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Never leave career moves to chance

Divina Paredes | Oct. 14, 2010
Pip Marlow and Russell Crowe share a vaguely similar career trajectory, sort of.

AUCKLAND, 13 OCTOBER 2010 - Pip Marlow and Russell Crowe share a vaguely similar career trajectory, sort of.

Like the Kiwi-born actor, Marlow left New Zealand for Australia, then moved to the United States, and is now based in Sydney as public sector director for Microsoft Australia.

Thus, the picture of Crowe, geared up for his Gladiator role, was part of Marlow's presentation at the recent Global Women Forum in Auckland. But, she says, their work locales are the only thing they share in common.

Marlow has been working in the ICT sector for more than 15 years, and has some pointers for managing a career in a constantly shifting work environment.

Foremost is to have what she calls a "development plan".

Most people will change jobs several times or even change careers at least once over their working life, she says. "The success of these moves can be enhanced by having a development plan that bridges the gap to between your current role and that next job or career move. "

"You might have fallen into your current career, and been moderately or even very successful, but that doesn't mean you should leave your future career moves to chance," she tells CIO New Zealand.

"It sounds obvious, but you need to look objectively at your career goals in the light of some considered self-analysis. What are your skills, abilities, education and interests? And how does your personality and value-system impact your potential choices of career?

"Be as objective as you can when you think about the roles that you would like to move into, and don't limit yourself to one role or career. Think of the 'stepping stone' roles you might have to take to get to your final destination."

Career planning is a balance of many factors, she says. "Once you've aligned your career development plan to your personal goals, think of how you might network to further reach your objective."

Marlow encourages the use of social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to do this. "Ensure that you are following the blogs of influencers and elites so that you're attuned to the industry and are able to talk about the key concerns, achievements and objectives for the industry as well as getting a better understanding of the environment and key players."

As for the saying 'it is not what you know, it is who you know', Marlow says it is a combination of both. "If you don't nurture that network, you miss that opportunity."

"When you move [overseas or to another company], really understand what your network is both at your origin and your destination," says Marlow.


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