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Continued: Small business: Advice on being what you want to be

  • Article by: TODD NELSON , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 9, 2007 - 3:33 PM

To succeed, today's employees need to learn how to stay current in their positions, to see employment options that offer growth and change and to develop knowledge and skills to suit your current employer and those of potential employers.

An underlying principal of Power's new model is a shift in thinking about employment, focusing less on the job -- which the employer owns -- and more on work, which the individual employee owns. In this sense, work is broader than a job, identifying a theme an individual wants to pursue in what may be a series of jobs or companies.

In Power's case, she thought she wanted to be a college president.

To that end, in the mid-1990s, she added a part-time administrative assignment to her faculty duties.

After roughly three years in administration, she found that she wasn't getting the rewards she had expected. She met with a career counselor and decided that she wanted to become an expert, soon settling on career management as a focus.

"It's worked really well," Power said. "I've still got the same job I had, but I completely changed how I do that job."

She first thought of writing a book in 1999. Along the way she flirted with the notion of trying to become a popular author -- "the next Tom Peters, for the common person."

Preparing for an interview with a big-time publisher, however, helped her decide not to aim for the mass market.

"There's a lot of glamour that goes around that potential," Power said.

But she realized that she would rather be at home instead of traveling extensively to promote books.

In the end, the publisher acted as her agent and helped her get a contract with a more specialized publishing firm for her book, which she is marketing to career counselors who are just beginning to deal with mid-career clients.

Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Woodbury. His e-mail address is

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