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.

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Quest Milestone 50 – Microsoft Premier Career Advisory Program – Minneapolis

On 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. I 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,…

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Quest milestone 55 – SMSG Women’s Learning Circle

My quest to share the Career Strategy Framework with enough people to fill a football stadium continued today with a Microsoft Sales, Marketing and Services (SMSG) Women's Learning Circle lunch in Bellevue, WA. Stop #55 on this journey safely puts me over 2,900 people I have connected with to share how a strategic framework can help you lead a life that has intentional outcomes. During our hour we explored the key concepts of the framework processes and how they built on each other.    Fellow colleagues confirmed that self-reflection and soul-searching in "Know" was something that would take time and focus outside your normal routine. I reinforced the need to articulate a clear value proposition during "Target" to focus on a market opportunity that aligns with your strengths.  Refining the value proposition would also make it easy for potential buyers to understand your offering. We continued the journey to "Plan" by viewing a sample…

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Career Strategy speaking tour at Microsoft last week

Last week I took my first road trip to talk about the Career Strategy Framework with my fellow Microsoft colleagues at the Make It Happen Career Conference in Mountain View, CA.   A day later I spent the morning speaking at a career advisory program in Bellevue, WA. This side job has become a personal passion over the last few years to help people take a deliberate approach to the one life we live and how careers can fit into an overall strategy.  I delivered two presentations at the Mountain View, CA and Bellevue, WA events. Career strategy starts from within.  My first presentation was based on the Know and Target processes of the framework with the following key messages: Know what’s important, who are you, who you want to become and be remembered for to guide your career strategy. It all starts from within. Our career is one part…

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