Career Personas™ - A New Framework for Career Planning

February 17, 2011
Terri Maxwell

Career Personas™ - A New Framework for Career Planning

Tomorrow’s career options in the social-digital decade will be radically different than anything we’ve experienced in our professional lives to date.
Do you know what your Career Persona is? Take our quiz and find out how to successfully navigate today's economy.

Tomorrow's career options will be radically different

Forget asking your kids if they want to be a doctor, lawyer or teacher. Tomorrow’s career options in the social-digital decade will be radically different than anything we’ve experienced in our professional lives to date. In the old days, we went to college and then chose a career. Although our jobs may have changed over time, our career “track” stayed in the same general hemisphere.

Not anymore. Yesterday’s jobs don’t exist. Today’s jobs won’t exist in a few years, and tomorrow’s careers haven’t even been created. Shocking?

Just look at any job posting board and you’ll see this career-manic trend played out. One week a company advertises for a marketing communications specialist. A week later that job is pulled down, and now the company wants a PR manager. Then a few weeks later that job is pulled down, and now THE SAME JOB is titled social media specialist.

What’s the deal? The same job with 3 different titles?  And it’s not just occurring in marketing. The same phenomenon is occurring in IT, sales, finance and operations. Worse yet, this not only rings true for the 20-somethings graduating from college, but it’s true for you and me, too. Yep, both the Gen X’ers and the pre-retirement Baby Boomers are witnessing this manic hiring dilemma as the job market attempts to recover. 

So what the heck is going on?

Tomorrow’s career options are changing faster than your teenage daughter changes clothes. No longer will we choose a linear career path and stick to it. It is time to learn a new language. To have career success in the new social-digital economy, you’ll have to think differently about career options. It’s a whole new career frontier.

After working with professionals in varying stages of career transition, I created system to explain this new world to the throngs of professionals who are either jobless or in career shell-shock after having been rocked by these changing trends. The problem is more than learning how to do LinkedIn. Not only has technology transcended the way we search and get hired, but it has also transformed the type of people corporations want to hire – and the way in which they hire them!

The truth is, in the social-digital decade ahead of us—you know the one, where technology changes in an instant—jobs will change in an instant as well Don’t fight it – adjust. Instead of worrying about your job, build a new career framework and operate within it.

The Succeed on Purpose Career Framework 

Our Career Framework serves as a map to this new world and starts with 3 simple personas. 

Personas are like identities. These are not the typical career tracks known to us prior to the 2009 job market crash, but they are radically more useful. This new framework will benefit anyone: from a Reluctant Entrepreneur™ to a would-be solopreneur, to a career seeker trying to find the new career superhighway.

Persona 1: DOER

A DOER persona requires a familiar environment and a predictable set of responsibilities.  Although the tasks might change, DOER’s function best in a familiar structure. They are motivated by the “known.” Be it large corporation or a small business, the structure suits them. DOER personas have been, and will remain, the bedrock of our workforce in Corporate America.If you have a DOER persona, your career choices should focus on roles in corporations and general business arenas. In a future blog, I’ll explain how to expand those options to take advantage of this persona and use it as a secret weapon.

Persona 2: SOLVER

A SOLVER persona responds best to freedom and is highly motivated to solve problems. SOLVER personas have a lot of career choices. Whether they lead a team, work on a team or work alone, is irrelevant. They just need to solve problems and have the freedom to do so. They can work successfully in traditional corporate roles, but being given the freedom to solve problems is a critical component for them. If they are told what to do, their passion is dampened and they quickly lose motivation. Since most corporations typically “outsource” problem-solving assignments to consulting firms or sole-proprietor consultants, we decided to launch Empowered Voyage™ ( The company was launched specifically to address the needs of this persona. It’s mission is to teach and mentor professionals who want to become sole-proprietor consultants. In addition to training, participants in the Empowered Voyage Network of Success also receive a 12-week “Solverpreneur™ Boot Camp” designed to help them cross the bridge from a traditional job to that of a professional consultant.

Persona 3: BUILDER

The BUILDER persona typically struggles in most corporate roles. They are better suited to be a solopreneur or entrepreneur. BUILDERS excel in small businesses that are growth oriented. But, there’s a very important catch. Builders are never satisfied with the status quo. They must build something. And once it’s built, they need to make it bigger or better, or move on to the next thing. BUILDERS make great entrepreneurs. Builders invent, create, build, solve, and serve in a variety of roles across all industries. The key for a BUILDER persona isn’t what they do, but how they do it. They must feel as if they are building something.

As you reflect on your career, don’t think about traditional career tracks. Think about your persona. Which of these personas best suits you? Focus on the framework, and target your job, career or business search using this framework.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you!


Known as part Wayne Dyer and part Richard Branson, Terri is a world class business growth expert, serial entrepreneur, and life transformation coach with a purpose to inspire potential. In a career that spans more than 25 years, she has launched, owned, sold, rebranded or turned around more than 40 brands. She has authored several books, and created game-changing models for business and personal success. Terri is the Founder and CEO of Succeed On Purpose Inc.

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