InTouch – Mapping Your Career Path at the County


The County does an incredible variety of things. And it takes a pretty vast variety of job positions to get them done.

As you move through your professional life, you can find a lot of opportunities for growth and new challenges while remaining in the County. In fact, we really encourage it and want to help you get there. The County can be a career, not just a job.

I mentioned in the recent Who We Are profile of our workforce that about 2,000 employees were promoted last year. That’s 2,000 existing staff re-energized by taking on new responsibilities. And it’s 2,000 times we didn’t have to bring someone onboard from outside and get them up to speed on County culture and procedures. That works out for all of us. 

Where is a next stepping stone from where you are now? Or if you have your eyes set on a particular job, how do you get there?

There’s no single way to move from position to position. But there are some suggested career paths you can follow.

Our Human Resources department has laid out over two dozen of these paths. For clerical work, IT, law enforcement, social work and many more. They show what would be typical next steps up or lateral moves from a current position.

They’re a great tool, but again, those are suggested. They can be adapted, and we all wind up making our own ways. To give you some real world examples of what’s possible, we asked a few employees who have held multiple County jobs to share their paths with us.

Mavette Sadile, now with the County Technology Office, has quite a history here – especially for someone still on the early side of her career. Here’s her path:

Junior Clerk, HHSA -> Intermediate Clerk Typist, HHSA -> Payroll Clerk, HHSA -> Senior Payroll Clerk, HHSA -> ERP Specialist, HHSA -> ERP Analyst, Human Resources -> ERP Analyst, Auditor & Controller -> Departmental Technology Systems Specialist, Treasurer-Tax Collector -> IT Contract Manager, County Technology Office

“I had no idea how big the County was as an organization or the vast job opportunities it offered when I started working at the County 18 years ago,” Mavette said. “I was very fortunate to have had co-workers and supervisors along my journey who supported my professional goals, shared their lessons learned, and gave career advice and insights.”

Jiri Rutner is with the Health and Human Services Agency – again!

Human Services Specialist, HHSA Eligibility -> Administrative Analyst, Public Works -> Administrative Analyst II, Behavioral Health Services, first as Contract Analyst, then Program Analyst ->  Procurement Contracting Officer, Purchasing & Contracting -> Program Coordinator, Behavioral Health Services

“One of my favorite things about working for the County of San Diego is that things are often more complicated than they seem,” Jiri said. “Unintended consequences are an integral part of what we do, and for me that leads to an exciting and dynamic work environment.”

Nadia Moshirian Binderup recently started with the Sheriff’s Department. Here’s how she got there:

Intern, Board of Supervisors -> Legislative Aide, Board of Supervisors -> Policy Advisor, Office of Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs ->  CAO Staff Officer, Community Services Group -> Community Relations Director, Sheriff’s Department

“My previous roles with the County provided me great insight on policy development and operations while understanding the significance of cross-functional threading – all while helping me get exposed to the ‘big picture’ of the County enterprise,” Nadia said. 

Thanks Nadia, Jiri and Mavette for sharing your stories. I think it’s helpful to see some actual cases and important to note the paths are not always along neat lines.

Whether it’s a mapped career path or one of your own, HR offers a lot of resources to help you move along it. Most positions take a number of “soft skills.” We provide regular trainings in areas like managing up, giving presentations, facilitating discussions, customer service and more.

There are also trainings focused on the hiring process itself. Resume writing. Interviewing techniques. Taking Civil Service exams.

For all these trainings, you can search the LMS or keep an eye out for the regular professional development emails sent to all employees.

Your annual performance review is an ideal time to sit down with your supervisor, discuss your development and goals, and together come up with a career path plan that makes sense for you.

Some of the most important advice I can give you is to seek out and talk to a variety of people. Ask employees in positions you want to be in how they got there. Get in touch with your department’s HR rep and go over possibilities. Ask managers and executives what they look for when moving people up. Our leaders welcome opportunities to provide their expertise and guidance to you. They like to see employees ready to step up. 

So do I. I think constantly about how we make sure the County as a whole keeps stretching itself. We’ll have a lot more success with that when employees are looking ahead at how they can improve and expand their contributions. I hope you’ll take advantage of the development opportunities we have, and I look forward to us all growing together.