Archive for October, 2012

5 Actions for Career Management

Monday, October 29th, 2012

“Career Management” makes some managers nervous; they might lose key staff or have to spend precious time training and mentoring people.  It raises expectations for many people that they will be promoted sooner, or that another round of lay-offs is coming. And for others, its just another bunch of buzzwords – a “key retention tool.”

Career management is seen as both highly personal, therefore self-initiated, as well as an organization’s responsibility to provide resources for professional and technical growth.  Some companies have a formal process and resources dedicated to career management.  In others, it just happens, or not.

1) What’s your expectation for enhancing your career, besides earning more money? How much more money?  This may be a job title, a level, learning a new skill or technology. It may be doing work that is more fulfilling to you.  Put it in writing to help get clarity.

2) Can your expectations be met in your current organization?  Our emotions can get in the way of realistic look at the opportunities.  You may need to creatively look at alternative roles or projects to provide stepping stones to your goal.

3) What resources are available in your organization right now to help you? If there are no formal programs, you can still take advantage of any tuition reimbursement for courses, or look for people who are doing what you want to do next.  Ask if they would chat with you over lunch or coffee to start learning from them.  (It’s good to have 4-5 specific questions to get the conversation going).

4) Make an weekly appointment with yourself  to assess your work – your accomplishments (skills used), your struggles (skills needed)

5) Don’t wait for annual performance review. Ask your boss or team mates to informally give you 1-2 minutes on what they see as going well and what you could improve. Asking for their observations following an event is great time for feedback.

These are just five actions anyone can take.  What have other people done to successfully manage their careers?