Only Four Jobs in the World

Greetings, colleagues. . .

A few days ago, I ran across this entry via my LinkedIn account:


In the accompanying post, Mr. Adler wrote:

Everything starts with an idea. This is the first of the four jobs – the Thinkers.  Builders convert these ideas into reality. This the second job. Improvers make this reality better. This is the third job. Producers do the work over and over again, delivering quality goods and services to the company’s customers in a repeatable manner. This is the fourth job. And then the process begins again with new ideas and new ways of doing business being developed as the old ones become stale.

So I started thinking. . .where does good academic advising fit into that taxonomy?  I think it has elements of all four!  Advisors, in collaboration with the students we serve, generate ideas every day about how to promote their success, recover from academic difficulty, explore new horizons–so, we’re thinkers.  Over time, we build new mental models for advising, drawing not only on our experiences but also on theories and ideas from our disciplines and colleagues.  We also work hard to improve our advising systems and our students’ lives.  And we certainly produce when we interact with multitudes of students every term.

How do you see your role as an advisor fitting into Mr. Adler’s taxonomy?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below and / or on the Commission list!


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