Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

A Tete-a-Tete with Barbara Moses

Magazine article CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine

A Tete-a-Tete with Barbara Moses

Article excerpt

Dr. Barbara Moses will be featured as one of the key-note speakers at the CMA national conference in Whistler this summer. She is widely acclaimed as a guiding light on career development, has a best seller book called Career Intelligence: Mastering the New Work and Personal Realities and writes regularly for the Globe and Mail. By spending a few hours with this fascinating lady, I was able to get a glimpse of the personal side of Barbara Moses and how she walks what she talks!

Q Barbara, was your career '"planned" and has it gone according to plan?

A Actually, I don't believe in "career planning" in the traditional sense of, for example, setting a five-year career goal such as, "I want to be the CFO at ABC company." I have observed that many people who set such detailed career plans are lost when they hit a major road block in their lives, such as a job loss, because they haven't developed a fallback position, and see themselves in very narrow terms.

The most important thing in thinking about our careers is to know what we are good at; to seek what we are good at, and to get feedback from others so we can continue to do what is a good match for us. When we focus on what we are good at, we get positive feedback, which can't help but lead us to do more of the right things. I don't think it makes sense to prepare for jobs. Instead, people should think abut the roles they want to play, and their underlying areas of competence.

Q You encourage people to continually take stock of their skill set, yet in our busy lives this is very hard to do - what suggestions do you have to achieve this?

A It is very easy for us to get sucked into a vortex of "busyness" and demands. In fact many people define themselves and derive a major source of self-esteem by being able to say, "I'm so busy." Unfortunately, that pressure to stay busy contributes to us losing the sense of who we are, what we have to sell, and what we want to sell. How do you want to spend your waking life? To not take time to reflect on what you care about, and what you are good at, ends up in a double loss: you lose what makes you feel good about yourself, and you lose your capability to contribute what you should contribute.

Q Do you have any thoughts or direct experience on the so called "glass ceiling" phenomenon that some women in the workplace experience?

A Oh! Yes, the glass ceiling phenomenon is alive and well; however, I think how it expresses itself is different today than it was in the past. I remember being in a situation once where the men took the clients out on the golf course and the females were expected to do the "entertaining. …

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