Boeing Frontiers
May 2003
Volume 02, Issue 01
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Special Feature

Creating your own career path

In only six years, Sheila Murphy has energized her career by acquiring an impressive "tool kit" of skills and various job positions at Boeing with the help of her own strategic career plan. She is currently working as an enterprise auditor. Sheila's home base is in St. Louis, but her work assignments take her to a variety of Boeing businesses sites.

"I took ownership of my career and it's really paid off," said Murphy. "I made myself accountable to my own career goals by establishing strategic career plans consistent with long-term growth."

Murphy is in the first "class" of the Enterprise Auditor Program, a companywide rotational program that deploys Boeing employees for eight, three-month assignments for exposure to a variety of business operations and functions.

In addition to her previous work experience in financial operations at Military Aircraft and Missile Systems and Phantom Works, she has performed detailed audits and business reviews at Commercial Airplanes, Boeing Capital Corp., Rocketdyne and at Boeing World Headquarters. In short, Murphy is developing her own career development plan.

"Employees who take ownership of their career development have a tremendous advantage," said Laurette Koellner, Boeing's chief People and Administration officer. "Boeing offers fantastic opportunities throughout the enterprise. When you work closely with your manager to develop a thorough and thoughtful Professional Development Partnership or when you take advantage of the Learning Together program, you are adding to your experience, your marketability and your value to the company."

Keys to career development are the periodic reviews and goal setting processes—referred to as Performance Evaluations and Performance Development Partnership:

• PEs clearly define the business goals that employees should accomplish throughout the year—as aligned to the company's values. PEs also are used in the Salary Planning Process to determine how each nonunion employee is rewarded for his or her performance.

• PDPs provide an opportunity for an employee and manager to work together to develop and document the personal career goals of each employee.

Rotation means rapid learning and development

One avenue for career development is through rotational programs and assignments. Often these assignments are available at different Boeing locations, even internationally. The Technology Planning and Acquisition Boeing Ventures team at Phantom Works has three active rotation programs underway: International Industrial Technology; the Technology Evaluation/Application team; and the Technology Planning function leadership in TP&A-BV rotates on a two-year cycle.

"The benefits of these rotations are numerous," said Peter Hoffman, Phantom Works senior manager of International Industrial Technology. "The people who come in and out of these rotations bring fresh ideas and build ties between business functions and the technical community.

"Without my PDP and clearly defining my goals for the future, I don't think I would have taken on this new rotational program. It's giving me a real advantage because of the opportunities to learn cross-functional areas and build additional skills," Murphy said.



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