The world around us is changing in every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Our careers are a great example of an area where we need to re-examine our status quo to create the professional growth we want.
Dondi Scumaci's new book, Career Moves, is every person's guide to examining their beliefs, actions and focus on their own career. It's a must read for all - and I'm so excited to share this Interview with you.
Direct from the fabulous Dondi Scumaci - her thoughts about Career Moves.
1. Why did you write Career Moves?
Career Moves was the next "natural" step. Designed for Success deliver 10 powerful commandments for women in the workplace, Grow broadened that message to a life well lived. Moves is part business fable, part practical guide for managing one's potential and possibility. I loved experimenting with this new format. Each chapter begins and ends with the story of Zoe and her mentor Alena. Through Zoe's story, readers experience the concepts at a whole new level. (I am delighted to see how "attached" people have become to the characters in Career Moves.)
This is exactly the right time for Career Moves! The format is unique in combining a story with tools, techniques and principles for success at work. Regardless of your position - where you work or what you do, the book is designed to empower, inspire and equip you to take charge of their career. I wish I'd had this book in my hands years ago! I would have owned my outcomes more, explored my options more. I would have felt more powerful. In some ways, I have walked in the shoes of all of these characters. At different points in time, they have been my experience.
2. Tell us what you wanted to accomplish with Career Moves?
The workplace has changed and many people are playing a new game with an old set of rules!
I want people to feel more powerful, take the reins and step into their own possibility. There is often a huge gap between where we are and where we want to be. Filling that gap is our responsibility! The tools we need for success will not be included in our employee kit and today's workplace can be difficult to navigate. It really is up to us to find and manage our own High Performance Zone.
3. I love the way your book teaches us to think differently about ourselves for ourselves and our careers. What are the top three areas you wish every reader would begin to examine thanks to your book?
* Career Moves is job intervention or reinvention. Sometimes we have reinvent the job we have to get the one we want! Readers will find ways to reinvent themselves, their brand, and their work. That's exciting, because each of us has the power to do exactly that.
* If we miss one of the "moving signs" we'll miss the turn! That means we miss the opportunity. Career Moves heightens our awareness about what those signs are and how to respond to those signs effectively.
* Mentoring is a powerful strategy. I am passionate about that! Career Moves illustrates how mentoring can so profoundly impact our lives. Through the story and the tools, readers learn to leverage mentoring to release their own potential or the potential of others.
4. Career Moves recommends a different way to experience career planning. It's certainly not the way traditional HR or mentors have approached a career track. How does your approach apply to Human Resources, or anyone mentoring professional women?
Organizations often struggle with "career pathing" exercises. From an organizational perspective a career path naturally follows the org chart - driving people to think in terms of positions and functions versus skills and strengths and talents. That kind of career path will pigeonhole a person - like a "typecast" of sorts. It can be difficult to "jump the track" or deviate from the established path. Career Moves helps us break through those barriers.
Paths are personal things! Readers learn how to "reinvent the job they have to get the one they want." In some cases that may mean a new job. In other cases in may be doing the job you have in a new way. From a Human Resources perspective, Career Moves puts the ownership for Career Paths right where it belongs. Each of us is responsible for creating that personal path. While the organization can support our efforts, it is not responsible for our success. That is our responsibility! HR professionals can use this book to consult with their internal clients and empower them to manage their careers.
5. What can managers take from this book? (eg, how do managers instill a desire in their employees to ‘step up and engage' with curiosity?
Career Moves is a mentoring story; it teaches managers how to be mentors - how to transfer the ownership for professional development to the employee. Managers will learn 4 elements of the High Performance Zone and how to coach employees to find and manage their zone effectively. For a sneak peek, they can read the Intro and Chapter One free!
6. This book is so rich with heart-filled insights. How does a reader apply them all? Is there a way you'd recommend people use the lessons? Where do we start?
The book is filled with exercises - each chapter ends with a Get Your Move On! strategy. Because a mentoring story unfolds and builds throughout the book, I would start at the beginning and read it through. Depending on where you are in your life and work, some chapters will resonate more - the exercises will feel more relevant and impactful. Spend time there and enjoy the process!
I love the idea of book clubs. This is a perfect book for discussion and group exploration. Many corporate groups are using Career Moves to explore personal paths...together. In the appendix there are questions to guide and facilitate the discussion.
We will be announcing something exciting in the next few weeks. It is the "Reinvention Showcase." People will be invited to share their reinvention story and one will be chosen to win an exciting prize!
At dondiscumaci.com, we will continue to build on the tools in the book. Click on the Career Moves page to explore the tools and even read Zoe's Journal. Her story continues to unfold. Readers become attached to the characters in Career Moves and I love that!
7. Do you have a favorite story in the book?
One of my favorite stories is an example of reinventing the job you have to get the one you want. A bank teller realizes the "typical" career path for a teller is not her goal. She wants to jump the teller track, but is blocked by corporate policy. So she takes charge of her destiny. Through networking and personal initiative, she carves a new path for herself. What I love most about this story is this observation: Sometimes before your position can change, your peer group and brand must change. This teller reinvented herself in a non-traditional way.
The book is also filled with metaphors and they are powerful. Improv for example is used to illustrate how life and work are filled with "offers." The goal is to "receive" the offers and advance the scene. Sometimes the offers come to us in the form of resistance and obstacles. How we respond in those moments determines how the scene advances and how our "character" evolves.
8. What's your one single best piece of advice for anyone finding they need to bust a move to reawaken their drive?
It is easy to lose your sense of purpose and intention in the stream of negativity, bureaucracy, constant change, limited resources and demanding deadlines. If we look to the organization for our security and satisfaction, we may be sorely disappointed. It is up to each of us to find and manage our High Performance Zone, build a brand of excellence, and design a life that works! We are each owners of our work experience and we have options! Work should not be job jail. It is an opportunity to express ourselves, grow, and leave a meaningful legacy.
I love Career Moves! Check it out for yourself - I know you'll find a lesson just for you!