Career Adventure

career development from both sides of the interview table

One Question

In past job searches, I’ve focused on a career trajectory.  If I have position A, that qualifies me for position B, which in turn qualifies me for C, etc.  My job searches have been all about finding that position B — that next step in an inevitable climb up the corporate ladder.

But a couple of life changes (parenthood, unemployment) have seriously reordered my definition of a career path.

So, reading today The ONE Question Every Entrepreneur Must Ask by Scott  Ginsberg (aka The Nametag Guy), I thought about how applicable the question is in other contexts.

The question that Scott poses (and I encourage you to click through and read the original) is:  What are YOU building?

Scott attacks it from the standpoint of entrepreneurship, but all of  us can benefit from answering this question.  Even as a cog in the greater wheel, we have the opportunity to build things within the span of our control, and often far beyond it.

So, as a job seeker I am asking myself the question, and using it to help me determine what the next step for me should be.  What are YOU building?  And is it the work and the life that you want?

Filed under: entrepreneurship, mindset, , , , ,

Redefining success for Gen Y: Employers take note

I was an “achiever” as a kid, more likely to be someone’s pick for lab partner than for shortstop.  I think I was like many fellow Gen Xers in that success had a prescribed path: I could be a doctor, a lawyer, or a scientist.  (Funny, investment banking wasn’t even on the radar…)  No one gave me one of those “career interest” tests that tell you whether you should be an astronaut or a bank teller.  The focus was on where I could get the most bang for my college buck.  So much so that when I expressed interest in engineering, there was a strong lobbying to go into chemical engineering for the higher pay despite the fact that, well, I didn’t like chemistry.

But as today’s college graduates enter the workforce, few careers offer stability, and some of the top-earning fields have completely tanked.  In the absence of the foregone-conclusion money machine careers, where is a smart, ambitious new grad to go?

Allison Jones of Entry Level Living puts out a call to new grads to consider the public sector.  With “Yes We Can” becoming the national catch phrase, it’s not unrealistic to believe young adults might start their careers with positions where they can give back.  And nonprofits’ tendencies towards more casual workplaces and greater flexibility may better suit the Gen Y mindset.

The other growing path for Gen Y folks is entrepreneurship.  As the steady paycheck becomes less steady the level of risk involved in a startup is becoming more palatable.  When you consider that Gen Y may have access to more support for longer in their early adulthood than previous generations (what better office for your new company than your parents’ basement?), entrepreneurship seems completely in reach.

Maybe these pursuits will lead to careers in public service or successful multinational corporations, maybe not.  But employers will be well advised to recognize the value in these alternate paths and adjust their recruiting efforts accordingly.  Tomorrow’s candidate may not have the five years of experience you ask for, but they’ll likely have just the skills you need.

Filed under: entrepreneurship, trends, , , , ,

About Career Adventure

Career Adventure is the blog of Kristi Daeda, a Human Resources and recruiting pro sharing thoughts on career development from both sides of the interview table.

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