UC Berkeley News


Online tools for every stage in career growth

18 January 2006

Though the path for a faculty member to advance is well defined, career development for staff is less clearly delineated. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Office of Human Resources launched a new website, The Career Place
(thecareerplace.berkeley.edu), to provide staffers with information to enrich their current job or to help map a path to a new UC position.

In the works for the past year, The Career Place offers a wealth of resources and tools for staff interested in career development. Inette Dishler, a learning consultant in OHR's Employee Development and Training office, spearheaded the project, and Lilianna Denizot, a publications and training specialist in the same office, designed and produced the website.

The new website "isn't intended to be the be-all, end-all of career development," says Dishler, "but I hope it will be a one-stop shop where staff can find a lot of career-related tools, information, and resources." Ultimately, she wants to help staff think about their careers. To that end, the website offers tips on such basic tasks as self-assessment, preparing a résumé, networking, and applying for jobs on campus. It also offers links to UC training and programs as well as information on creating an individual development plan.

Dishler and her team thoroughly researched career-development tools, books, and websites to assemble the best resources for the website. "Anyone can go on the web and do what we did, but it's a lot of work to sift through and determine what sites are the best and most reputable," says Dishler. "For instance, we went through all the self-assessments that are available online - there are tons of them - and picked a mix of free and fee-based ones."

Dishler drew on the expertise of her OHR colleagues to develop content on résumés, cover letters, and interviews. "I wanted actual content on the website - I didn't want it to be just be a site full of links." The version of The Career Place that launched this week, which represents the first phase of the project, focuses on career-development training and tools. The second phase will see a fleshing out of the "Growing as a Supervisor, Manager" and "Growing as a Leader" sections.

The website's third phase is tied to the job-classification component of an ongoing Staff Infrastructure Steering Committee (SISC) project. Within a year the committee will have reassessed UC's job families as well as the knowledge, skills, and abilities that relate to each position. The redefined job families will aid staff members interested in using transferable skills in a new position that may or may not be directly linked to their current job. "Career development is not necessarily a vertical path," says Dishler. "It's not always about moving up, but it is about staying vital at work."

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