Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Career Doctors

Over the years, now 18 of them, I have lost count of the number of calls and conversations we have had with the media, be it radio, TV, or print. In almost every case, the common thread is that these are short conversations where you really don't get much of a chance to have a discussion. Most are "sound bites" or situations where the writer is focused on a specific topic, so the "discussion," if you want to call it that, is pretty narrow to say the least. On top of that, by the time it gets edited, etc., often the only thing you recognize versus what you actually tried to say is the name of your company.

Recently, however, I had the chance to have a real discussion on an Atlanta based radio show called The Career Doctors. It airs every Saturday from 12-2 on WGKA 920 AM and via the net at www.920wgka.com. The shows hosts are Craig Allen and Deborah Sawyer. On this particular day, Deborah was on vacation, so her place was taken by Mikal Jackson, the Corporate VP of People and Culture at MillerZell, a retail strategy/design/implementation firm based in Atlanta.

What made this so much fun wasn't the fact that host Craig Allen (his stage name because his real last name is one of those where it would take up the first five minutes of the program to pronounce properly) has been such a long time member of ExecuNet - that just added to the good feeling. No, the real satisfaction came from two things:

1. There was passion and genuine interest in the issues Craig and Mikal wanted to discuss, and

2. I actually had time to answer in depth and explain the context of the responses.

Really nice for a change.

The other thought that came to mind when we finished our discussion was that there was such a program in the first place, and when I started to think about it, this is not the only one. A friend of mine in the NY, NJ, CT tri-state area has a similar program, as did Ed Kelleher and his partner Mitch Wienick down in the Philadelphia area. Hadn't thought about it until now, but Ed's company, Kelleher Associates, has been hosting and facilitating our networking meetings in the metro Philly area for a long time as well, and I have fond memories of participating in their show for the same reasons.

Point being? If there is media that is now focusing on career management, it would indicate that there is both interest and need, and it would not surprise me to see this continue to expand. Indeed, it isn't only the traditional media outlets that are focusing on career issues, all you have to do is check out any of the multitude of websites (e.g. Landed.fm or Weddles to name a couple) and, of course, not to mention blogs, including this one, to see that people, including many senior level executives, care very much about and continue to be curious about seeking answers about career management in this era of You, Inc.

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