We all have a particular orientation towards work and our professional goals. We approach our work with a certain set of priorities and values, which we call “career anchors”: a combination of perceived areas of competence, motives, and values relating to professional choices. Knowing and understanding these will help us be more self-reliant, make better career choices and thus enjoy a more productive and satisfactory career.
This was the objective of the first WiSE UP 2016 ‘Career anchors: Identify your strengths & values’ workshop facilitated by Tennie Videler and based on Edgar H. Schein and John Van Maanen’s publications. The evening started with a networking session and a mock-up job interview to help us get to know each other. After that and during the main part of the workshop Tennie helped us identify our career anchors among the eight possible:
- Technical/functional competence
- General managerial competence
- Entrepreneurial creativity
- Service/dedication to a cause
- Pure challenge
As Tennie pointed out, there are no good or bad anchors, only personal choices and preferences. And although Schein and Maanen imply that there should be only one anchor, Tennie’s experience suggests that many of us may have more than one to consider. In fact, many of the attendees had more than one career anchor and some of them even suspected that their career anchors could change with the passage of time. Tennie also pointed out that considering our anchor when selecting a career will help us choose the right path, avoiding incompatibilities with our true values. This prevents feelings of discontent and lack of productivity at work, and allows us to uncover our real values and use them to make smarter career choices.
Afterwards, we had a lively discussion about our career anchors and how being aware of them could be useful in all career stages.
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Getting noticed on LinkedIn
Getting noticed on LinkedIn
Whether you are thinking of returning to work after a career break, or would like to branch out in a new direction, either can be a daunting prospect.
Our event on Friday October 11th aims to give you the tools and know-how to take the next step. A full day of high-intensity training for women with a background in Science, Technology, IT, Engineering, Maths and Medicine, it will enable you to identify your skills, gain confidence and be inspired to take the leap.
Come and hear Katie Perry, CEO of the Daphne Jackson Trust, speak on the subject of returning to work and changing career path. There will be workshops on career anchors, using your networks, finding jobs, and honing your CV. We’ll also have a panel discussion featuring successful returners and transitioners, to show you what can be achieved.
Cambridge AWiSE steering group member – Dr Vivien Hodges
- Dr Vivien Hodges
WiSETI was established in 1999 and aims to redress an under-representation of women in employment and career progression in STEMM disciplines at the University of Cambridge.
WiSETI supports women in STEM at the University in a number of ways including organising activities such as seminars for early career female researchers and PhD and Postdocs, and an Annual Lecture, running a CV Mentoring Scheme for women wishing to apply for promotion and supporting good practice in science through Athena SWAN.
Having spent most of my career in a research environment within Academia and Industry I decided to use my skills to work in the learning and development field.
I was really looking forward to reading The Honest Look for three or four reasons but it turned out to be even more than I bargained for! I am not going to sketch the story line of this book about a young woman, freshly graduated from her doctorate, and also hope the following won’t give too much away…
The novel is lablit, literature set in a scientific lab. Jenny coined that term! Ever since my PhD I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel loosely based on my and colleagues’ experiences but just haven’t got the literary talent or drive to have a proper go. Luckily, Jenny does.
Cambridge AWiSE Steering Group Member – DR TENNIE VIDELER
I am the coordinator for the Cambridge Immunology Network. The idea is that there is lots of great immunology being done in disparate parts of Cambridge University and it is my task to increase communication between them. This position is a challenge to take on, especially as I am not an immunologist…
I did an undergraduate degree in Chemistry in the Netherlands. I got the opportunity to spend nine months in the UK as an exchange student, which resulted in starting a PhD research project on the interface between chemistry and biology. I spent 16 years doing research on structural biology, using different techniques on different systems. I have always enjoyed public engagement, communicating science (not necessarily mine) to both children and adults. I was the science school governor for a primary school for six years, a role I would encourage others to take on!
Towards the end of my postdoctoral career I decided that although I loved research I wanted to use my ‘people’ skills and do something that would make a difference to people’s lives. I became a programme manager for Vitae, a national careers organisation specialising in careers and development of researchers. It was very rewarding but I am very pleased my current role allows me to indulge in my passion for science again. I am on a steep learning curve- who knew Immunology was so complicated… and so fascinating?