Archive for October 2011

Career Management – Part 3: You own your career!

In April I published Part 1 of this series about career road mapping, an innovative approach that I offer to corporations and professional societies using one page career maps of successful professionals within a targeted functional area as a way of providing career guidance and ideas to junior employees. Here is a link to that blog. Then last week I published Part 2, a blog on five career management principals. (Link to that blog). Now I would like to expand on one of those five concepts – that each person owns his or her own career.

Good companies will provide guidance, tools, education, career path possibilities and encouragement to their employees to assist with career growth and development. But ultimately, each individual needs to take full ownership and responsibility for his or her career. Only each individual knows deep within themselves what really excites them about their job and career and what they want to be doing. These are some of the questions each person needs to ask themselves as they plan their career:

• What is really important to me in my job? higher pay? Becoming an executive? Intellectually stimulating work? Better work / life flexibility? Enjoying the people I work with?
• What do I really excel at? How can I build on what I am best at to deliver business results and enhance my career?
• Do I enjoy being an expert of a certain function, or would I prefer to leave the details to others?
• Do I enjoy continual movement between roles and jobs and being challenged with new things?
• Do I like breaking new ground as an innovator, or do I work better in a familiar environment?
• Do I have interest in working in other countries, and does my personal situation support such a move?
• During my career, do I want to be a “people manager” or not?
• Do I thrive on executive interaction and exposure, or do I prefer “back room” analysis?
• Am I a “spreadsheet wizard” and love working with numbers, or do I prefer marketing and sales concepts and processes?
• Do I like to make presentations and explain things to people, even those in other countries or other functions?

Career Road Mapping / Career Management – Part 2

It has been awhile! Back in April I published Part 1 of this series about career road mapping, an innovative approach that I offer to corporations and professional societies using one page career maps of successful professionals within a targeted functional area as a way of providing career guidance and ideas to junior employees. Here is a link to that blog.

I presented this approach to a standing room only crowd in October at the North Carolina SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) state conference. In addition to presenting the career road mapping process, I also provided an overview of five career development concepts:

1. A good career development plan will have a mix of both short term development goals and activities to improve skills in the current position, and of looking out 3, 5 or even 10 years at long term development goals.
2. Ultimately, each employee owns and is responsible for his or her own career. Only the individual themselves know what they want out of a career, what they like and dislike, what really gets them enthused about their vocation. We can provide tools to help employees discover their optimal vocations, but they need to do the work and explore within themselves.
3. Give thought to whether you prefer to be a specialist with a deep expert knowledge in a specific area, or a generalist who understands more of the “big picture” and enjoys moving across different functional areas. Also it is possible to switch between being a specialist and a generalist during one’s career.
4. Analyzing the next position should not be an emotional decision, but instead an analytical one taking into account the importance of different attributes of a job, and comparing current position to the possible new position. See below for a tool to use to do this exercise.

5. Mentoring is one of the most productive yet underutilized tools to use in career development. In fact I recommend having multiple mentors that could include leaders in your current position, someone in the job you aspire to next, and perhaps someone in the same life situation. Link to my August 17th blog on mentoring.

If you would like to discuss how I can help your organization with a career road mapping project, or if you want a copy of my presentation on this topic, please contact me, Stan@TotalEngagementConsulting.com

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