Guiding you towards diversity-friendly employers

Career Planning

DiversityCentral’s Editor & Publisher: Their special career planning experience

Barbara  Deane (our Editor-in-Chief): Didn’t intend to get into career planning!

I began my career in career planning and development as a teacher in an alternative high school. There was a morning class all teachers had to teach, so I didn’t have much choice but to learn something about the subject. That small experience propelled me into a new job where I became an academic adviser at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA for the departments of Biology, Botany and Zoology. (No I wasn’t a science major, but a communication major that would better relate to students—so I was told).  I soon learned that many decisions students make in college are either career enhancing or career limiting.

One time, I had a run-in with an academic Dean (I’ve always been rather strong minded). The Dean said to me, “All you do is tell students what courses to take, don’t you?” “No sir,” I said. “I help students make good career decisions.”

During this job, I co-developed my first course, Career Decision-Making in the Life Sciences. It was a fascinating experience. I saw first-hand how valuable career information is to students. I don’t believe ANY college student (or high school student for that matter) should graduate without a course in career planning.  I’ll relate some of my stories in future issues.

I moved on to deliver career-planning courses as outplacement services for AT&T and Pacific Northwest Bell one of the Baby Bells, one of the spin-offs from the big telephone company Ma Bell, AT&T). I co-developed courses for Seattle City Light (the major utility in the city) and for Virginia Mason Hospital. And I went on to provide career coaching services to many individuals, including, most importantly, my neighbor’s son, my niece, my daughter, my son, my granddaughter and my son-in-law! When it’s your family, you’re on the line!

Then I really stepped into new territory. A few years ago, I developed (with Carlos’ help) a career-planning course in Spanish for recent immigrants and taught it at the Monroe Public Library in Monroe, Washington, part of the Sno-Isle Library System. It was challenging and fun. Fun because there are so many cultural assumptions embedded in the career process — job hunting, resume writing, and interviewing.  This is a course I would like to teach again, maybe even develop an e-learning course. In time! In time!


Carlos Gil (our Publisher): Professors just naturally get into career coaching

Along with Barbara, I have had long experience helping others build their careers as well.

As a professor at the University of Washington I taught countless undergraduates in the areas of foreign studies (Latin America) and ethnic studies (Chicano/Mexican-American/Latino) helping many of them find their way into a career including many who informed me after they graduated that they had obtained jobs in the United States Foreign Service, Civil Service, and in the private sector.

As a historian and advisor to graduate students at the University of Washington I mentored and guided many young men and women through graduate school to become teachers and professors themselves supported by the Master’s and Doctoral (Ph. D.) degrees I helped them obtain.

Now I have a new perspective on occupations:

My new book [Tentative title: Becoming Mexican American: A Story of an Immigrant Family Settling in California (release date; June 2012)] offers the careful reader, among other things, an insight into the generational progression of jobs that members of my family held during the course of the 20th century (from 1923 to 2011) as they evolved from “unskilled” Mexican immigrants in the first generation, to a mix of skilled and professional Mexican Americans (also called Latinos) of the second and third generations.  The progression of jobs is as follows:

First (immigrant) generation: cotton pickers, railroad workers, employees in industrial lumber operations, manual fruit harvesters, and micro business owners and operators (groceries and making tortillas).

Second generation: medical records assistant, American and European cuisine chef, owner of a small trash collection company, human resources supervisor for one of the largest counties in the United States, historian at one of the largest universities in the United States and foreign affairs consultant, owner of a small bathtub refinishing business, physical therapy aide, and palmistry consultant.

Third generation: hospital patient escort, city code enforcement officer, auto parts delivery driver, police patrolman and training officer for one of the largest cities in the United States, office assistant at a large American university, customer service specialist at one of the leading telecommunications firms in the United States, state industrial appeals judge, etc.


Follow us as we develop the Career Center! Let us know if you need particular information or help!


More to come!


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