Think Big, Think Change in 2015

Wired for Success - James Gray

Tuesday was stop #54 on my world tour to help people refine their career strategy (and perhaps a bit of life strategy too!).   The event was sponsored by the Women of Advertising and Consumer Monetization at Microsoft with about 100+ attendees who joined in person and on the webcast.

We kicked off the lunch discussion by asking one important question to the room of 50+ people:

Who feels they have solid career strategy and plan ?
Nobody raised their hand.

The quest to change lives and careers

James Gray Cal Berkeley Stadium

All of us are on some type of journey in life although we may not have consciously defined it.  A few recent events and conversations with friends have helped define my quest to change lives and careers.

In 2008 I started to challenge the status quo at Microsoft that career strategy was more than just who we are at work. I saw a need to help fellow colleagues answer important career questions and inspire managers to see that talent management was the single most important process to business success.   I had no idea where that passion would take me but it has become a big part of who I am today.

Quest Milestone 50 – Microsoft Premier Career Advisory Program – Minneapolis

James Gray - CSF MinneapolisOn November 4th I had the pleasure to lead a career strategy workshop for the Microsoft Premier Career Advisory Program (CAP) in Minneapolis, MN.   Each year Technical Account Managers across the Premier business are selected for this one year program to strengthen their career and receive coaching feedback from leaders.  The Fall conference is an opportunity to define a career strategy and development plan that is then executed up to the Spring conference.

Premier CAP Nov 2014I became affiliated with the Premier CAP program in March 2014 after a speaking event in January to a Premier team in the Redmond area.  After hearing my presentation they thought the Career Strategy Framework would be a great foundation for the program.   I then went on to a speaking event at the Spring conference in Bellevue, WA on March 27, 2014.   The CAP opportunity came about after the Microsoft Global Women’s Conference on October 23, 2013 where a Premier colleague attended one of my speaking tracks.

My experience is that the Career Strategy Framework can require a lot of deep thought so at the Fall conference I provided attendees a Microsoft OneNote notebook that included theory and questions for each step.

All attendees were required to create a career deck that is then presented to leaders for feedback at the conference.  The goal of my session was to enable CAP members to refine and enrich their career strategy leading up to the Spring conference.

My aspiration for CAP members is that the framework concepts will ensure a strategic lens to both their career and life.

I will return for the Spring conference in Dallas, Texas in March 2015 to assess progress and support CAP members on their journey.

 

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