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Katie Caples: Writing her next career move

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Katie Caples, author
Katie Caples, author - (Photo / )

Katie Caples recently left a full-time position with a nonprofit in York to spend more time with her family and start her own business.

For the past eight years, Caples had worked in some capacity with the York County Economic Alliance, with her most recent position being director of member relations.  If you own a business in York County, there's a good chance that you have connected with Caples.

This spring Caples said goodbye to full-time employment so she could spend more time with her family, and pursue other personal projects. It takes a lot of courage to pivot out of a high-profile professional position. Caples agreed to share a little about this next step in her life. 

CPBJ: You recently left a full-time job with YCEA. How hard was that decision and what steps did you take to prepare for that?

Caples: It was a difficult decision, one that has taught me a lot about myself. It started with a shift in mindset and took the better part of a year to realize. In fact, it’s still unfolding as I navigate entrepreneurship and full-time motherhood.

The first step was to envision my new life; and as I did, I gained a new level of clarity. It was palpable, energizing. I began to pursue my passion project, a reflective journal for women that came to be named "Clarity." I was also writing a business plan, creating an LLC, developing a website and planning a book launch party, among other things. The most courageous step, leap really, was resigning from my nonprofit career – a difficult conversation with a mentor and friend, putting my dreams into the universe in a way that pushed well past my comfort zone.

CPBJ: Your book is a self-starting book to journaling. How did you realize that journaling was crucial to your life? Why?

Caples: I discovered journaling after having my second daughter. Her arrival brought back memories of my childhood – exploring nature on the farm each day with my mom and sister. My imagination was at its peak in my early youth; and aside from the space shuttle (tree) I captained in our backyard, my biggest dream was to be an author.

Journaling has been life-changing and helps me to be more intentional while prioritizing what matters most. I grew to embrace the idea of a slower, simpler life. A transformation made possible by re-living those magical moments, pen to paper.

CPBJ: How did your experience with YCEA help you in making this next move?

Caples: The YCEA provided a platform of learning, and for nine years I was paid to connect with the smartest, most successful people here in our region. I asked questions, a lot of questions, and kept an open mind. While soaking up the knowledge of those around me, I refined my skills - from project management and sales to program development and branding. And I learned a lot about running a business - budgeting, human resources, strategic planning, change management, etc.

CPBJ: What are your days like now? How do you stay connected to your professional work?

Caples: Days are slower and more spontaneous. I’m more relaxed while continuing to dream big and follow my passions. I’m a planner, and make daily, weekly, monthly and long-terms goals. Those plans include playing outside each day and publishing another journal by year end.

I stay connected professionally by making people a priority and by being involved. I serve on the board of Child Care Consultants and will join the YCEA’s Women’s Business Center when it kicks off again in the Fall.

I’m still trying to figure it all out, as I pursue my writing endeavors, manage projects for clients and raise my kids. It’s been a joy to share my connections with my family in our many adventures.

CPBJ: Any mentors that have inspired you? If so, how did they help?

Caples: I’ve been blessed with many amazing mentors throughout my life. They share their perspectives, challenge my thinking, provide inspiration, and at times boost my courage. Those that have played a significant role in my career transition include Lynda Randall, Christy Renjilian, Bill Yanavitch, Demi Stevens, Gary Laird and Kevin Schreiber.

At a glance:

With more than 10 years of experience in sales and management, Caples transitioned from a career she loved with the YCEA to one of author and mompreneur. She published her first book, "Clarity: A Journal for Reflection & Discovery," in May.

Caples lives on a farmette in Stewartstown, with her husband, Robert, and their two daughters. To learn more or follow her journey, visit kcaples.com.

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Cathy Hirko

Cathy Hirko

Cathy Hirko is managing editor, news, for the Central Penn Business Journal. Email her at chirko@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @CathyHirko.

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