Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s something about this time of year when so many people are focused on gratitude that makes the world a bit softer, kinder, and warmer. And from this warm place, I find myself reflecting on the enormous gifts in my life – family, friends, meaningful work, and you – the generous people who allow me into your lives a couple of times each month, who read my thoughts and share your own, who inspire and motivate me to do what I do. I am grateful for you.
I’m also grateful that as a result of current employment challenges, career development is getting the attention it deserves. So, this month, I thought I’d offer a curated compilation of my best career development advice. Whether you’re looking to invest in your own careers or want to help others develop theirs, these short articles may help you get greater results from your efforts. Happy Thanksgiving!
There’s no argument that today’s workplace is in tremendous flux. We now see the consequences of all this in the form of what’s become commonly referred to as ‘the great resignation.” How ‘great’ the exodus of workers will actually be, depends upon whom you ask, the data they draw upon, and the comparisons being made. But what’s certain is that ‘great resignation’ or not, the events we’ve all shared over the past year and a half have sparked if nothing else a ‘great re-evaluation’.
Yet again, organizations, talent professionals, and leaders have to face the hard data and hard reality that we’ve still not cracked the code on what matters most to employees: career opportunities. It’s not for lack of effort. Companies are investing extraordinary resources in skills training, portals, online systems, and processes designed to make this happen. And it all falls short. Here’s why.
This time of transition and today’s tighter labor market have also inspired many organizations to reconceive the employee experience — everything from where and when work gets done to a range of innovative benefits to meet the needs of the current talent pool.
So this is an ideal time to also consider making the changes required to one of the most fundamental and intimate dimensions of the employee/employer relationship: career development. For many organizations, career development has been frozen in time.
Employees universally agree that “one of a manager’s fundamental roles is to support his/her employees’ career development.” And yet, many leaders struggle. Some burn themselves out, trying to do too much of the heavy lifting on behalf of their employees. They think it’s their job to find the opportunities, engineer the development activities, scour for the classes, and more. While others lean into the idea of employee owning their development. They abdicate all responsibility, leaving it to employees to figure out alone.
Why wait to look backward at your efforts when you can explore real-time factors that will predict the trajectory of career development today? Leading indicators allow you to more proactively address this pressing priority. The indicators you choose depend upon your organization and the data that’s available, but choose something. What gets measured gets managed. And career development is clearly worthy of management.