September 2012
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TD Magazine

Count Me In

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome to ASTD and the Career Development Community of Practice. This community has a dual role: to help individuals develop their skills and expertise and advance their own careers, and to help those interested in taking their organization's career development programs to new levels. My role is to bring together subject matter expertise, tools, and resources that will help you and your organizations meet your goals.


While this community focuses on the broad areas of assessment, career planning, credentialing, narrowing skills gaps—and of course professional development and access to jobs in the field—we want to hear from you:

  • What topics are important for your own career development?
  • What are some best practices you can share with others in the community?
  • Is there a career development program in your organization that is getting great results?
  • What's the best career advice you have ever received?

This month's issue of T+D has a special focus on career development, and we're shining the spotlight on the topic during Career Week, September 17-21. Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni's article, "Lose the Career Ladder and Hit the Wall," on page 44 provides a powerful message about the reality of career development today.

While most people think of career advancement as vertical or up, Bev and Julie explain that we need to think about it as moving up, down, over, and around again. Think of your career as a rock-climbing wall and less of a career ladder. They explain that "in these days of flatter organizations, a lateral move is often the new promotion. Sideways isn't sidelined; it's quite the opposite. Increasingly, becoming knowledgeable about more of the organization is an asset."

The concept of moving sideways—to gain more experience in another part of your organization, or to contribute your skills to a project that would benefit from your expertise—definitely requires the right mindset and attitude. Developing this mindset reminds me of a favorite phrase: Count me in.

People frequently ask my colleagues and me why we like what we do. I immediately explain that a huge part of what makes our jobs easier is ASTD's volunteer community. Whenever we ask for help or expertise (usually before we explain what the need or project is), the response is, "Count me in."


Although simple and short, it's a really powerful message. As you map your own career path or begin to climb your own career wall, consider opportunities that help you develop new knowledge and skills. Who knows—that next thing could be the ideal role, and instinctively you say, "Count me in."

I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about how the ASTD Career Development community can help you succeed.

Jennifer Homer
Community of Practice Manager
Career Development
[email protected]

About the Author

Jennifer joined ATD in 1999 to lead the Public Relations function. Jennifer continues to lead communication efforts to members and customers, the media, and public policy makers. She also leads ATD’s awards programs and governance functions. In her volunteer work, Jennifer served a two-year term on the executive board of directors for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and was president of the IABC Washington, D.C. chapter. She holds IABC’s Accredited Business Communicator credential. Jennifer was an adjunct professor at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland where she taught Public Relations Writing in 2009.  

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