The 5 Truths of Career Success


Remaining relevant in a changing economy

Earlier this month, we fortunate enough to have Kris Stadelman, Director of NOVA Workforce Board on our panel of experts at the Second Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum, and prior to that, her colleague Luther Jackson joined us for our First Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum. Kris, Luther and the NOVA team have become valuable thought partners as we examine ways to implement innovations and best practices to address the needs of employers and workers within our communities. Some key learnings that have already been influential for the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium come from NOVA’s TechLadder Initiative, including the 5 Truths of Career Success.

Below is an excerpt from Bay Area Tech Career Advancement Initiative Final Report released in April, 2015 by NOVA workforce investment board.

Getting a job is only part of the battle. Economic sustainability requires a career focus and the ability to continually grow and adapt to new technological and economic challenges. Successful tech workers must have career navigation skills. In its April 2014 report, Bridge to Career Success, TechLadder identified five key factors for career success that extend beyond technical skill proficiency. These “5 Truths of Career Success” (detailed below) are building blocks for developing personal leadership, entrepreneurism, confidence and self-efficacy, the traits that tech employers value.

1.  Self-Awarenessselfaware

The ability to understand where you are on your career path, where your passion is driving you, and what you need in order to get there.

“I know myself and I know what I’m capable of. I know if I want to embrace a space. I know what I need to do to become conversant in that space… You have to be able to put on the right hat and see what things are at play.”

2.  Networkingnetworking

The ability to both engage existing contacts and to strategically reach beyond that base to increase the number of professional contacts.

“Networking is establishing value-add relationships that are bidirectional. You can’t always be asking; you have to be giving. That’s why, in your network, you have to be open.”

3.  Relationship Managementrelationships

The ability to ensure that you are well regarded by those around you by managing your workplace relationships, your reputation, and your desired performance results.

“Build relationships with your management, your peers, and your subordinates by demonstrating a willingness to learn, to help, and to meet commitments.”

4.  Organizational Readingorgreading

The ability to analyze behaviors of the organization, the industry, and the economy in order to make better-informed career decisions and to be proactive in managing your employment situation.

“Do not become too focused on the day-to-day grind. Pay attention to your company’s performance to avoid becoming blindsided by changes.”

5.  Mentorshipmentorship

The ability to establish and access a relationship with a more-experienced person or to serve as mentor to a less-experienced individual.

“Find people you have a connection to, people that you can talk freely and easily to and have them help you set a career plan; someone who can help you see the bigger picture and envision a path.”


novalogoAbout NOVA Workforce Board (NOVA WB): NOVA WB addresses the workforce investment needs of Silicon Valley by directing and guiding NOVA, a workforce development agency sponsored by the City of Sunnyvale, and NOVA Job Center, a collaborative of workforce development organizations. Through its strategic initiatives, the Board works to promote economic opportunity and shared prosperity. NOVA WB members from leading edge Silicon Valley companies bring diverse and expert opinions that foster new and better ways of serving the community. These Board members help NOVA to create strategic alliances with businesses, the workforce development community, and other critical stakeholders. Learn more on their website:

Related posts:

What’s Next for IT/Tech Talent Strategies in Boston? We’ll be Putting Our Money Where our Mouth Is

Second Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum: IT Talent Strategies at Work

Connecting Industry to Talent in the Digital Age: A Look at the Greater Boston IT/Tech Industry

Author: SkillWorks

SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce funder collaborative, launched by the Boston Foundation in 2003 to improve workforce development in Boston and across Massachusetts. SkillWorks brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of: 1) Helping low-skill, low-income individuals attain family-supporting jobs; and 2) Helping employers find and retain skilled employees.

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