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Career Direction and Management

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

In listening to a podcast of Gale Anne Hurd giving tips on how to produce a career from the ground up, I found a few bits that caught my attention and quite a few useful outlines that I thought I would share with you.

Pioneer Your Own Way

First off Hurd started in 1978, when there was no career path for women in the film industry.  “No career path” is what caught my attention because I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that lately.  Personally I’ve begun studying a field that is relatively new (ecopsychology), coining terms and establishing practices that few are familiar with (narrative ecopsychology and wilderness coaching) to the point where the word ‘pioneer’ has been used to describe my work.

I am not the only one.  How many people around you feel as though they need to pioneer a new career?  A new way of life?  A new perspective?  Is it because of the economy?  48% of Americans believe that since the financial crisis, we have become more capable of starting our own business according to John Gerzema in an article about hiring e-lancers.

I would say that these fluid economic times may call for it but the need to pioneer our own way is also generational as none of us have been this way before and expectations have or need to change.  In Career Management for the Lifespan I look at using a career model that recognizes the need to manage our career because we’re now more likely to have multiple careers over our lifespan.  The last time I made a significant career shift – in line with my career vision – I went back to school because that was how I established my original career.   In Redefining Success I lay out my own process for clarifying my career vision and redefining what success means now that I have changing career and lifestyle priorities.

Be What You Need

Secondly what caught my attention was the outline Hurd gave for those who found themselves without role models:  Do what you love, not what’s easy, challenge expectations including your own, stay hungry, and become one (a role model).

Secrets of Success

For Hurd success comes from not making a product until you have all your ducks in a row, giving back so that you can expand your network, never giving up, and by telling the truth even when it makes your path harder – because how else are you going to learn?

Learning to Live with a Wounded Heart

Expanding your network – and your world – also comes up for Hurd when it comes to finding a new partner.  Whether we’re talking business or romantic Hurd points out that at some point you’ll need to find a new partner.  To move on – possibly with a wounded heart – Hurd suggests that you simply pick up the pieces and move on…taking a vacation if possible then betting back to work.  As an example, “Keeping it Moving” was a life-changing motto for Marvin Sapp when it was time for him to learn to live again after the death of his wife.

As part of the process of finding a new partner Hurd also advises us not to give in to doubt and to give back either as a mentor, teacher, or through work with a non-profit.  What’s key about this process of moving on from a partner is that you need to recognize that with each project, job, or assignment you’re starting over even if you have a ton of good will and experience behind you.

What I think is important in managing your career whether you’re pioneering your own way or following in the footsteps of others, is that you rest when you need because without you there is no career.  I also think that it is important that you celebrate your victories because if you are managing for your lifetime, it is undoubtedly more a marathon than a sprint and the journey is likely to be sweeter if you leave time for dancing along the way.


Career Management for the Lifespan

Producing a Career from the Ground Up

Redefining Success:  Creating a Future Fit for the Person I’m Becoming

Surviving Loss, ‘Keeping it Moving’

Why You Should Hire E-Lancers

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