How to make the right career choices in a dream labour market

It’s a hot job market right now, which makes it all the more important to help others navigate their careers. One (more) of the challenges of the increasing pace and workload that mysteriously continues post-COVID is finding the time to help others, and yet there couldn’t be a better time to provide that support.

There may be many career opportunities and choices available to you right now – will you keep the right people and will they make the right decisions not just for today but for their future?

As CEOs try to stem the tide of layoffs, grapple with so-called “silent departures” and heightened employee demands, take the time to dig beneath the surface to make sure you’re providing the kind of support that people value by adding value to their professional development and progress.

As a younger executive, I’ve always been interested in hearing the career paths of senior executives: and younger executives still seek that kind of understanding. By giving people access to your career story, articulating how you’ve mastered your career, and identifying the factors behind your success, barriers are broken down while providing useful career advice.

But that should be avoided: Many managers describe their career steps and successes as unplanned and opportunistic. Even if it happened that way, it gives the impression that it only takes talent to be successful. We know that’s just not the case. It’s about reflecting on what happened and why, the key relationships, and the contextual factors that supported your ascension. Make it humble, yes, but also provide clarity about what people can do.

Career management is plagued by a number of paradoxes. It’s helpful to first understand what they are:

  1. opportunity and planning – it’s both, and the clearer you are about what you want, the easier it is to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
  2. ambition and talent – they are not the same, although they are often treated as if they were. One of the biggest mistakes companies make when identifying and hiring emerging talent is choosing ambition over talent. Ambition and affinity bias often help people stand out, which means more opportunities present themselves to them. Talent can sit quietly in the corner, taken for granted or ignored. Focus more on talent and less on ambition.
  3. identity and reputation – How the individual sees himself is not necessarily how others see him. The two perspectives must be reconciled. Helping others to accurately and realistically assess their talents will help, and ensuring the organization does the same will go further.
  4. activity and reflection – When people think about their career, they often think about the next major. While engaging in learning activities is indeed crucial, activities with deep reflection should be balanced. The development of a regular practice of reflection, e.g. B. Keeping journals will encourage learning and keep career management intentions in mind.
  5. jobs and achievements – A career isn’t just about job titles, although we often assume that’s the case. Not everyone wants to be the CEO of a large public company, but most people want to feel a sense of accomplishment and accomplishment. Focusing on key accomplishments is a more flexible and fulfilling way to think about future career goals.
  6. ladder and grid – Most organizations today work with relatively flat structures and the metaphor of a career as a leader is quite outdated. Even in its heyday, the ladder was, I believe, something available only to a select few. The idea of ​​a career grid seems to make more sense. Not everyone wants to go up, and that’s a good thing, because there’s no room for that! Expanding skills and experience is important both for future success at levels and for contributing to success at higher levels.
  7. Accountability and Ownership – Managers are responsible for helping their employees advance their careers. I recently heard from a manager who refused to release one of his team members to take on a promotion role in another part of his organization. So short-sighted! This is just one of the reasons people join organizations but leave leaders. Take responsibility for helping people develop their careers in a meaningful way and encourage them to take control: only they can take control of their careers.

Regular career talks with your boss should be a highlight of your collaboration

We rightly think that our boss should be our biggest career enhancer, although unfortunately that’s often not the case. Bosses who coach and develop their employees experience a commitment premium. It is one of the key factors in retaining talented employees and one of the biggest attractors to talent.

You can increase your reputation as a great place to work by increasing your support for career development.

First, help your team overcome the six paradoxes above:

  • Encourage them to take the time to shape their careers. Hold a monthly meeting with them that explicitly focuses on their aspirations, accomplishments, and developmental progress.
  • Give them the tools to realistically assess their abilities and potential. Give them feedback geared towards how they want to develop.
  • Help them strive and plan. Help them gain clarity about what they want to achieve.
  • Show them how to prioritize developing their learning skills and make sure they learn from setbacks. Setbacks suck, so it’s best to take something useful out of them.
  • Encourage them to gather around a range of supporters such as mentors, advocates, etc., as well as yourself, who will help them throughout their careers.
  • Use every opportunity to have constructive career discussions with them.

Second, ask helpful coaching questions in your career conversations with your team:

  • How can I support you in your career development?
  • What is your career aspiration?
  • What is preventing you from dedicating time to your career development? What do we need to change?
  • What options have you considered? What did you not consider?
  • What discourages or challenges you in shaping your career?
  • What feedback from me would help you the most?
  • what do you need to know
  • How do you think you could make a bigger/better contribution here?
  • What skills/strengths/experience do you have that we don’t know about/can’t use anymore?
  • What should we stop asking you to take responsibility for?

And to find the right balance between accountability and ownership, suggest they regularly ask themselves these questions (and share their answers with you from time to time):

  • What am I doing well/excelling at?
  • What have I mastered lately? How did I master it?
  • What am I struggling with? why is it a fight
  • What conflicts am I experiencing?
  • What motivates and drives me about my work and career?
  • What challenges / discourages me?
  • What do I enjoy most about my work? At least?
  • How engaged/satisfied am I with my work and career prospects?
  • What do I need from my boss to develop professionally? What would be one or two specific things that would help now?
  • What’s my next step? What do I want to achieve by moving/advancing/expanding, taking my next step?

Helping people achieve their dreams isn’t just about the right job market, it’s something you can influence. Quality career talks and a genuine commitment to helping people achieve their goals will make you a dream boss, and while that doesn’t mean you’ll be 100% retained, it will certainly make it harder for people to choose you to leave.

Written by Dr. Karen Morley.
Did you read?
The world’s largest economies, 2022.
International Ranking of Financial Centers, 2022.
These are the countries with the highest average salaries in 2022.
Juan De Borbon – Introducing cutting edge techniques to the healthcare industry.
The importance of the CEO/CFO relationship.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is dead wrong: Returning to the office harms Dr. Gleb Tsipursky.

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