On January 18, 2012, The ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office held a dynamic session on "Creating Balance and Value in Your Career Portfolio" for UNC Charlotte women faculty from all disciplines. The workshop was directed by COACh facilitators, Jane Tucker and Barb Butterfield. COACh was formed in 1998 by a group of senior women faculty in the chemical sciences from across the U.S. who shared concerns about the gender based obstacles women scientists face when trying to achieve their career goals. Today, COACh develops and implements professional skills workshops aimed at empowering women scientists and engineers to realize their full potential at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level.
In the workshop, participants discussed a variety of topics around the idea of “balance”. The world today is a vastly different place to what it was even 20 years ago because of the huge role technology plays in our lives. Technology such as email and smart phones have made it very difficult to “clock out” of a job at the end of the day, leaving less quiet time to reflect on career and life issues. Career-life issues can be difficult to balance, and require constant readjustment, much like a circus performer has to make minute adjustments to maintain balance on a tightrope. Jane and Barb provided tools to assist participants in assessing their current career-life portfolio, and in planning for changes in their portfolios to better align it with their current and future values and aspirations.
Barb demonstrates the Career Map concept:
Jane polls the group about what a successful career means:
Group work on defining values:
Group discussion on Career Mapping: