Your Success Network

Discovery Resource # ST-34
Resource Topic: Lifestyle
Planning Tools: Survival Tool
Career Phase: Discover
Description: Building key relationships that support your goals
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Learn how to transition from your training mentorship and support network to a professional network by building an enhanced success network – a set of people who take an active interest in your journey and assist you in your personal and professional development as you strive toward your post-residency career and life goals. These mentors, sponsors, peers, and advisors who make up your success network will give you wisdom, inspire you, provide tactical advice, and most importantly, create accountability.

For the past decade, you’ve been surrounded by professors, program directors, faculty, and peers who have helped guide and support you throughout training. Soon you’ll be making many significant work-life decisions that will impact you both personally and professionally as you transition. These key career decisions include choosing a practice opportunity, deciding where to live, buying a home, and many other important career and life choices that will shape your lifestyle, work life balance, and overall wellness.

An enhanced success network—mentors, sponsors, coaches, advisors, and peers—can help you in all aspects of your life. No matter where you are in your life and career journey, creating and sustaining high quality relationships will help you make good decisions, navigate your path, and achieve your goals more quickly than you could without them.
  • Discover the wide range of advisors that can help you through major career transitions.
  • Understand the importance of mentoring in the context of your success network.
  • Chart and map the success network that supported you through your residency.
  • Evaluate your network in terms of help you need for your new career and life goals.
  • Learn about four key relational models that help shape all relationships.
  • Build out and map your future enhanced success network.
  • Learn distinctions among mentors, sponsors, and coaches in career management.
  • Recognize and avoid “tor”-mentors going forward.
  • Reflect on the importance of lifelong learning, change, and the ability to adapt as you consider your success network over the long-term.
Author: Wendy Murphy
Professor Murphy primarily teaches organizational behavior for undergraduates and managing talent in the graduate programs, as well as customized executive education. Currently, she is Co-Director of the Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) program, a yearlong interdisciplinary course in which students create, develop, launch, and manage a business.

Professor Murphy’s research interests are in the area of careers. Her work focuses on mentoring and developmental networks, identity, and the work-life interface. Specifically, she explores the mutual learning that occurs through nontraditional developmental relationships for the benefit of individuals and organizations. In addition, she is interested in how positive relationships across the work-life interface facilitate career success.

Murphy has published her research in several journals, including the Academy of Management Learning and Education, Career Development International, Gender in Management, Human Resource Management, Journal of Management and the Journal of Vocational Behavior among others.

Murphy co-authored Strategic Relationships at Work: Creating your circle of mentors, sponsors, and peers for success in business and life, applies the scholarship of mentoring to help everyone become an entrepreneurial protégé.
Author: Rick Cotton
Associate Professor of OB, HRM and Service Management, University of Victoria; Speaker and Consultant B.S. in Management Information Systems and Marketing (dual), Syracuse University; MS and PhD in Organization Studies, Boston College.

Rick Cotton’s expertise in maximizing human and social capital spans more than 25 years. He’s a professor, consultant, and speaker on subjects including: success networks (a.k.a. developmental networks, personal advisory boards), talent management, SHRM, team chemistry, coaching, and resilience. He began his career as a change management consultant providing organizational transformation and people strategy guidance to clients including: Aetna, General Electric, Pepsi, United Technologies and others.

He was then SVP of Learning & Development at a Fortune 500 firm, leading a performance consulting team supporting 1400 employees on three continents. He’s a professor at UVic and his research has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Sloan/MIT Management Review, Inc. and several academic, business and HR journals.