A career journey
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A Career Journey. …More Than a Series of Jobs Jerry Toomer April, 2012. The Next 15 Minutes. Share career choices and experiences Why I am doing what I am doing….now Implications for your career choices and opportunities. Early Choices.

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A Career Journey

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A career journey

A Career Journey

…More Than a Series of Jobs

Jerry Toomer

April, 2012

The next 15 minutes

The Next 15 Minutes

  • Share career choices and experiences

  • Why I am doing what I am doing….now

  • Implications for your career choices and opportunities

Early choices

Early Choices

  • Education level (and career achievement ) are closely related to mother’s education & influence

  • Being a dentist would be cool…well maybe not?…technical / scientific choices are often made early

  • I did not want to stay in a small town or on the farm: I knew more clearly what I did not want to do

  • Community influence & early role models



  • Psychology undergraduate; Wartburg College

  • Influential role model (DrFruehling); leadership opportunities continued in College

  • Counseling Psychology PhD program at U of Iowa: ‘top ten’ program. Serendipity.

  • Go forth and teach

  • Go forth and do research, receive grants, publish or…..

The first of three careers 4 years at american university dc

The First of Three Careers (4 years at American University, DC)

  • ….or perish… “I perished”

  • Loved teaching and outside consulting; immensely disliked University politics, inefficiencies, pressure to publish “stuff”

  • Where can I do what I like to do?

  • Ahh….government or business settings ?

  • Searching (of soul and job market)

  • The Right Fit: Under the clock at the St Francis Hotel in SF

A second career 25 years with dow

A Second Career….(25 years with Dow)

  • The meeting at the clock in the lobby

    “Yes” !!

  • Dow Chemical Company, Michigan

    …..the “front door” for the job was:

    • Employee Assistance

    • Training and Development

    • Selection

A second career

A Second Career

  • I can work under “one umbrella” and essentially change jobs every 3-4 years if I perform well !

  • Labor relations, recruiting, generalist HR work, compensation technology, coaching of mid-level managers and senior leaders re: people issues

  • Strategic Human Resources leadership in a new era: a full partner at the leadership table

A second career reflecting

A Second Career….reflecting

  • Hey, I’m pretty good at this leadership stuff

  • I can press my ideas tactfully, advocate for constructive change and be rewarded

  • I really like working in teams, and with teams

  • I wonder how influential I can be within Dow?

  • Hmmmm…..I’d love to lead Human Resources for a major segment of the organization

You sometimes get what you ask for and more

You Sometimes Get What You Ask For….and More

  • Compensation Design Director for Dow

  • HR Director for Dow’s Ag business

  • A Joint Venture with Eli Lilly’s Ag business

  • And….Whooops.

    “They” (my bosses) had not forgotten that I was willing to go overseas. Succession planning at work !

  • Hong Kong: a four year post-doc

    • 14 countries

    • Full HR breadth

    • Quality Performance

A second career closes

A Second Career Closes

  • VP of Global Human Resources and Site Ops for Dow AgroSciences (1995-2003)

    • 5000+ employees

    • 40+ countries

  • 12+ acquisitions or joint ventures

  • Applied Human Resources….another post – doc ! I never had a day when I did not want to get out of bed and go to work. How lucky.

    • Note to self: keep learning !

Ahh finally a third career

Ahh…Finally, A Third Career

  • Do what I want to do, on my own terms, and work less than 60-70 hours per week!

  • I love the university setting: Butler University

    • Executive in Residence program

    • Teaching at the MBA level

    • Real Life, Real Business

    • Support Faculty

      …And, I formed my own consulting practice / LLC: Executive Coaching, Strategic HR, Organization Effectiveness, plus YourEncore,Inc

A third career

A Third Career

  • Publish….And not Perish….(thank you very much)

    ….do some writing and research “on my own terms”

    • Leadership. Eg.Battier Effect; Butler Leadership 360.

    • Take my “Academic Summers” in Arizona from December-April: teach during the summer/fall.

    • Morning Coffee and Reflection

A third career1

A Third Career

  • Happy as a Pig in the Mud. (Maybe I am really farming again?)

  • Positively influence students, faculty, not -for – profit and business leaders, peers

  • Big Brother to Malcolm for 8 years

  • Board work: Jordan College of Fine Arts; Center for Faith and Vocation; Church

A fourth career

A Fourth Career?

  • More of the same…..I think.

    • But what about teaching overseas?

    • What about opening a school in partnership with my son in Indonesia?

    • What about writing a book?

    • What about…….?

      ….Ahhh…..Those enticing “Bubbles of Interest”

Thank you and what about you

Thank you…….and what about YOU?

  • Which career are you in, and why?

  • What are your core skills? And how can you build on them to meet market needs?

  • What is unique about you…and how can you brand this?

  • What have you learned in this program that you can leverage?

Additional skill development and or certification some ideas

Additional Skill Development and/or Certification….some ideas

  • American Society for Training and Development

  • World at Work (compensation/benefits/workforce issues)

  • Society for Human Resource Development (human resource skills in a wide range of areas)

  • American Productivity Council (Quality Perf)

  • Coaching Certification (numerous programs)



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