We posted recently about the value of having a robust career plan, a vision for your career path and quantifiable career aspirations.
A recent piece by the Harvard Business Review looked at four common challenges that get in the way of personal growth. They categorize them as when, who, what, and where challenges. You need to think and act creatively to overcome these challenges and invest in your career development.
Change is inevitable
During lockdown many people have re-evaluated what they want from work. The job for life is long gone and the traditional career ladder has been replaced by the career lattice – characterised by non-linear career moves where progression goes beyond promotion and allows people to develop in different directions.
Personal career development is an imperative rather than a nice-to-have. Don’t allow the demands of the day-to-day to take precedence over growth, improvement, and investment in your future. Failure to spend time on personal development decreases career resilience and in the face of economic uncertainty is short-sighted.
Career development challenges
You may experience a combination of two, three, or even all these challenges at the same time.
The “when” challenge: I’ll concentrate on career development when I have time. The risk is that those day-to-day concerns never recede enough for you to find the time. Make the time for addressing some self-coaching questions on what you want to achieve.
The “who” challenge: I don’t have anyone helping me develop my skills. The risk in feeling you are dependent on others for help is self-sabotage; you are responsible for your career. Do some networking and increase your support network, establish a group with the shared purpose to support each other in development.
The “what” challenge: I’m not sure what I want to develop. The risk is you will never make a start, if you don’t plan for success, your likelihood of success decreases. Distinguish what you need to know from what’s nice to know, as well as what’s relevant to your current role and what might be relevant for future roles.
The “where” challenge: There are no career development opportunities in my workplace. The risk is you will lose motivation; you need to look for opportunities and make opportunities. Don’t let circumstances hold back your development, look to unlock new possibilities. Identify an internal opportunity that you want pursue and look for ways to achieve that outcome.
Aim for development and growth
Appreciating in value as an employee entails a proactive approach to career management and building networks to prepare for change and disruption.
Manage your career more effectively by paying attention to three key elements:
- Knowing why: Understanding your motivation for working. Being clear on your values and what drives job satisfaction for you.
- Knowing how: Being aware of the strengths, skills and knowledge you bring to your work and what you enjoy doing.
- Knowing whom: Making your network aware of your career ambitions, investing in that network, and ensuring there is consistency between what you are trying to achieve and what people say about you when you’re not in the room aka your personal brand.