In Transition: From the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Career Management Seminar


In Transition is drawn from the brilliant seminar that has helped more than a thousand Harvard MBAs advance their careers.

For the past ten years Mary Burton and Kick Wedemeyer have conducted their personal seminar on career management for the Harvard Business School Club of New York, helping more than a thousand Harvard Business School graduates advance their careers and enhance their lives. With In Transition, the expertise of these two seasoned career consultants is finally ...

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In Transition is drawn from the brilliant seminar that has helped more than a thousand Harvard MBAs advance their careers.

For the past ten years Mary Burton and Kick Wedemeyer have conducted their personal seminar on career management for the Harvard Business School Club of New York, helping more than a thousand Harvard Business School graduates advance their careers and enhance their lives. With In Transition, the expertise of these two seasoned career consultants is finally available to all managers not completely satisfied with their jobs and life situations.

In Transition offers a new perspective and proven guidance to all managers. It will help you to:

  • Locate, evaluate, and obtain the most satisfying job possible
  • Understand what you really want out of your career
  • Access all your options, including a new job in the same field, a new career direction, or enhancement of your effectiveness in your current situation
  • Apply the business skills you already possess to your job search
  • Integrate your personal and professional life

From the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Career Management Seminar comes the nuts and bolts of a self-marketing model for managers on the move up the corporate ladder. For over 10 years, Burton and Wedemeyer have conducted their popular seminar, open only to Harvard MBAs. Now any manager can take advantage of the expertise and career advice offered by this dynamic training team. Advertising in The Wall Street Journal.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887305719
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 551,437
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Lindley Burton and Richard A. Wedemeyer have taught the Career Management Seminar for the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York since 1980. Mary Burton is president of Burton Strategies, providing career strategy consulting to individuals. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

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Read an Excerpt




The career transition process advocated in this book and used effectively by the many managers who have attended the Harvard Business School Club of New York Career Seminar is based on five premises.

The Process Is Much of the Prize

In the self-awareness portions of the transition process, you will review your patterns, articulate your goals, and reacquaint yourself with your abilities. New insights will change the way you see yourself in relation to your environment. The process of defining your product specifications also will help you form a picture of yourself—not the ideal you or the person that others wish you to be, but the real you. Having a clear sense of those product attributes allows you to present yourself to other people in a highly effective and credible manner.

Each Person Is a Unique Being in a Unique Situation

This premise precludes the idea of applying one set of rules to every individual or situation. In the HBSCNY Career Seminar we tell attendees that although they may have come for answers, our role is to help them identify the questions and issues most critical to their respective situations. This approach works, time and time again, because once it is allowed to function, a manager's internal guidance system is wise and capable.

I came to the Career Seminar to find a job and came away with a whole new concept of success—in terms things that really mattered to me rather than others. In my last job I had a lot o f success in terms o f company recognition but virtually nosatisfaction. Now I have a much better handle on what's important to me.

Career Difficulties Are Often an Invitation to Change

Most people have a hand in creating their career difficulties. Such selfsabotaging behavior is often obvious to everyone except the person involved, who may vehemently deny playing any role in his or her misfortunes. Consider this comment by a manager recalling an early stage in his professional life:

I had problems with my boss's boss. I had been put in charge of the administration of the annual meeting, a big show. It's not the kind of work that turns me on, and I didn't take it seriously. No one ever told me this was very important. I felt it was just an administrative thing to be done—to be delegated—so I could do the important stuff, and I guess I didn't give it the attention I should have. This guy put out the word that he wanted me out o f there. I felt very screwed: I'm smart, I'm bright, and I was cut off I think this guy made a big mistake.

The annual meeting was clearly important to several very influential senior managers, and yet this intelligent manager misread, or ignored, their signals.

Such behavior represents cues from your internal guidance system that you need to either change how you cope with the workplace or change where you work. When heeded at an early stage, these cues can prompt you to make changes in a relatively painless and constructive manner. When ignored, such cues become increasingly insistent, until inappropriate behavior creates a crisis situation that is impossible to ignore.

My boss screamed mercilessly at anyone who provoked his anger. I found him to be a very threatening individual, and anticipating his tirades made me very jumpy. In retrospect 1 lived out a self-fulfilling prophecy: his expectation that I would make a mistake became my expectation, and eventually I did make a mistake. One too many sets of figures didn't add up, and the boss told me that he had had it with me. I don't recall that I made even one mathematical mistake while I was at my former job.

Career difficulties can lead you to resolve unhealthy situations. Many people look back at career crises and admit, "Even though it involved a lot of pain, it was the best thing that could have happened to me."

Your Intuition Has a Role to Play in the Career Process and inYour Next Job

Some managers find this precept difficult to accept. Managers who are highly skilled in logical and analytical thinking are most comfortable with a career process that draws exclusively on those analytical skills. But developing your intuitive skills is the challenge at hand. Acknowledging your intuition's existence and its legitimate role in decision making is the first step. Your career process will yield far more if your logical and intuitive powers work hand in hand. And once in the new job, that combination will continue to be a very effective management tool.

My rational thought process ran my life for twenty-five years while I successfully ignored what my gut instinct was trying to tell me. Finally I tripped myself up and was left with no choice but to listen. At first I had difficulty believing and trusting that internal guidance system you talk about in the Seminar, but then I could see that when I used it things fell into place. Now I am careful to keep my intellect and intuition in balance.

You Already Have the Skills to Find the Right Road

The search for the right career move is not as mysterious as it might seem.

  • You can define the product: you. This is not the superficial you but the entire you, including your talents, attributes, values, motivations, preferences, and disinclinations.
  • You can define the market: the industries, fields, or functions that are a good fit for the entire you and offer sufficiently good odds of entry and success.
  • You can design and carry out a classic marketing campaign for the product: you. It may take some time and involve some repositioning or trading off of nonessentials. But a successful campaign is something well within your abilities and experience to accomplish.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    'In Transition' offers a step by step approach to analyze and understand who we are and how to identify the most promising direction and prospects for one's career. The book is written in a readable way with many examples from HBS graduates, which most people can relate to. One does not need to be an HBS graduate to use the technique outlined in this book the steps are relevant for any professional struggling to find direction in his or her career. Of particular help to me was the concept of doing a marketing assessment of myself, in order to 'self market' myself to particular employers. The assessment was extremely helpful in identifying my strengths, weakness, and interests. 'Self marketing' helped me to direct my efforts toward more fruitful and meaningful opportunities, where I have the best chance to succeed both personally and professionally.

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