Garren Katz on Finding Nontraditional Career Inspiration

In Chapter 2 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business and personal coach Garren Katz answers "What Role Has Family Played in Shaping Your Career Aspirations?"   Katz notes how both his father and stepfather owned their own businesses.  Watching each manage his respective small business teaches Katz to understand job options beyond 9 to 5 careers.  Katz also takes inspiration from his mother, who changes career in her late 40s, and learns to appreciate having a continuing curiosity to expand interest and skills in life.  Garren Katz is a business and personal coach based in State College, PA and advises his national client base on small business management, entrepreneurship, relationships, and personal finances.  He is also an active angel investor in several business ventures.  He earned his BA from Western Michigan University. 


Erik Michielsen: What role has family played in shaping your career aspirations? 

Garren Katz: You know both my father and my stepfather own their own businesses, so I would say I always, you know, I grew up in an environment where a 9-to-5 job was never the norm, and it gave me a lot of confidence to perhaps not take the traditional -- some of the more traditional paths career-wise. So I think that definitely shaped me the fact that both male—significant male figures in my life own their own business.

 And then my mother, she’s the vice president of a college in the Midwest. She really found her stride later in life, in her late-40s and now is extremely accomplished, and I think that even gave me a lot of confidence to understand that, you know, the journey can be long, and it is exactly that, it’s not this scripted, you know, pap-pap-pap-pap-pap and end up here. You can really find yourself in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, the opportunity is always there to find yourself and so I think at whatever age you are, you should still be seeking and looking to hit your stride, and even if you think you’ve hit your stride, continue to look because there’s always fantastic opportunities to expand yourself.