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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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05/28/13
Mid-career Mentoring and Resumes
Filed under: Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 9:17 am

A number of years ago, I enjoyed a distance learning course
I attended that Karol Pelc delivered in NTU on Management
of Technology.  Many areas were interesting.  One in particular
was technological generations, S-shaped curves and technology
development strategies.

These areas can parallel our careers in research, business
and teaching.  Atul Gawande wrote a compelling article in the
New Yorker recently describing how athletes and musicians
have personal coaches, why shouldn’t surgeons?  In my mind,
why shouldn’t scientists, engineers, professors and professionals?

Gawande wrote: “As I went along, I compared my results against national
data, and I began beating the averages.  My rates of complications
moved steadily lower…  And then, a couple of years ago, they didn’t.
It started to seem that the only direction things could go from here
was the wrong one.

Maybe this is what happens when you turn 45.  Surgery is, at least,
a relatively late-peaking career… Jobs that involve the complexities
of people or nature seem to take longer to master.  S&P 500 CEO,
52, geologists, 54;  Surgeons, requiring stamina and judgment,
somewhere between.”

Gawande talked about invoking coaches, just like other professionals,
and provided some real life examples of how attention to some
little things that an objective expert observer might point out.

We see many coaches for executives, for golf, for singing, for
musicians…Some are most helpful.  Some provide standard responses,
that may not be helpful.  Some inspire alternative ways of doing
things.  Even experts have room for improvement.

SENIOR LEVEL RESUMES
We have not touched on senior level public relations documents.
There is a need to present a perspective.  At the higher levels, terms
like branding, leadership, staffing and application of resources
seem pertinent.

We might think of a CTO position as a particular example of
a position.  Jennifer Hay offered a candid comparison of
CIO and CTO roles and responsibilities.  Notice the difference
between the more operational and the more strategic.

This falls under the term “branding” that is common in business
resume literature.  More on target, it refers to the content of
the document using specific keywords in context that relates
a reputation for leadership providing:
   company growth strategy overcoming obstacles
   system wide implementation that drives results
   providing a strategic, if not a longer-range view.

In some circles the CTO is the right hand person in technology
focused organizations, where a CFO is more business or
transaction based organizations.  The metrics for CTO needs
to be expressed in senior level terms as Laura Smith-
Proulx
describes.

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