This blog is on topics of interest to early career professionals who work with people with disabilities. Blog contributors have diverse perspectives on leadership, professional development, and success in changing systems to better serve people with disabilities and their families. For more information on Early Career Professionals, check out the website:

16 June, 2010

Beyond the Expected Working Path

Many times we have a clear idea about our career goals and objectives and sometimes we don’t. The beauty of it is that there are many paths to accomplishing great things. I think the unexpected opportunities can be the most rewarding, challenging and ultimately lead to incredible new adventures that will broaden your knowledge and contributions to the world. I like Danielle’s (author of the post on June 8, 2010) image of taking a flying leap into the world. I encourage you to take a flying leap and think creatively about your path and welcome the unexpected.

It may not be a full-time job or a volunteer position, but an experience such as fellowship that advances your professional development. Fellowships can allow you to build incredible new and long-term connections, find other exciting and stimulating areas of interest, and participate in innovative projects, initiatives, policy developments and systems change. Also, they can open your world to other practices and cultures because the appointment may be in another city, state, country or other international setting. Here are a few fellowships to add to your list of opportunities to consider:

  • AUCD Public Policy Fellowship: The Policy Fellowship is an opportunity for an advanced AUCD network member to live and work in Washington, DC for one year, learning about the Association, current legislation affecting people with disabilities and their families, and exercising leadership skills. The Fellow's responsibilities will be developed based on the needs of the Association and the interest and experience of the Fellow.
  • Commonwealth Fund Fellowships: Commonwealth Fund fellowship programs are designed to give promising young researchers the opportunity for in-depth study of various health care policy topics, working with investigators, policy analysts, government officials, and others in a number of U.S. and international settings.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship: The fellowship is an outstanding opportunity for exceptional mid-career health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. Fellows experience and participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care, and health policy.
  • Aspen Institute Leadership Programs: The Aspen Institute fosters leadership through young-leader fellowships around the globe, which bring a selected class of proven leaders together for an intense multi-year program and commitment. The fellows become better leaders and apply their skills to significant challenges.
There are other fellowships out there and other “out of the box” opportunities. Enjoy your search and be open and flexible to every prospect that comes your way. And please share any ideas you have to think creatively about career paths.


Sue on August 25, 2010 at 2:19 PM said...
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