Career Insights and Tips by Jean Caton

The summer 2012 issue of the HBAdvantage magazine featured the career innovation article: 8 tips for finding your path to success in today’s ever changing economy. Jean Caton, one of the women profiled in this article shares these further insights into her career and offers you tips for your own career:

Jean Caton
Jean Caton

Depending upon how you define career, I have made four significant career changes:

  • Teacher of grades 7-12 and post graduate
  • Registered dietitian and manager in a Harvard affiliated teaching hospital
  • Corporate marketing executive for four Fortune 500 companies
  • Self-employed business coach and speaker

I have reinvented my career several times and as a result, it has been personally fulfilling, financially rewarding and just plain fun. I did not have a formal career development plan; nor was it a strategically mapped out program. However, in hindsight, I realize what I did do was make decisions that were based on my drive to learn and grow my professional skills and industry knowledge. I continually reached for more through a series decisions and calculated risks.

A few were a rather brave, including packing my bags, selling my condo and moving to Chicago from Boston where I had lived all my life. I leaped from working as a dietitian in a hospital to a role as a marketing product manager without a hint of real life business experience.

My frequent career reinvention has continued to take me places I never dreamed of. My current profession, businesswomen’s coach, did not exist when I graduated from college. The technology to run a virtual business (webinars, teleclasses, Skype iPhones, iPads) had not been invented yet.

My best coaching tips for your career advancement and versatility are based on what I did without really recognizing the impact on my success at the time.

✦Write a strengths-based leadership development plan.

✦Keep your plan fluid and dynamic.

✦Take calculated risks.

✦Believe in your ability.

✦Keep your internal and external network warm. It’s all about relationships.

✦Get involved in associations like HBA and other professional groups

✦Take initiative and ask for what you want. Don’t sit in your office doing a great job waiting to be chosen.

✦Enjoy what you do or stop doing it.


One thought on “Career Insights and Tips by Jean Caton

  1. Jean: I like your advice about having different career paths through your life. I believe all of the skills obtained in each career bring you to the next level and ultimately where you are meant to be. “Disrupting yourself ” for innovation is a concept which applies here coined by Whitney Johnson and is one which I embrace. Like you I have had several careers: Nutrition Support Researcher, College Professor, Pediatric Private Practice owner and now a life coach for women leaders and emerging leaders. All the skills I have gained in my previous lives have brought me to my present job. Thanks for your enlightening blog post.
    Emma Fogt MBA, MS,RDN,LDN

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