I heard once that it is healthy to change it up, job-wise, every three years to stay fully in the learning and growth zone.
Right on time, it seems, the three year bell just rang for me. And my new change, so far, has been unusually fun.
Let me back up a bit to put this change in context. (The last time I discussed my careeron this blog was a story about my first week at EMC.)
My career track, though aligning to differing departments over the years, has a common string.
My path, from 1991 - present, is as follows; () denotes organizational alignment:
- Advertising (Marketing Org)
- Public Relations, Community Relations, Employee Relations (Marketing Org & CEO)
- Investor Relations (Finance, then CEO)
- Branding and Corporate Marketing (Marketing Org)
- Internal Strategy Engagement Consulting (Human Resources)
- Employment Branding and Strategy Engagement (Human Resources)
and now ...
7. The same job as #6, but as part of the Social Media/Change Accelerator arm of Marketing.
What is the string? At my core I am a communicator, a connector, and an idea person who loves to get things done in new ways, quickly, with big impact ... while establishing lots of positive relationships along the way.
Does it make sense to move this Employment Branding role to Marketing?
Consider what we've been up to lately in this function: We established the employment brand go-to-market strategy; built a message and brand architecture; created the visual identity and rolled it out globally; revamped the content, tone and look of our .com career site; drove a PR program and an awards program; started a talk radio show, a syndicated blog, an internal social network community centered around Culture; and established an EMC Careers HQ/community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Second Life.
Sounds a lot like marketing, right? True ... though the beneficiaries are both the people and the business. It has been a blast to apply branding skills to a "human resource" function.
The career bonus was that while I was building this marketing tool kit, I feel I've also earned a virtual masters degree via OJT (on the job training) in Human Resources. By sitting on the staff of the EVP of HR I came to understand areas of the business I had never seen before like Compensation, Learning & Development, Recruiting, HR Operations, Organizational Design, HR Change Management, Benefits, HR IT, Performance Management, and more. I've written HR keynotes and case studies, and along the way infused some marketing and branding techniques into HR practices.
It has been an awesome experience and I am entirely grateful. And let it be noted, I sort of dragged my feet into HR. I agreed to the change only when the head of HR agreed with me on every one of the negatives I listed about the job. (As long as all eyes were open with honesty -- what the heck!)
So what makes this seemingly minor reporting change so much fun?
I now sit on the staff of the head of HR, and the head of Marketing, allowing for great visibility into two powerful areas of the company during major times of change. In Marketing, I am directly aligning with a small group of firecracker brains doing really cool stuff with via social media. The energy, break-through ideas, and urgency from the people around that table is awesome.
How does this career change compare with others I've had?
Change. Imagine the Possibilities.
--------------------------- Talk Back ---------------------------
How do you find career change? What's the ideal timing for you? What are the elements for a good job change and a challenging one?
Employment Branding folks -- where do you think we belong? HR or Marketing?