Tag Archive | career development

DO IT YOURSELF Career Development

do-it-yourself

 

We are now in the era of do-it-yourself career development. Companies less frequently offer formal training — a trend that has been around for years. This may be because employees change jobs so frequently (job tenure now averages about four years) that firms don’t see the value in investing in people who are likely to leave. This is a sharp contrast with the investment that senior leaders used to make in employees. During my 11 years at PepsiCo, mostly during the 1990s, “personal development” was treated as a major company initiative.

Unfortunately, organizations today are unknowingly leaving employees with skill gaps and blind spots that can derail careers and organizational effectiveness. And managers aren’t helping. Too worried about their own hides, most managers don’t have time or energy to focus on anyone else’s. In fact, Korn Ferry found that when managers rated themselves on 67 managerial skills, “developing others” came in dead last.

Ideally, organizations would do more to foster career development: encourage more-immediate feedback, develop clear performance criteria, deliver developmental feedback with clarity and tact, and provide resources and incentives for managers to make employee development a priority. But the reality is that the bigger burden is on employees. Workers at all levels must learn to identify their weaknesses, uncover their blind spots, and strengthen their skills.

Here are six things you can do to take control of your career development.

Understand what you’re evaluated on. What does success look like in your position? What are your job goals and success metrics? It’s best to identify these with your manager, but if that’s not happening, then write down what you understand the goals and key performance indicators to be. Take them to your boss to get their agreement, and engage in an ongoing dialogue to ensure you stay on the right track.

Solve for your own blind spots. Top performers are always learning and adjusting, and routinely seek feedback from their boss, peers, and subordinates. If your boss doesn’t proactively give you feedback, start the conversation yourself. After a presentation or big meeting, state one thing that you think went well, and then ask for advice on one thing you could improve. It’s best to keep it simple; most people can only absorb one area to improve at a time. Listen to and thank your boss for the feedback.

Codify your learnings. You can capture feedback and learning by keeping a journal. List the five to 10 skills or competencies you need to develop in your position, and rate yourself (either on your own or with the help of a trusted adviser) on each. For example, if you’re a brand marketer, you might give yourself an A in advertising development, a B+ in pricing analysis, and a C in trade marketing. Focus on the C’s to close skill gaps. Seeking feedback from someone who previously held your job can speed up your learning.

Increase your visibility with the C-suite. It’s not always possible to get noticed by senior leaders through your direct work, so you might try volunteering for initiatives, such as charity work, company events, or on-campus recruiting. This is an easy but often overlooked way to rub elbows with senior people who will see you in action and ideally take notice of your contributions.

Become an expert in an area of increasing importance to your company. Your company may be grappling with a disruption from a new technology such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, or cloud-based computing. Become the expert person in your department on an emerging issue. Conduct research and literature reviews, attend conferences, or write on the topic. Developing expertise in a nascent area of growing importance can lead to promotions and other career opportunities.

Seek good counsel and mentoring. The perspective of a senior person is invaluable, but pouncing on someone — “Will you be my mentor?” — is likely to scare them off. Try to meet in an informal way: in the coffee shop in your company’s lobby, or at the company picnic or golf outing. Know the person’s bio, and be prepared to ask a few good questions related to their area of expertise. If things go well, you’ll hear, “If I can help you, let me know.” A week or so later, you can extend an invitation to “continue the conversation” over coffee. In time, a mentor relationship may develop organically.

Strong functional skills take time to develop. In most positions, whether it’s enterprise sales, brand marketing, supply chain logistics, or corporate finance, being competent often consists of having deep functional knowledge in four or five key job areas and a good working knowledge in another four or five. Without the willingness to take multiple assignments, or even strategic lateral moves, a well-rounded skill set will be elusive. It takes patience.

Earlier in my career, I was still at the manager level within PepsiCo while a good friend moved up to vice president by moving to another company. But as my skill set solidified, I understood how the pieces of the business fit together, and my career progression accelerated.

Your skill set is ultimately your career capital, so take the time to develop your functional skills. Jumping from job to job too quickly (say, in 18-month or two-year increments) won’t allow you to develop the functional expertise you need to advance your career. With time and patience, and by taking the initiative, you’re far more likely to thrive in this DIY world.

 

Source: https://www.wtco.global/en/6ways-to-take-control-of-your-career-development-if-your-company-doesnt-care-about-it/

Career Development

careerdevelpment

 

Career development is the process that forms a person’s work identity. It is a significant part of human development and spans over the individual’s entire lifetime, beginning when the individual first becomes aware of how people make a living.

For example, when a child notices that some people are doctors, others are firefighters, and some are carpenters, it signals the start of this process. It continues as that person begins to explore occupations and ultimately decides what career to pursue him- or herself.

Career development doesn’t end there. After you choose a profession, you must then get the required education and training, apply for and find employment, and ultimately advance in your career. For most people, it will also include changing careers and jobs at least once during their work lives, but probably more often than that.

