Have you ever told your employees that they are responsible for their own career development? That their career success is in their very own hands? Have you received blank or frustrated stares in response?
If so, that is probably because they haven’t a clue where to begin.
You can help!
Let’s start with a definition of Career Development – a process that forms one’s work identity. Answering the question “where do I want my career to go?” begins a proactive planning and an implementation of action steps toward career goals. This is a life-long process of managing learning, work, leisure and transitions to move toward a personally desired future.
Development planning is forward-looking. It gets at current and future needs of the company AND personal career interests. Employees learn about the talent needs of the company through conversations with their managers. It is important that managers know how to conduct career conversations.
These conversations provide the employee with the opportunity to:
- Create a plan to achieve short-term and longer-term career goals
- Share their vision for personal success with their manager
- Strengthen capability to contribute by developing knowledge, skills, and other abilities
So, what’s the recipe for career success?
There are four key ingredients to achieving career goals that you can share with your employees:
- Know yourself – personality, passions, preferences, values; reputation; relationships and network; personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
- Focus on Work/Life integration – what is your heart saying? Life is comprised of many components. For example, Family might include children, home, health, relationships. Work might include career, money, leading, success. The key here is to take care of all of these while staying true to who and what you are.
- Set Goals – what dream or vision pulls you most? What do you love to do? How do you define personal success? What does your perfect life look like, and how to do you there from here?
- Make Progress toward goals – to achieve goals one needs to answer the following questions:
- What skills, knowledge will I need?
- What behaviors will I have to change?
- What can my current job provide – what other experiences will I need?
- What are my current strengths I can leverage; what will I have to develop?
- What specific actions and experiences will I need, and how will I keep track of my progress (IDP)?
And, as with any great recipe, after you have the ingredients together, then the real work begins.
Each leader can focus their development actions to specifically meet their personal career goals.
Ways to achieve this include:
- Create a strong Individual Development & Career Plan. Involve trusted colleagues, manager, and mentors
- Build self-awareness through assessments and feedback – seek out performance and strengths feedback
- Work to be a recognized leader with a strong network and meaningful relationships
- Prepare oneself to be perceived as a qualified candidate for roles of choice
- Build a strong leadership reputation
- Actively pursue the experiences that develop great leaders – cross functional/cultural, and key initiatives assignments. Look for these internally, as well as leadership opportunities in external (volunteer) organizations
Then, stir gently, allow time for all actions to blend fully … and savor and enjoy the results!
Let Coaching Right Now know how we can help you and your employees embrace and benefit from enriching Career and Development Planning processes and practices. Schedule some time with our colleague, Jim, who can talk with you about this and other ways Coaching can work in your organization.