Understanding Career Development

Linda Oestreich STC Fellow, R5 Director Sponsor Presented to Southern Ariz. STC Chapter November 14, 2002

About me
♦ Career history ♦ STC history ♦ Motivators

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♦ Understand how careers develop ♦ Find your career best ♦ Test your career-change championship ♦ Wrap-up and questions

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Career Management Model
♦ Based on article by Kurt Sandholtz at

Novations Group, Inc. a Provo, Utah, company that helps organizations design and implement career-development systems. ♦ From research by Harvard Business School professors, Gene Dalton and Paul Thompson.
(A Career Management Model, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, Fall 1998. Developing long-term employability by Kurt Sandholtz. www.developercareers.com/ddj/articles/1998)

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♦ Ancient pyramid no longer exists in career

development. ♦ Companies are flattening the management structure. ♦ We understand what we should do for success of a project, but not what’s needed for our long-term development.

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Some companies using model
♦ Monsanto ♦ 3M ♦ Exxon/Mobil ♦ Amoco ♦ Intel ♦ DuPont ♦ Sandia National Laboratories

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Four stages of a career
♦ Apprentice ♦ Independent ♦ Mentor ♦ Visionary

(See handout of career management model.)

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1. Depending on others (apprentice)
♦ Work is never entirely your own. ♦ Your assignment is part of a larger effort. ♦ You are expected to do most of the detailed

and routine work on your part of the contribution. ♦ You have to earn the trust of your manager and colleagues.

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Requirements for stage 1
♦ Accept supervision and direction willingly. ♦ Exercise initiative and creativity within a

well-defined area. ♦ Work with a mentor to learn organization savvy.

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2. Contributing independently
♦ Assume responsibility for a definable

portion of a work or process. ♦ Work independently and produce results that are recognized as your own. ♦ Develop credibility and a reputation for competent work. ♦ Manage more of your own time and be more accountable for outcomes.
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Requirements for stage 2
♦ Rely less on supervisor or mentor for

direction. ♦ Become true team player. ♦ Willingly share information with fellow team members. ♦ Develop solid technical foundation and confidence in your own judgment. ♦ Cultivate your own standards of performance.
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3. Coach or mentor
♦ Equip others with tools, knowledge, and

opportunity they need to succeed. ♦ Take personal interest in careers of others and help their development. ♦ Lead multiperson projects, but may not have management responsibilities. ♦ Think creatively and be well-networked.

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Requirements for stage 3
♦ Contribute through others. ♦ Develop greater breadth of technical skills and

apply them across multiple areas. ♦ Build a network outside own workgroup. ♦ Become involved in the stimulation of others through ideas and information. ♦ Exhibit strong interpersonal skills. ♦ Be willing to pull away from strictly technical work.
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4. Organization leader–visionary
♦ Exercise significant influence over critical

decisions in the organization. ♦ Help shape the future direction of the company. ♦ Represent the organization inside and outside the organization. ♦ Sponsor promising people who might fill future key roles in the organization. ♦ Maintain extensive network outside organization. ♦ Attain broad perspective and lengthen time horizons.
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Nonmanager roles in stage 4
♦ Idea Innovator ♦ Internal Entrepreneur ♦ Sponsor

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Stage 4: Idea innovator
♦ Champion new systems, processes and

operating principles that improve productivity. ♦ Work closely with management or peers to help sell ideas. ♦ Understand basis of organization’s ability to compete in the marketplace.

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Stage 4: Internal entrepreneur
♦ See new business opportunities and

assemble the buy-in, money, and staff to pursue them.

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Stage 4: Sponsor
♦ Influence direction of the organization by

selecting and developing key people. ♦ Make sure key people are not stagnating on unchallenging projects.

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Nonmanagers by stage over time
1 2 3 4 % Nonmanagers 1979 100 99 66 26 % Nonmanagers 1998 100 98 86 67

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Facts to ponder
♦ Research shows that <5% of an

organization’s workforce functions in stage 4. ♦ As much as 60% of a workforce is in stage 2 and making valuable contributions. ♦ Making a temporary transition to an earlier development stage is often essential to longterm career growth!
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What was your best-ever job?

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What gives you career satisfaction?
♦ Having solid ♦ Being challenged ♦ Having autonomy ♦ Seeing importance of

your work ♦ Learning something new ♦ Working with a great team

management support ♦ Having clear goals ♦ Doing something new ♦ Using creativity ♦ Owning whole task ♦ Feeling recognized ♦ Doing the impossible

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Your career bests…
1. Tap into your talents and passions. 2. Add value to the organization. 3. Are often a product of luck rather than


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Think TOP for career best



Organization Needs

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♦ Innate abilities ♦ Inborn strengths ♦ Things you do naturally well ♦ You just “have a knack” for it!

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Organization needs
♦ Job contribution ♦ What you do adds value ♦ What you do helps company improve ♦ What you do helps others in company


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♦ Work offers a heart connection. ♦ Work fascinates, stimulates, captivates,

enthralls you. ♦ Something you’d do even if you weren’t paid!

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TOP equation

Talents + Organization Need + Passion = Career Best!

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Two out of three?
♦ Talents + Organization Needs – Passion =

STUCK ♦ Organization Needs + Passion – Talents = INCOMPETENCE ♦ Talents + Passion – Organization Needs = OCCUPATIONAL HOBBY (Take test to see if you’re at a career best!)
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Truly changing careers
Some can; some can’t Ability to take leap of faith Need superior social skills Possess resilience, versatility, and an ability to exploit serendipity ♦ Incorporate failures into advantages ♦ Learn from mistakes ♦ Willingness to leave “comfort zone”
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
(Are you a career-change champion?)
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In closing: Position yourself for “luck”
♦ Get thee to the valley or the city or the ?? ♦ Work, work, work. ♦ Battle the bad luck. ♦ Get and stay positive. ♦ Do what you love. ♦ Do core, not context.
From “Getting Chance to Dance” by Michelle Jeffers, www.forbes.com/asap, 11.27.00

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