How Career Development Occurs

It is important to note that, for most individuals, career development occurs without any intervention from other people. There also isn’t a set age for when it will begin—some people will start to think about occupational choices very early in life, while others won’t give this subject much thought until they are relatively close to having to decide how they will earn money.

While many individuals go through this process independently, almost everyone can benefit greatly from getting expert career guidance. Advice from a career counselor or other similarly trained specialist, or taking a class in school that helps with career development, allows you to forge a more satisfying and successful career path.

This type of intervention can begin as early as elementary school, and it should continue throughout adulthood. Many people find themselves in need of professional advice as they encounter problems or must make decisions about their careers—for instance, when they are thinking of looking for a new job or changing occupations.

Factors and Barriers That Influence Career Development

Several factors and the interactions between them influence career development. Others may be barriers to it. Let’s look at several of them:

  • Personal CharacteristicsPersonality typeinterestsaptitudes, and work-related valuesmake all of us who we are. These personal characteristics play a significant role in career development since they influence which occupations we find satisfying, as well as the types of work environments in which we will succeed. That is why, when you are in the process of choosing a career, it is so important to do a self-assessment that will help you learn all about yourself.
  • Financial Resources: Pursuing certain career options can be costly. If you choose an occupation, for example, that requires you to attend college, you may be limited by your ability to pay for it. You could end up altering your plans. Fortunately, there are ways of overcoming barriers such as limited financial resources, namely student loans, financial aid, and scholarships. When you are seeking employment, financial limitations can also hinder you. For example, you may not have the money to purchase interview attire. Several organizationscollect donations of professional clothing and distribute it to job seekers in need.
  • Financial Obligations:You may find yourself working in a job or occupation just for the paycheck. It lets you keep up with your bills but doesn’t satisfy you in any other way. You would like to go after other opportunities but feel inhibited by your financial obligations such as a mortgage, rent, student loans, or even your children’s college tuition. You can try to put away money for a future career change or even change your way of life by downsizing to a smaller home.
  • Physical, Mental, and Emotional Impairments: Some of us are better suited to some careers than we are to others due to our physical and mental abilities, and limitations. For example, you may want to become a doctor but don’t have the intellectual ability to get into medical school. You should, if possible, find a related occupation that makes the best use your strengths while accommodating your limitations.
  • Lack of Support From Family:Going after a hard-to-achieve goal is even more difficult if your loved ones aren’t behind you. You have a greater chance of succeeding if you can convince them to become your cheerleaders but if that is unlikely to happen, you may have to find motivation from other people in your life.
  • Age:Our age, or our perception of it, can hinder us in our career development. During a large part of our lives, we may worry about being too young to pursue a particular path, advance in our careers, or make a career change, and for another lengthy stretch, we fret about being too old to do those things. Instead of focusing on your age, concentrate on your abilities and how motivated you are.
  • Family Obligations: An individual’s career development may stall if he or she takes time off from work to take care of children or elderly parents. He or she has several options including getting outside help to provide childcare or eldercare if the individual desires it.

 

Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-career-development-525496

Managing Your Career

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Career management is a must if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. You are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your entire adult life, and by managing your career effectively, you can make the best of those 40 hours.

Share your goals with your boss and gain a partner who can help you broaden your experience.

Developing your talents and skills will stretch your world and enable more of your unique contribution. This, in turn, can make your career success.

Opportunities

Many employees have not thought past their current job or the next promotion they’d like to receive. They need to broaden their short-term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from and adding value to their career.

There are multiple ways to experience career growth by investing in your career development and progress:

  • Job shadow other employees in your company to learn about different jobs. This can broaden your skills and increase your value.
  • Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Being able to handle multiple jobs can add variety to what you do and broaden your skills.
  • Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge. New strategies and technologies relevant to just about every career are being introduced constantly. Stay up to date on your job and industry.
  • Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team building with coworkers.
  • Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore. Leaning on someone else’s experience is a great way to gain knowledge and introduce yourself to other opportunities.

5 Tips for Career Growth and Development

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, vice president and managing director of Apollo Research Institute and visiting scholar in Stanford University’s Media X program, recommends five additional career management strategies.

  1. Set goals and create a plan to achieve them. Could your career development and management use help to gain momentum? People who are the most successful and satisfied in their careers have proactively determined what they want from work.
  2. Develop a timeline, including milestones. Bringing your boss and his or her sponsorship and mentoring into the picture will ensure that you have an internal mentor who will help you manage your career.
  3. Utilize company programs. Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. In others, you will need to informally pursue your career development. Companies with programs generally focus energy on helping employees develop and follow a career path.
  4. Own your career path. A career path can be discussed at several bi- annual meetings with your boss. Some companies demonstrate a deep commitment to their employees by assisting where possible with resources of time and dollars. However, remember that it is your career path.
  5. Write it down. Career paths are recommended for the same reason that goals are recommended. They are the written plan that can help each employee take charge of what is most important to his or her fulfillment and success. Without a plan, you can feel rudderless and you have no benchmark against which you can measure your progress.

Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/improving-career-development-4058289

 

Young Professionals: Six Keys to Building Your Career

by Josh Bersin

This week two new studies (one by The Economist and one by Quantum Workplace) highlight how rapidly young professionals’ view of their careers have changed. While startups continue to be exciting and people desperately want to work for pre-IPO companies, research shows that most Millennials (under the age of 30) are starting to really mature in their career thinking.

Here is some data:

Young People are Getting more Serious: The days of young people smoking marijuana, hanging around on the street in cities like Berlin, or kids in the UK engaging in binge drinking are slowly coming to an end. The Economist research shows that these teams of youth are going away and people are focused on their education, career, and making a living.

“Across the OECD, a club of 34 mostly rich countries, enrollment of 15- to 19-year-olds in education increased by 11 percentage points to 83% between 1995 and 2011. Among adults in their 20s participation in higher education has increased by a third. Young people who are studying rather than in paid employment have less money for hedonism.” (The Economist article).

People in their 20s rate “professional development” as their #1 issue in selecting a great place to work. The Quantum study, which surveyed 400,000 professionals, rated the top drivers of engagement by age and look what they found (it’s not surprising).

Fig 1: Quantum Workplace 2014 Employee Engagement Trends Report

Fig 2: Engagement vs. Education, from Quantum Workplace Engagement Report

Young professionals: this is your time. What this data, coupled with the strong jobs report launched earlier this week, shows is that we have entered a period of time where younger workers (people in their 20s and early 30s) are now getting far more serious about their careers.

Young Professionals: Welcome to Your Career – Six Keys

As an aging baby boomer who spends my career looking at talent and business trends, let me summarize some suggestions:

1. It’s time to take your career seriously: make sure you achieve your goals, openly communicate with your manager, and express your ambitions clearly.

When I was young I was far too shy (and not even sure) about my personal career .. and not until my late 20s did I really have any idea where it was going. Don’t worry if your current job doesn’t seem like your “dream job” – learn everything you can, contribute positively, develop great relationships, and express your desires in an open way. Today more than ever employers will help find you the right next step, as long as you’re doing good work in your current role.

2. Seek out the mentoring and advice of others.

Now that you’ve become a little more serious about your career, take some time to have lunch with a more senior friend, work associate, or even family friend. Ask them about their career, what they learned, and how they decided to do what they do. Building a career will take decades, and you will get lots of good ideas on which direction to go from many of us who have been down this path.

3. Stay open to changes and diversions in your path.

The one thing I would say about my career (and I hear this from most senior people) is that I could never have predicted it would go where it went. Every job and every assignment will teach you something new: something about work, something about life, and something about yourself. Stay open to these new assignments and opportunities and look at them as your stair-step path toward your eventual “perfect job,” whatever that may be.

4. Teach yourself every day.

These days we have so much learning, content, and information available online you should spend your commute time, travel time, or down time learning something new. Read about a new company or technology; follow a business leader you admire; take courses in new technology or tools; and learn to use all the tools around us. The world of business changes faster than ever – you should get comfortable being a “continuous and relentless learner.”

5. Push your limits.

The most valuable learning experiences you will have in your career happen when you get thrown into the deep end of the pool and think you can’t swim. I had a whole series of jobs I was not qualified for, but after months of hard work and lots of late nights, I figured most of them out and each one became transformational in my own career growth. If your boss offers a new assignment which is both important and new, think hard about taking it!

6. Be yourself.

Last year I wrote an article called “Learning to Be Yourself.” Now, more than ever, as the job market heats up, you should spend some time learning what you are really all about. I was always an introvert and shy as a young professional, and sure enough that eventually brought me into a career as an analyst, researcher, and entrepreneur. Don’t try to copy someone else who appears to be getting ahead – your path will be much more valuable if you stay true to yourself.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland

Building a career is a never-ending process, and even if you get layed off or your boss fires you, it’s part of moving forward. A good friend of mine is a senior HR executive and she was just ousted from the company she worked at for many years. Rather than think of this as a “failure” or “mistake,” I encouraged her to think about it as the opening of a new door to her career – one as an HR leader at a new, perhaps smaller company who will value her skills even more.

Every career is unique and you can succeed in a myriad of ways. I admire my doctor for the career he built; our family nutritionist is a highly successful professional in her chosen field; whenever I hire a contractor or consultant I learn about their career and am usually fascinated by their experiences.

The research clearly shows that over the next 3-5 years career development will be one of the most important issues in the labor market. Employers: take heed – if you don’t offer these kinds of “tours of duty” (as Reid Hoffman calls it in The Alliance), you’ll lose good people.

And those of you in the first ten years of your own journey, strap yourself in for an adventure and enjoy the ride. If you follow some of my advice, every day will be a growth experience and you’ll look back 30 years from now and say “wow, what a great career I had.”