The following review was posted on the Society for Nutrition Education’s listserv, SNEEZE October 20, 2001 related to edition 2.
Untangling the Nutrition Web in Career Development. Ernst JA., 2001. Nutrition Careers, softcover, 28 pgs, 703-532-1449.
“This special handbook is dedicated to helping you think about managing, building, developing or even changing your nutrition-related career.” It highlights nontraditional, as well as traditional career choices while dealing with the personal aspects of career development.
“Career choices and decisions are an integral part of a life-long search for your own identity.” With this statement from the “Introduction” of this handbook, the author sets the tone for the personal approach to career development. Use of the concepts of life-long learning and self-development are integral to the process described in the handbook. External influences on career choices presented include changes to the economic system and the resultant growth in service and information technology sectors. As well, the need to balance career and personal needs was discussed as a gendered issue for a female dominated profession.
This handbook grew from a 1996 workshop that discussed nontraditional nutrition career paths. Advice contained in the book stresses the long-term nature of career development and refinement. Careers change as a person learns more about self and the nutrition field. The specific method laid out to decide which direction to take or how to change direction is a reflective one – an upcoming method being seen in nutrition professional practice and credentialing.
Career analysis is presented in three major sections. The first of these, “Understanding Yourself,” consists of five reflective questions and a worksheet to help readers examine personal experiences, abilities, interests, work values and career goals. Terms used in the questions are defined in a glossary. To help readers begin the assessment process, a partial listing of skills, abilities and interests is provided.
The second section, “Understanding Alternatives,” includes an extensive table of nutrition career possibilities. Career alternatives are divided by job category (e.g., food industry, advocacy/non-profit), job area (e.g., hotel/restaurant, advertising), work places (e.g., obesity management programs, World Health Organization) and skills & interests (e.g., public speaking, communication, sustainable agriculture). The listing of actual work places in strongly US-based, especially those work sites in the Washington, DC area. The handbook could be strengthened by inclusion of more international organizations and examples. However, finding similar work sites in other countries would be possible with these listings as guides. This table is a major contribution of the handbook. It allows users to begin with any area of personal interest or understanding and explore possible jobs. For example, one could compare one’s self with the skills or interests of particular career areas.