What this looks like:
Embodies a growth-mindset and continuously strives to improve on and learn new skills to develop oneself professionally and personally
Takes ownership of their own development and seeks opportunities to build knowledge and become more effective by attending training courses, conferences, seminars, etc.
Recognizes their strengths and areas of opportunities, but also proactively solicits feedback from managers and peers to identify for further improvement
Asks questions when they don’t understand certain directions, projects, etc.
Use a Career Development Plan. A Career Development Plan is a tool to guide career development conversations between you and your employees. It is not intended to be a contract for a promotion/raise, but a document that helps facilitate a career discussion.
Try this: Use this Career Development Plan Template to help you assess where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow, and steps you need to take to achieve your career goals. Share your completed plan with your manager during your next 1:1 and work together to figure out your career plan.
Conduct a personal SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and is a method business use to solve company problems, but you can also use it for your own development. The key to completing your SWOT analysis is to treat your career as a business and yourself as a competitive product.
Try this: Check out this blog post How to Complete a Personal SWOT Analysis by Jodie Shaw and conduct your SWOT Analysis. Share your results with your manager and discuss next steps you can take to grow your career.
Find a mentor. A mentor is someone who helps you navigate your career and provides guidance on career choices and decisions. This person can be within or outside of your company.
Try this: Join your company’s mentorship program. If one doesn’t exist, think of someone (other than your manager) who has career skills you admire and request a coffee chat with them. Their time is valuable so prepare questions ahead of time.
Try this: Check out LinkedIn’s Career Advice section to pose career questions to the public. Get free advice from people who have been in your shoes!
Find a sponsor. A sponsor is typically a senior leader who uses strong influence to help you obtain higher-visibility assignments and advocates for you especially when you’re not in the room. They can help open career doors for you.
Try this: Sponsors will naturally support you if you’re a strong performer, so focus on crushing it at work first. Obtain feedback from your manager to learn areas you can improve, meanwhile raise your hand for more exposure and opportunities within the company. The more visible you are within the company, the bigger chance senior leaders notice your awesome performance.
Find a coach. A coach is someone who provides guidance for your development, typically on a specific skill.
Try this: Think of an individual who excels at a skill you’re currently lacking. (It’s more effective if this person has the ability to pose open-ended questions to guide your learning instead of telling you all the answers—you learn more if you reach the solution yourself). Invite this person for a coffee chat and have a list of questions ready for them to help you build this skill. If you can’t think of anyone, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our coaching services.
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More resources for inspiration
Thrive Global: How to Complete a Personal SWOT Analysis by Jodie Shaw
The Muse: The People Who Can Open More Career Doors Than You Ever Thought Possible by Jo Miller
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 6: Career Ambition
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 45: Personal Learning
FYI For Your Improvement by Michael Lombardo & Robert Eichinger - Chapter 54: Self-Development
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
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