Brian Kurth Interview – Reach Personal Branding Interview Series

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Eight Steps to a Career Transition and Reinventing Yourself

The “vocationing process” is a proven, action-oriented and step-by-step process for making career and life transitions. Used by thousands of people across the US and internationally since 2004, when Brian founded, this process helps people define what their “great” job is; learn how to deal with their fear; create an action plan; find a mentor; “test drive” their dream job; create their professional brand; utilize networking opportunities, and establish a tolerance threshold. Brian believes that happiness and passion can and should be an integral part of your job.

In this guest interview with Brian you can explore this further. Listeners learned:

  • What you can do to discover what truly would make you happy and fulfilled,
  • How you can address your fears,
  • What you can do to get moving in the right direction in pursuit of a career or lifestyle transition,
  • How you can go about finding a mentor,
  • Why a hands-on, “test-drive” experience of a potential career is beneficial,
  • What you can do to reinvent yourself beyond rewriting your resume,
  • How to identify how much risk, uncertainty and challenge you can live with in pursuit of a new career or life style.

BIO: Brian Kurth is a former “Dilbert” who worked for the phone company in Chicago. After realizing there was more to life than telecom calling plans, Brian founded VocationVacations in 2004. He is the author of Test-Drive Your Dream Job – A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding and Creating the Work You Love (Hachette, 2008).

Brian was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and graduated with degrees in political science, history and international relations from the University of Wisconsin before moving to Chicago to earn a masters degree in political science from Loyola University. He spent more than a decade in the corporate world, working his way up in product marketing within the telecommunications industry with AT&T and Ameritech, finally becoming the director of business development for a dot-com startup. During that time, he lived and worked in St. Louis; Chicago; Tallinn, Estonia; and Budapest, Hungary.

In late 2001, Brian was laid off from the dot-com company and took a six-month road trip across the United States and parts of Canada. At the end of his trip, he moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where he founded Brian Kurth + Company and VocationVacations.

Today, Brian is a sought-after career transition and development expert, strategist and speaker. He has appeared on CNBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, NBC’s TODAY Show and National Public Radio (NPR), and his career advice has been featured in articles in Fortune Magazine; Men’s Journal; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. He has spoken to a diverse group of companies and groups including AARP, Ameriprise, Disney, Intel, Microsoft and many universities and alumni associations.

Links: Read excerpts from Brian Kurth’s “how-to” book, Test-Drive Your Dream Job – A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding and Creating the Work You Love (Hachette, 2008), on the VocationVacations web site at, or on the Brian Kurth + Company web site,

Handout: Interview Series Handout July 2009