You are NOT Lost!

As my post last week indicated, I recently attended the annual Organization Development Network conference. While the learnings related to Twitter were very meaningful, I also listened to the various speakers attentively too.

In this day and age of information overload, a few nuggets mentioned by one of the keynote speakers in particular still stand out in my mind a week later. To me, this means they made a significant impression, so I feel they should be shared with you too.

“Just because you’re wandering doesn’t mean you’re lost.” – Kaye Foster-Cheek

Ms. Foster-Cheek’s speech was titled “Self as Instrument of Change: A Leadership & Learning Journey Through Corporate America”. She has navigated successfully through several high-profile senior executive HR positions over the years, including recent roles at Johnson & Johnson to her most current one, SVP of HR at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a mid-sized biotech firm.

She commented that in seeking her latest job she was “searching for a leader to partner with, not a company to join”. Both of those observations are really powerful when you let them sink in.

  • Do you know with equal clarify what you seek in your next job? In your next assignment?
  • Can you articulate which characteristics you actively search for in leaders you prefer to work with?
  • Have you been through (or are you currently experiencing) a personal period of “wandering” to determine the appropriate next step for your career? For your family?

Especially for working mothers, I have to believe this is not unfamiliar territory. Ms. Foster-Cheek said she considered myriad options, including divinity school, before settling on the position in California at Onyx.  That position, however, required relocation from New Jersey, and she has a daughter in high school.

During the period of sorting through options she clearly was NOT lost. Ms. Foster-Cheek wanted others to realize they would not be lost either, if they made similar choices to analyze their options. Her counsel rang true for me.

Please find me on Twitter @BetsyWinkler1 and/or comment below to let me know about your choices and experiences with wandering … because you’re not lost.