Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development

By Sherry L. Muller; Mark Overmann | Go to book overview
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Part I
Shaping Your Career Philosophy

Part I suggests a way of thinking about your career and leads you to consider a variety of activities that make up career development. While our focus in this book is primarily on the fields of international education, exchange, and development, the approaches discussed in part I can be useful to career seekers in many fields.

We first examine the need to identify your cause. Your cause is the underlying force that drives your career. We agree with journalist David Gregory's observation quoted at the start of the book: “You'll know that you're doing what you love when you realize that your work is not just a job, but it's actually part of who you are.” As you work, if you are typically oblivious to time rather than constantly clock-watching, waiting for 5:00 p.m. to come, this is a good signal that you are doing what you love. Athletes call it “being in the zone.” You are so caught up in what you are doing and derive so much satisfaction from it that you would keep that occupation even if you won the lottery. Identifying your cause will help you find a job that becomes a part of who you are.

We next turn to the frequently mentioned yet seldom analyzed art of networking. If the buildings in which we work caught fire, Sherry would grab her Rolodex and Mark would be sure he had his flash drive so our lists of contacts would not be lost. Whether the format is old-fashioned or electronic, the size and accessibility of the network of colleagues at your disposal is a key element in your job search and career development— and of real value to a potential employer. There are many methods and approaches to networking, several of which are discussed in this chapter. We also emphasize that the potential benefits of networking are not always clear when a new relationship begins.

In chapter 3 we encourage you to consider the value of having mentors, as well as the gratification of serving as a mentor. The kind of oneon-one tutoring a mentor provides and the example he or she sets are

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