Career “Planning” = Career “Improvisation”

In “VUCA world,” described by the U.S. Army War College as volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous environments, current career “planning” occurs under rapidly-shifting conditions more appropriate for an agile strategy. As a result, it is increasingly difficult to  meaningfully respond to the frequently-asked interview question: “What are your career plans for the next five years?” Planning is […]

Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Career Planning and the Contest and Sponsorship Pathways to Advancement – Part 1 of 2

Ines Wichart of Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI), a subsidiary of IBM, proposed a model of women’s career development that focuses on: The individual The immediate work environment The organizational context She identified four behaviors that individuals can execute to increase the likelihood of career advancement: Career planning  Opportunity-seeking, Negotiation Career-building networking; Mentoring-Sponsorship      Skillful […]

Career Advancement as Contest – Tournament and How to Win

If you work in an organization, you gave tacit agreement to participate in a Workplace Tournament, according to (Olivia) Mandy O’Neill of Wharton and Charles O’Reilly of Stanford. They contend that careers unfold as a series of tournaments in which employees at lower levels compete with each other for career advancement. The prevalence of implicit […]

Four Career Trajectories: Linear, Expert, Spiral, Transitory

Successful careers can follow forms other than “up or out,” according to Decision Dynamics’ Kenneth Brousseau, Michael Driver of USC, with Lund University’s Kristina Eneroth, and Rikard Larsson. Their “pluralistic career concept framework” classified careers as: –Linear – Traditional upward movement, with variable job role tenure, and motivated by power and achievement. Behavioral competencies include leadership, […]

Do Women Advance in Careers More Slowly than Men?

Men received 15% more promotions than women, according to a Catalyst Benchmarking Survey. Similar numbers of “high potential” women and men were selected for lateral moves to other parts of the business. However, men but not women, received promotions after the career-developing lateral moves. Women’s developmental lateral moves were substitutes for actual career advancement, suggested INSEAD’s Hermina Ibarra […]

Three Approaches to Identifying a Career Path

-*What’s the best way to find your professional path? Career interventions have evolved over the past 70 years from individual differences assessment to occupational development to current emphasis on life planning. Vocational guidance was supplanted by “career education,” focused on fulfilling developmental tasks and adapting to occupational requirements. More recently, “career counseling” built on the preceding approaches by […]

Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Negotiation, Networking-Mentoring-Sponsorship, Skillful Self-Promotion – Part 2 of 2

Part 1 of this post, Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Career Planning and the Contest and Sponsorship Pathways to Advancement – Part 1 of 2,  highlighted Ines Wichart’s model of women’s career development with three levels and 11 components, based on her research as Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI), a subsidiary of […]

Career Navigation by Embracing Uncertainty

John Krumboltz of Stanford echoes the message in an earlier blog post, Is Career “Planning” Actually Career “Improvisation”? in his book, Luck is No Accident: Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career  He notes that people can’t control outcomes of unpredictable life and career situations, but he advocates paying attention to thoughts […]

Women’s Likeability – Competence Dilemma: Overcoming the Backlash Effect

Women face significant workplace challenges when they “succeed” in traditionally-male roles, found New York University’s Madeline Heilman, Aaron Wallen, Daniella Fuchs and Melinda Tamkins. The team conducted three experimental studies on volunteers’ reactions to a woman’s success in a male gender-typed job.They found that when a woman is recognized as successful in roles dominated by men, […]

Working toward Goals with “Implementation Intentions”

Heidi Grant Halvorson People are motivated by goals that enable: Relatedness to others, Competence in skillfully performing, Autonomy in directing effort, according to Columbia’s Heidi Grant Halvorson. She advocated working toward “better” rather than only on achieving the goal to increase performance. This can be accomplished by accepting and acknowledging mistakes to cultivate self-compassion, suggested […]