Choose Your Own Adventure, SEP style…

February 2, 2010

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? It was great because depending on what you wanted, you could change the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Sometimes it feels like that’s how SEP’s career path system works.

At SEP, we have a system that allows an engineer to basically create his/her own career.  (I say basically, because we still have roles and job descriptions…I mean, you have to have that kind of infrastructure for this to work, right?)

This became much more obvious when I finally heard someone else talking TO me about my own opinions of our career path.  (Does it ever take someone telling you what you said, for you to actually hear it?  Sounds like a topic for a future post…thanks me!)

A co-worker, and good friend of mine, Anthony told me that he looked at our skill matrix, and asked some of the managers how he could improve in a specific area.  So to me, it seems like Anthony is able to choose his own adventure.  At SEP, if you want to pursue a certain title/role…you can simply look at the skill matrix and job descriptions, or ask your manager, to find out how you can improve yourself to achieve such a role.  Obviously it still takes more than just reading and learning to fit into a role…you have to BE that person and DO that job, also.

In my experience, this is unique to SEP.  Also in my experience, this doesn’t work well for everyone.  Some people will struggle with not having obvious and finely-structured career paths, or a manager that tells you exactly what you need to do for your next promotion.  Some will excel in this environment, others won’t.

I, personally, like the idea of choosing my own adventure.  I also like the fact that I can choose to go at my own pace!  Each year will be different and my ability to excel in each area might not be the same as the previous years.