Setting Your Career In Motion

After several years of experience, mid-level professionals get ready for the next move

minutes and it’s free.

Wilkinson encourages professionals to assess their current status before designing or implementing a plan of action. Assessments require introspection, which is where you build your vision for the future. “God has endowed us with interests, needs, and abilities to help us determine our paths in life,” states Wilkinson.

WAYNE P. HARRIS
Age: 38
Profession: account supervisor for a direct marketing agency
Duties: developing strategies and managing the creative execution of direct mail packages, and increasing e-marketing solutions using Web marketing technologies
Desired salary range: $70,000 to $80,000
Education: bachelor’s of arts in journalism with a concentration in advertising, Temple University; M.B.A., Rutgers University; master’s in publishing, New York University
Marital status: married
Coveted position: director of marketing and communications in a media company or cultural institution targeted to African Americans
Rules for success: “Be ready. Be prepared.”

LOREN SAMUEL
Age: 29
Profession: job captain at Interior Architects; over-sees the production of construction documents
Time with present employer: 10 months
Salary history: salary has doubled in four years
Marital status: married
Career goal: to eventually own an architectural firm
Education: studied architecture for five years at Howard University
Career advice: “I wouldn’t suggest going after a job because of the title or how much money it pays. When you wake up each morning, you have to be happy with what you’re doing.”

Amber E. Okoye
Age: 31
Profession: mechanical engineering resource manager for Motorola
Education: bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering, University of Texas; M.B.A., University of Florida
Promotions: four in seven and a half years
Recent pay raise: 18% for new position
Keys to success: “Have a positive attitude and diversify your knowledge base.”
Marital status: single

Wilkinson’s Guide to Career Assessment
INTERLOCK 4:
Status — Need and ability overlap outside of interest.
Profile — You are good at what you do and make a good living but are not feeling fulfilled.
Result — You are reluctant to change because you feel trapped by the lifestyle you’ve created.
Prescription — It may require some sacrifice, but you realize that you’ve already developed talents and skills that are transferable. You will have to be aggressive and creative with your approach.

INTERLOCK 5:
Status — Interest and need coincide outside of ability.
Profile — You are enjoying a well-paid position but are lacking certain skills.
Result — You’re frustrated because you’re not getting the promotions you would like.
Prescription — You may be working outside of your element, or you haven’t sought the necessary training to become great instead of just good.

INTERLOCK 6:
Status — Interest and ability are combined outside of need.
Profile — You love what you do and you have skills, but you are not making money.
Result — You believe you can’t get paid to do what you love. You’re looking at career possibilities through a narrow lens. You believe you should pursue a more traditional career.
Pr
escription — Stop taking your talents for granted because you enjoy your work. Outline your goals and include what you’d like to be paid. Seek creative opportunities for maximizing fulfillment of both your interests and needs.

INTERLOCK 7:
Status — Need, interest, and ability converge.
Profile — You have found a position in which you are fully capable. It meets all your needs, and you feel you’re making a difference.
Result — Life’s perfect? Not quite. There

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