Posts Tagged ‘career anchors’

I was on retreat a couple of weeks ago. Some of us have shared this experience together for over 25 years with each year being different and yet always filled with wonder.

This year’s theme was “Called to the Soul,” based somewhat on Marjorie Bankson’s book of the same name. Four important questions were our topic:

  • Who am I?
  • What is my work?
  • What is my gift?
  • What is my legacy?

. . . profound questions that can be asked at any stage of life … and ones I have asked myself over the last two years.

We would spend the weekend exploring The Invitation, The Journey, and The Destination through answering questions, discussing the effect of five Biblical and historical women on their time and culture, charting our own sense of call through our lives, morning meditation and yoga, and culminating, as always, with a worship experience on Sunday.

Saturday after lunch there would be a couple hours of unscheduled time to read, walk, take a nap, sign up for a private healing touch or spiritual direction session or join a group for discussion about career anchors.

I wasn’t exactly sure why I offered to do a session on career anchors that I had learned about a year ago at the NH Women’s Leadership Summit and had recently used with Seacoast Peers for Careers. Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors Self-Assessment questions are designed to help participants identify their career values and think about what they really want out of a career. Your Career Anchor represents your unique combination of perceived career competence, motives, and values. As far as I knew, I was the only one looking for a job.

At the Summit, I had been fascinated by the 3-question exercise we had done with a group of about 12 women who did not know each other: What gets you up in the morning, being the first one. As we shared our responses, it was amazing how we were able to associate them with the eight categories Schein lists; such as, Technical/Functional Competence, Entrepreneurial Creativity, and Service/Dedication to a Cause. There was no surprise when the other participants said that “service” was vital to my inner core.

Fast-forward a year as seven of the 20 women on retreat joined me outside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. While we may be spiritual sisters, there is much we don’t know about each other. There was lots of good discussion, lots of laughs, and a few surprises as we shared our answers. For example, one of our women has started her own at-home craft business. Well, the assumption would be that “entrepreneurship” would have been the inner core value. However, her attention to detail, perseverance, and perfectionism fall under “technical competency” instead. We learned a lot about each other and ourselves through the sharing. The commentary continued on and off during the evening with some of the other women wishing they had joined us.

I guess my service to others continues …


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