Who is going to gain recognition, reward and achievement? Can you really leave it to someone or something else?
Employment has changed. The offer for ‘Baby Boomers’ – born in the 50s & 60s – from their employers, was a ‘job for life’. Consequently, it was in the employer’s interest to push high-quality training, as they would have a lifetime to see a return on the investment (ROI).
The modern contract is a ‘job for now’, meaning that ‘Millennials’ – born in the 80s & 90s – have to compete for developmental opportunities. As a result, ROI may not be realised until the individual has left!
This means you are responsible for your own learning and development. You must make things happen.
Four steps to success
Step 1 The Future:
The most important consideration for career is working out where you are trying to get.
“What is important to me over the next five years?”
Your answers could include responsibility, autonomy, recognition or freedom. This informs your next question:
“What qualities do I need?”
List out 5 to 10 qualities – such as leadership, management skills or sales success – which are directly aligned to your desired future.
Step 2 The Present:
Once you know what you want to achieve, the next consideration is to honestly audit your current situation. How would you, your peers or manager evaluate your skills?
“How well do I demonstrate my qualities?”
This question asks – not about knowledge or skills – but how well you demonstrate them. Score yourself 1 to 10 against each quality – bank the high marks and let them inform your future.
Step 3 The Gap:
From the ranked list you can also highlight where you are scoring lower. These are gaps in how you are performing, compared to your ideal state.
“Which of these gaps are holding me back?”
Meaningful training and development planning should be focused on seeking learning opportunities, which help you fill in gaps on your way to achieving ambitions.
Step 4 The Resource:
Learning opportunities should be explored with a manager or mentor. Formal workshops can be valuable, but are a small fraction of what is available. Meanwhile, there is a wealth of free learning through on-the-job experience or online courses.
“What resources will help me improve under-developed qualities?”
With an ambitious career goal in mind, clear developmental milestones planned and resources available, success becomes inevitable!
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