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Career Progression

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Career Progression [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 21:07
I've had 3 jobs in 5 years and although I had clear reason for every move, I was just wondering if adcom will look badly at this. I am an engineer and I worked at my first job for 3 years and then moved every year after. In my essay, I plan to explain my reasons for making these moves were not only to gain more responsibility, but because I was looking for a job I truly enjoyed. That is until I realized it was time I pursue my dream rather than do what I'm supposed to do. I'm concerned that it will look like I am not self-aware and I don't know what I want. I didn't know if this would be a good idea to throw this fact in the adcom's face though.

In addition, in the middle of all this application madness, I have recently been laid off. I was just wondering if this is something I should address in my essays? Should I address it in my additional essay? To make a long story short, I was laid off in April, but called back after a couple weeks to work on contract. I figured I can at least show I'm dedicated and that lack of performance was not the reason I was laid off.

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Re: Career Progression [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 20:32
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At first blush, you don't have too much to be worried about. People change jobs, this is a fact of life. Unless you are in a rotational program or management training program that runs on rails and is a totally known commodity, it is not anyone else's place to say what you should or should not have done. That said, the "find what I love" sentiment is typically not a great one in MBA applications, especially as it pertains to your pre-MBA path. Post-MBA, sure, you can tie in your passions with your long-term goals. But you want to lean towards pragmatic rather than idealistic when you assess your progress. It's why schools ask you to define your goals, state your progress, assess your prior steps, list your objectives, etc. They rarely ask you "tell us your dreams." I'm obviously exaggerating the point because I know that's not what you are saying. I guess what it comes down to is this: if you had chances to gain more responsibility and have better opportunities, why do you need to offer any additional explanation?

As for how to "spin" your layoff, contracted rehire (of sorts), honestly, that is the kind of thing we work on with clients all the time, but everything happens in context and it comes after a lot of other hard work has been done. To offer you a snack size piece of advice on something complicated like that is a disservice. If you are looking for great admissions consulting though, you are in the right place.

Hope that helps.

Respectfully,

Paul Lanzillotti
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