they can implement immediately and easily. As an event organiser this is a recipe for success. I recommend Karen without reservation.” Joanne Nyland, Manager Alumni Services, Griffith University School of Business

“Karen provided a wonderful session at our 2018 event on mindset shifts that help team leaders thrive.  This was delivered in a very relatable and memorable way offering delegates a new perspective, which they will be able to take back to their businesses and use now and in the future.  It was an absolute pleasure having Karen join us for the event!” Madeleine Sawyer, Future Leaders Forum Organiser, Caravan Industry Association of Australia

“Delegate feedback showed they were very impressed with your presentations. They loved your gardening analogy, combined with your engaging and animated presentation style.” Nicola Young, Conference Chair, Association of Queensland Nurse Leaders

“Karen is very passionate about what she does. Her session is considered to be one of the popular ones during this year’s Asia HRD Congress.” Grace Rudd, Conference Organiser, SMR HR Group, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“Karen’s enthusiasm and genuine interest during our initial discussions, along with her great ideas immediately sold me on her. She then delivered a session that was professional, engaging and practical”. Dr Sarah Schroeder, QLD Young Water Professionals co-ordinator, Australian Water Association

“Karen is a vibrant, entertaining and informative speaker and brought a great dynamic to a crowd of over 100. Her presentation appeared effortless and polished and she engaged the audience in a thought-provoking discussion with wit and humour.” Allison Radcliffe, President, The Association for Women in Insurance QLD