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.
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.
Last month’s networking event concluded the WiSE Up series of workshops. I’d been really looking forward to catching up with the participants. To bring some structure to the evening, we asked some people to share their experiences of applying what we had learned in the four workshops. What an inspirational set of short presentations they turned out to be !
Keen to kick off, was one of the youngest members of the cohort, who had just graduated and felt that talking to professional women in addition to her student friends made her feel more assured in dealing with people in a professional environment. This was particularly useful during an interview, which resulted in a job offer!
Many AWiSE members are research bioscientists and how many of you have made New Year’s resolutions involving taking some positive action towards your career?
Now might be the time to invest in Sarah Blackford’s book ‘Career Planning for Research Bioscientists’…. Sarah has been working as a careers advisor for Lancaster University and as the Head of Education and Public Affairs for the Society of Experimental Biology for years. The book covers theories of career planning as well as practical aspects of capitalising on your assets. It covers how to write effective CVs, improve your interview technique and where and how to find jobs and ends with a ‘coaching’ chapter to get you action planning.
Sarah gave an enthusiastically received workshop at the WiSE UP career day in June last year on understanding Myers-Briggs personality types. Her expertise in the area of self-awareness is put to use for you in chapter 3.
There is a dedicated section for issues specific to women in chapter 5. I thought the appendices are really illustrative, they cover career narratives (which a lot of people like, as feedback to our events where women talk about their careers attest), social media, example CVs and a list of (web) resources, including a whole page on women in science.
On Tuesday the 2nd October I, and 40 other women, arrived at Lucy Cavendish for the first in a series of five WiSE UP career focused workshops. The idea is that through the course of the series, by coming to know ourselves a little better, recognising our skill set, learning to put our best foot forward and knowing how to get the best out of others we can all take stock and consider our options…….
For some this may be looking for a new job and for others it may involve switching careers altogether, taking the first step back into work after a break or indeed making the most of our current position. The world is our oyster apparently!
The evening began with caffeine and cake (is there any other way to start?!) and an engaging networking challenge which involved finding our place along the spectrum of careers in the group from ‘just starting out’ to ‘hey I might just have cracked this career malarkey’ (my personal viewpoint). The noise levels soon revealed that the group were keen to share experiences (!) and learn a few tips from others along the way.
The workshop itself was based around the concept of Career Anchors, a self assessment tool by Edgar Schein. Through a mix of interviews with a buddy and a personal questionnaire, the purpose was to identify how our motives, competencies and values relate to our career choices.