Today is my 100th day in my role as Director for the Office for Career Success at Gallaudet University. When I was asked about what I would do within ‘the first 100 days’ on the job my response focused on connecting people whose pathways cross our office and asking them about their personal definition of career success. Since May 2022, I have asked colleagues, university leaders, faculty, employers, and alumni: what does career success mean to you?
The answers to my question varied, however none mentioned salary, position titles or upward mobility - variables that are often the key focus of alluring job recruitment materials designed by entities of all types - higher education institutions, government agencies, for-profit companies and non-profit organizations. These answers were collected from professionals with direct affiliations to our Gallaudet community. Despite the narrow scope of this sample population, the answers are compelling.
If you read the condensed responses below, you sense a common thread. They focus on intrinsic motivations. Some of them center around passing on their knowledge to future generations. Others relate to making that explicit connection between learned content and shared knowledge. And then some mention some variation of ‘zen’. Each day, new and profound reckonings continue to shape this new generation as well as its older generations. The onus falls on all of us to ensure career success for everyone, not just those within our immediate sightline.
Please connect with me and let me know how we can partner together to build career success for our students and our future generations.
[Condensed responses: Using your dreams and curiosity to connect your academics with your professional journey; What you really, really want to do; Always having tools ready; Clear direction; Meaningful engagement with job; Being able to return as an alumni and connect new students to their new careers; Doing what you love; Finding yourself; Having the power to seek a job that you know you want; Knowing why you chose this career; Finding the zen in your work; Accessing opportunities; Continued learning is the life itself. ; Applying new knowledge; Navigating across different careers; Knowing their gift and how to share it with the world; Lifting one's spirits with a sense of purpose.]
[Image description: Outline of Bison is filled with phrases - listed below - in three different and alternating colors: purple, color and brown.]