Is Some Career Advice Timeless?…Absolutely!

If you take a close look at my 35+ year career history, you’ll notice more than just a few zigs and zags. One of my paths led me into the field of recruiting engineers in the mid-90’s. 

Old Clock

CC image courtesy of Ron Kroetz on Flickr

During that time, I went to the 1995 California Career Conference. While there I attended a lunchtime keynote address with over 1,000 other career development and career counseling professionals.

The speaker, Dr. Beverly Kaye, a respected career development specialist and organizational consultant, had us performing high fives with our table mates as she shared a unique and powerful personal career model. 

Later in 1997, long after the conference had passed, I reached out to Dr. Kaye. I asked her if I could publish her keynote comments in a newsletter I had created for my recruiting clients and candidates. Fortunately, she gave me her approval and my article was born.

I’m pleased to provide you with an excerpted version here, along with a link at the end of the post to get a PDF copy of the original full-length article. Enjoy! 

Career Development Math for the 21st Century: CD = U (P5

“In times of insecurity, in times of chaos, in times of great change when nothing is quite the same — some things still are. 

I want to share a model that I’ve used for many, many years, and I know it still works. It works differently. It works in new ways, but it still forms a foundation. 

It simply says, “To understand your own career, you need to really understand five critical words, that all start with the letter “P”. 

The five “P” words are:

  • Person – You better know yourself – deeply. Know the talents you bring to the table.
  • Perspective – You better know how you are seen out in the world by others. Get a perspective on who you think you are.
  • Place – You better understand the world of work, which is spinning and changing like it has never changed before. You better know how the changing world of work applies to you.
  • Possibilities – You better know the possibilities that exist for you – the different ways in which you can deliver your work to the world.
  • Plan – You better not have just one plan, but have a plan for all of the different possibilities that exist for you.

Each “P” word carries with it some important questions and some valuable mindsets that you need to hold onto for the future (the 21st century).”

Dr. Kaye finished her program by providing us with a host of valuable questions and mindsets related to each “P”. In essence, she gave us a career development roadmap that could serve as a guide as we headed towards the end of the 20th century.

Now some 17 years later, it’s a roadmap that’s just as relevant today as it was then.

Question: How complete is your self-understanding around Dr. Kaye’s five “P”s? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you’d like a PDF copy of my original full-length article, just click here.

Dr. Beverly Kaye continues to write, speak, and train through her company, Career Systems International. I’m a longtime fan of her classic book for managers, Love’em Or Lose’em.

I want to express my thanks to her again for originally granting me permission to publish the keynote address.



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