Thursday, February 15, 2007

Job-Hopper or Re-Careerist: How Often Should You Switch?

Thanks, Ram, for sharing your thoughts. It's cool to know that this NY-based blog can "ping" people in India!

Your comments about people with "high competencies and knowledge" who "want to venture in life, try new ideas, bring creative thoughts, [and] implement them" with different employers made me think. I can remember back-in-the-day when HR folks used to label people who changed jobs frequently as job-hoppers.

This typically didn't convey a positive image -- the connotation was: "This person doesn't have the ability or stick-to-it-ive-ness to hold down a job." Job-hoppers often were pre-judged to have been the cause of their own "demise" -- be it an attitude problem (didn't get along with the boss), a skill-deficiency (couldn't do the work) or a work-ethic issue (didn't get to work on-time).

Not to belittle the importance of the career success factors I just mentioned, I believe the hypothesis about people with high competencies and knowledge [like readers of this blog!] may be correct. Perhaps you've changed jobs to find the right "fit" (with your manager, team or company). Or, maybe you've made lateral moves to gain a cross-section of experience within a company.

These thoughts made me recall an MSN article I read last year about re-careerists. It didn't offer an exact definition, but suggested that re-careerists "challeng[e] established ideas about education, jobs, and careers, and [find] new opportunities for personal and financial growth in the changing job market." That's what Competent Advantage TM is all about -- people who are proactive about building their strengths to secure positions that enable them to achieve great things.

I figure I'm in my 9th "job" (not counting my teaching or independent consulting gigs while working for other employers) in my career. How about YOU?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Outrageous Transitions: Career Twists & Turns

Thanks, Soni, for sharing your herstory with us!
Your comment about sudden stops and turns intrigued me. My career turns have been the transitions I've made across different industries. Over the years, I have transitioned from Law to Nonprofit to Corporate HR to Consulting to Entrepreneurship. It's been an exciting (and often challenging) journey!

One of the biggest challenges to overcome was convincing potential employers of my transferable skills (those abilities that would add value to their team regardless of the organization in which I learned them). I also had to become good at connecting the dots -- helping employers to understand the logic behind my career decisions.

But, enough about me! What about YOU? What outrageous career transitions have you made? What twists and turns have you had on your journey?

Or, have you had sudden career stops -- life or professional changes that caused you to leave the workforce? What was it like to come back? Share your experiences so we all can learn and grow!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ever Made an Outrageous Career Transition?

While planning for the new year, some of my core advisors [thanks to AH, LSJ & SR!] and I were trying to come up with a slogan that would inspire us to keep focused on our goals. We all know how positive self-talk can give us courage to deal with various professional and personal obstacles. After some consideration and discussion, we decided to keep it simple. Our slogan is:
BE BOLD in 2007!

Each of us is free to use the slogan individually and share it as a gentle reminder to help each other press on despite challenges or naysayers. I thought I'd share it with you to begin a discussion that's been on my mind lately -- career transitions.

Have you ever made an OUTRAGEOUS career transition? You know, the type when you first told people the move you wanted to make they said: "What?!? No one's ever done THAT before?" or "Are you CRAZY? They'll never hire someone with your background?" I invite you to post your stories -- the good, the bad and the ugly -- and I will do the same. It's a great way to give encouragement and help each other avoid potential pitfalls.

Speaking of making bold transitions, my pal Diane Danielson (founder of Downtown Women's Club) would love to hear YOUR opinions on workplace issues like "opting out" out of the workforce. Take a few moments to complete her survey at: