The Highlands Company Blog

Love What You Do!

New college graduates: Frustrated with your job? Here’s what to do next…

So you’ve recently graduated from college. And you were lucky enough to land a job. Congratulations! But, like many 20-somethings today, you may be finding that your work life is somewhat less than fulfilling. In fact, you might have decided that this whole going-to-college-and-getting-a-job thing was a huge mistake. After all, why did you work so hard in school only to find that you feel inadequate for the situation you’re in?

Enter Kim Turner, a Highlands Certified Consultant with over 20 years of experience guiding students through the jungle of post-college work life. What drives her? “I believe that everyone deserves to have a life and career that they can be proud of. This philosophy guides my work with students and adults and together we work to answer the important questions of, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What gives my life meaning?’”.

In the article below, Kim describes the central role that the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) and the Highlands Whole Person Method played in her personal career development, and how that experience guides her in her work with clients today.

Case study: Client is a 24-year-old college graduate working in advertising who is very frustrated with her career and feels like she is not doing anything to help others. She did well in school, but changed majors several times before settling on Political Science and Sociology. This client has little exposure to careers beyond law, medicine and business. She would like to go back to grad school in something but has no idea what that might be. She feels stuck with no options.

You may be surprised to learn that this client was me in 1995. I had always done well in school, but ended up in a poor fit after college and felt disillusioned and “not good at work.” I read about the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB), which interestingly enough was co-created by an advertising executive who was prompted to help the many young people in his field who couldn’t articulate what they did well (natural abilities). I called
that same day.

After taking the HAB and going through the 10-week Personal Development Program, I decided to go back to school to get a Masters in Counseling and ended up working in public education for seventeen years. During this time, I frequently referred people to the Highlands process and cited it as being life-changing for me.

It wasn’t until a stint working with students at the University of Georgia that I started thinking about training to do Highlands work myself. I saw many students who came to college “knowing” what they wanted to do. Sometimes these goals were not based on the students’ abilities, interests, or values, but rather on parental or societal expectations. When these students hit a wall in the coursework or didn’t like the subject matter, they would be crushed and unsure about the future. I saw myself in a lot of them and knew that the Highlands process could help alleviate a lot of their anxieties and help them create a career and personal vision that fit.

Since 2013, I have been helping students and adults become the best version of themselves and create visions for their careers and personal lives. A wise professor of mine, Dr. Spencer Niles, would always say “we actively master what we passively suffer.” I find great joy in helping people realize what they are remarkable at because it was such a pivotal moment for me in my life. When a young person or adult discovers that they have immense abilities and can channel them in the right setting, then they are on the path to satisfaction and success. My definition of career success is helping my clients find that fit and congruence with who they are and what they do every day.

How the HAB Still Helps Me — 25 Years and Counting!

Despite having taken the Highlands Ability Battery 25 years ago, I still use the knowledge I gained from the experience. Although I have loved all of my jobs in counseling and education, I enjoy the most career satisfaction now because I am able to use my driving abilities to run my two companies and nonprofit.

My Idea Productivity is used in marketing my businesses through social media and other platforms.

I use my Classification ability (the need to make connections) with my clients and collaborating with other clinicians and organizations in my community.

And Concept Organization helps me keep all of these plates spinning while raising two children.

I am so grateful for this assessment and process that I can now pay forward.


“We believe in our worth as professionals. We want to be role models and to show our strong girls that we have a personal interest in their well-being.”

— Kim Turner, Co-Founder of Strong Girls an organization designed to inspire girls through creative activities, community service and yoga, and its nonprofit arm, Strong Girls Serve.

Kim Turner, LPC, NCC, has over 20 years of experience in education and counseling, having worked in higher education positions at the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia and as a public school counselor. She is currently working in the private practice founded six years ago, helping adolescents and adults finding college majors and careers that fit. Contact Kim at