WOUB.org To Include Blog By Career Coach Beverly Jones

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Readers looking for career guidance will now find regular columns by Beverly Jones, a career coach and leadership expert, on WOUB.org/blogs.

The blog will focus on different topics that will be beneficial to people of varying career types – those looking for their first jobs, those looking to change careers and even people looking to enhance their current careers.

Jones is president of Clearways Consulting, LLC, and works with companies, trade associations, universities and government organizations to increase effectiveness and make them more efficient.

Jones serves as a Senior Fellow and Strategic Coach with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Business Administration from Ohio University, as well as a certificate on senior management in government from Harvard's Kennedy School. She also holds a JD as well as a leadership coaching certificate from Georgetown University. As an assistant to Ohio University’s former President Claude Sowle, Jones implemented the first affirmative action policies at Ohio University and is an alumna of Ohio University’s student newspaper, The Post, as well as the PBS/NPR affiliate WOUB Public Media.  

Read Beverly Jones on careers at this link. 

What kind of career advice can readers expect from your blog?

A major theme will be building career resilience.  But I write about all kinds of issues, from getting your first job, to overcoming boredom at work, to creating your encore career.  I welcome suggestions and am happy to answer reader questions.

The recent recession hit many businesses very deeply and caused many of them to rethink the way they do business. What types of changes have you seen in the job market in the past few years? And, how has it affected employees?

Employers are more likely to see employees as replaceable and employees need to be more entrepreneurial.  The path to career security starts with understanding how it is that you add value, and always being prepared to move along, maybe even to a freelance mode.

You have varied education in business, law and journalism. What made you want to work in leadership coaching?  And what are the rewards you see from your work?

When I decided to create another career (instead of early retirement) I thought about the themes that had shaped all the different phases of my work life.  I realized that what I enjoyed the most was coaching and mentoring other people, finding ways to help them into leadership positions or inspire them to new kinds of achievement.  At first I didn’t even know that executive coaching was becoming established as a real profession.  I simply knew that it is what I enjoy the most, so I went for it.  And it’s been fun and deeply rewarding since I started, more than a decade ago.

What is the best advice that you could give people who wish to change jobs or move into different positions?

First, think more broadly about possible options.  All too often folks feel that their future must be shaped by their past job experience.  A key in coaching often is to help people open their eyes to a wider range of possibilities.  The second step is to look for ways to start doing new things in your current role – it’s amazing how much experience you can develop once you start expanding your own job description.  The third and often most important step is: network, network, network.

As former assistant to former Ohio University President Claude Sowle, you helped initiate what are now known as ‘affirmative action’ policies at Ohio University.  Talk a little about that process and what the challenges and rewards were.

When I first started, the primary focus was gender discrimination.  It was then so extreme that the state universities in Ohio had separate pay scales for men and women.  By law, many women were paid less for the same work as men.  At Ohio University my first big success was to get women admitted to the marching band (then called The 110 Marching Men).  When I succeeded, a group of male students started a program of hate mail against me.  The Administration received dozens of letters, saying that I had ruined the band forever because women are incapable of keeping up with men physically, and are unable to understand the camaraderie that is part of the band’s tradition.  Seeing women in the coolest band in the land was – and still is – deeply gratifying.

And, do you still see businesses where these types of issues exist, almost 40 years later?

Certainly the extreme, overt discrimination is a thing of the past.  But there are still issues, still many sectors where the boardroom is primarily a white guy club.

You are Senior Fellow and Strategic Coach for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. Explain a little about this position.

My projects vary, but I’m there as an expert in leadership, strategic planning, innovation & senior entrepreneurship.

Have a career question? It could be the topic of an upcoming blog. Send to woub@woub.org.