We are only a few months away from our Boston meeting. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to tell you about the upcoming conference and other major activities the officers of the Careers Division have been working on.
Our top priority has been to design a stimulating and enjoyable Careers Division program. Ginna Dokko (program chair) has been working on our scholarly program while Jos Akkermans (PDW chair) has selected a set of professional development workshops to help build your research and professional skill set. I am particularly excited about this year’s Plenary Session: Robots and Algorithms and AI, Oh My! Careers in the Age of Automated Work. The session boasts a great group of scholars and thinkers and we expect this session to be of broad interest to the entire Academy. Also consistent with an interest in the implications of technology for careers, another session likely to attract a great deal of interest is the PDW Session: Using People Analytics in Career Research. I am also pleased to report that many of the papers and PDW sessions articulate nicely with the AOM conference theme of inclusion, something the Careers Division should rightly view as a central concern of our work. Please check Ginna and Jos’s letters below for more details on this exciting years research, learning, and development opportunities.
Another priority project this year has been the Division’s Five Year Review. The purpose of the Five Year Review is to monitor the basic governance processes of the division and help the division think strategically about its aims and purposes for the coming five years. As you may recall, AOM sent the entire membership of the careers division a survey concerning your perceptions of the division’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, AOM provided a full set of membership statistics and engagement metrics. I called upon the officers of the division, including Bert Schreurs, Jamie Ladge, Gina Dokko, Jos Akkermans, Ryan Klinger, and Denise Jepsen to help me process this information and develop plans for the divisions next five years. We submitted the Five Year Review to AOM, where the Division and Interest Group Committee and the Board of Governors review it and provided feedback. I am happy to report that AOM has approved report and by extension existence of the Careers Division! (Not that we ever doubted that such a creative and vital division of the Academy was ever in danger.) We have posted the full report on our website under “about us” (https://car.aom.org), so please feel free to check it out and let any of the committee members, including myself, know what you think. The important work really starts now. The Officers and Board will be holding a virtual meeting in mid-June to develop implementation plans for the many goals and initiatives identified in the review.
Here I would like just to touch upon a few of the highlights from the report. First, a big thanks is owed to the Division Chairs over the five previous years, Bert Schreurs, Corinne Post, Tania Casado, Kimberly Eddleston, and Peter Heslin and their teams, too numerous to mention here, who set and achieved many important goals, giving the Careers Division a great reputation for excellence within the wider Academy. Among the signs of strength for the division is the fact that we have experienced 33% growth in membership over the last 5 years, doubling the rate of membership growth for AOM as a whole. Even more encouraging, student members making up a disproportionate share of the growth. Yet despite this growth, over 75% of the membership still agrees that we have retained the advantages of a small division community and the overall level of satisfaction with the division is very high (4.5 out of 5). These metrics are a testament to the strength of the division and bode well for the future of our division and of our field. These positive results are no doubt due to the many initiatives put in place over the last five years, including ongoing activities targeted to students and junior faculty, just one example being the Careers in the Rough PDW and the Virtual Careers in the Rough. Many thanks are due to Lauren Keating and Igor Bartolec for organizing the in-person and virtual Careers in the Rough sessions this year. Focused fundraising activities, thanks most recently to the efforts of Denise Jepsen, have also put the division on firm financial footing, allowing us to initiate some new and exciting activities.
Indeed, the most important part of the Review is to set the agenda for the division in the five years to come. Based on both quantitative and qualitative feedback from the membership, the Review Committee has articulated five broad strategic areas around which to focus our future efforts. Within each area, we identified several specific programs or activities the division leadership plans to pursue in the furtherance of those strategic goals. Below I list the five strategic goals and one specific activity. Again, please refer to the full report for details. Most importantly, please get in touch with any of the Careers Division board members if you are interested in volunteering to help with any of these activities.
Goal 1: Improve Productive Interaction among junior and senior scholars
Goal 2: Improve Opportunities for Research Collaboration among Members
Goal 3: Provide Value to the Membership beyond AOM Conference
Goal 4: Raise the Scholarly Prestige of the Division
Goal 5: Continued Efforts to Recruit, Engage and Sustain Members
In pursuit of virtually all of the goals named above, I am excited to announce a Careers Division International Conference to be hosted at Vienna University of Economics and Business, 14-15 February, 2020! The theme of the conference is Careers in Context: Theorizing in and about Turbulent Times. This conference is being held in a central location in Europe, home to almost half of the Career Division’s membership, and is designed to provide a setting where students, junior and senior careers scholars can interact, network, and seek to establish collaborations in a context focused exclusively on careers scholarship, broadly defined. We are calling for a full range of paper, symposium, and professional development workshop (PDW) submissions. In order to encourage a focus on the development of early stage work, we are asking only for extended abstract paper and symposium submissions. The full call is included with this newsletter, so please check there for further details regarding further submission criteria, deadlines, costs, and other details. This is a great opportunity for the division to take a significant step forward in its support for careers scholarship and community building. Whether you wish to present your work, contribute to the development of careers research, or just take this opportunity to meet and network with other scholars in the careers field in a great location, I hope you will plan to support this Careers Division initiative by participating in the conference.
Okay, whew, that was a long letter as far as these things go! There are many other people I could thank for their hard work and support during the last year, so please come to our Division Social Event immediately after our Business Meeting (Monday, August 12, 4:30 – 6:30 pm in the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Back Bay Ballroom A) to help me recognize and thank them.
Scott SeibertDivision Chair, 2018-2019
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