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Review the careers section of any bookstore and you’ll find shelves full of both general career management, planning, and change books and books on specific topics from working with animals to careers in transportation. But little is available that directly addresses careers in human resource development. That information usually is included as a chapter in business management careers publications.

We believe it’s time for the HRD professional to have a career guide and resources that meet your need to know how best to position yourself for growth, success, and fulfillment. In the 21st century, the HRD field will continue to undergo transition, expansion, and development, and new pathways will open as employers demand a multifaceted, multiskilled workforce. We wrote this book to help you face new and, perhaps, unexpected challenges and concerns, equipped with the information and tools you need to assess possibilities and make wise decisions that move your career forward effectively and efficiently.

The purpose of this book is to present a practical methodology for planning and developing your HRD career and thereby make it easier for you to identify

  • trends and issues influencing how the HRD field is being defined

  • emerging HRD roles, functions, and practices

  • guidelines and the means for managing your HRD career and professional self-determination.

We believe we took a unique approach in developing this book because each of us focused on those aspects that we are passionate about, committed to, and have expertise in, and then wrote the text in two distinct sections. Caitlin authored part 1, which addresses the trends and issues that affect how and where an HRD professional works; Annabelle wrote part 2, which stresses the how and why of managing an HRD career for success and fulfillment.

Our objectives in writing this book were to

  • put forward a picture of the HRD field in this new millennium and its impact on the people in the field

  • provide practical tools and resources that are useful in planning for further enhancement and progression within the HRD field

  • help you understand the importance of taking control of your professional journey, including its movements, stops, and final destination.

As we talked, brainstormed, and visioned how we best could serve our readers, we produced several special features:

  • the first HRD Career Opportunities Model

  • the integration of cutting-edge research into the discussion of HRD definitions, roles, functions, and practices

  • an HRD Professional Design Plan that is the heart of the career management process

  • a discussion of volunteer experiences as professional growth activities.

We would like to thank so many people that made this book possible. First, we would like to thank the ASTD Press staff members for their efforts in making this book a success. Second, we want to acknowledge all the HRD professionals who willingly gave us their time for interviews and follow-up, including: Maureen Arneaud, Nicki Artese, Michael Balbirer, Dede Bonner, Diana Butler, Bill Carroll, Richard Chang, Julie Crews, Neal Chalofsky, Harriet Cohen, Adam Eisenstat, Pam Farr, Sherry Greenleaf, Chris Grimm, Martin Hilb, Marti Kaplan, Julie O’Mara, Geoffrey Pickens, Jim Printup, Jane Russell, Ethan Sanders, Liz Stagg, Ahmed Tahery, Kathy Vizacherio, and Thomas Wong.

We also want to thank all those HRD professionals, and professionals from other fields interested in transitioning into HRD, who submitted questions to the ASTD Career Q&A Page. Their comments inspired us to put this book together and their questions helped us to identify the areas that we focused on in these pages.

In keeping with our belief in mentoring and training the next generation of HRD professionals, we encourage ASTD chapters to make use of the information and exercises presented in this book for their members’ professional development. All we ask is that you give proper credit to the book.

We hope you’re as energized by reading Career Moves as we were in writing it.

Annabelle Reitman and Caitlin Williams
May 2001

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