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Career Self-Empowerment Culture & Process

Mike Tomasello
CEO, Career Success Secrets

As National Career Development month continues, how crazy is it that many of us as HR leaders need a “Career Development” month and week to remind us to focus on our own careers?  Unfortunately, it’s way more common than we might think. As a leader within your own organization, it’s something that you might think about more frequently. However, in my annual speaking engagements, as well as conversations with thousands and thousands of employees each year I’ve found that less than 10% of employees at all levels in most organizations actively think about their career development consistently throughout the year.

The sobering news is that many of your teammates throughout your organization don’t contemplate their career development until something is wrong or until they are already dissatisfied. If you as an HR leader can play a part in ensuring that your organization focuses on career development more consistently, you can have a positive impact on employee retention and possibly even make career development a differentiator for attracting the best talent to your organization. 

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Many of you have long experienced how difficult it is to have consistent and formalized career development for every employee as part of your corporate culture. The majority of the Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 HR leaders I speak with have commented to me on how challenging it is to ensure that even formalized mentorship or career development programs work effectively across divisions, departments, and most importantly individual managers who may be overwhelmed themselves. Even Emily He, SVP of Oracle Cloud HCM Marketing, alluded to this earlier this month, stating that career success is more likely when placed in individual responsibility. As HR leaders, I encourage you regardless of your corporate culture, to consider cultivating a culture of self-empowerment and accountability with regards to your employees’ career and career growth. 

There are multiple perspectives that you and your individual employees need to keep in mind in order to understand your career development paths. Where do you want to go? Where does your boss need the team to go? And where does your department’s leader need the department to go (ex. Boss’s boss)? Some employees are great at looking at their own wants and needs. Some have never been encouraged to explore their own wants. Some employees are masterful at knowing what they want. Some do not have enough experience looking at what’s best for the organization overall. Neither is right or wrong. Both perspectives exist and both need to be understood in order to maximize career development for yourself, your employees, and your organization. 

Career and executive coach Mike Tomasello unlock the keys to career success for yourself and the workforce you serve.

Career Self-Empowerment Process

You may or may not be in a position to transform your organization’s culture, systems, and entire processes for your dream vision for career development at your organization. If you want to explore how Oracle Cloud HCM’s solutions might be able to help you achieve your vision, please click here. However, the vast majority of you have the capacity to influence at least one process that contributes to individual empowerment around career development.   

At Career Success Secrets, we’ve developed the following process to help all employees from entry-level all the way to the executive level get clarity around their career and more importantly feel empowered and taking action. I encourage you to consider this process for your own career as well as your organization’s employees. If you have questions or comments about the process, you can contact me at Mike@CareerSuccessSecrets.net 

Understanding Your Wants and Needs

1. Where do you think you might want to go? What does growth mean to you? What’s most important to you in your career? How would you prioritize those wants and needs? What results and duties do you love contributing to? What results and duties would you love to be a part of?

Understanding Your Organization’s Wants and Needs

2. Where does your boss need your team to go? What’s most important to your boss’s and your team’s success? Where does your boss want you to go? 
3. What is your leader’s vision for your organization? Boss’s boss? Vice President? CXO? What will the department/division/organization need from its employees for me to be more successful? 

Analyzing Your Experience, Skill Gaps, and Needs

4. How does your current reality compare with where you might want to go? How does your current reality compare with where your team, department, division, and organization need to go? What needs exist within your organization that matches up well with your wants? Where will you have to create opportunities to get what you want?   
5. What are the gaps in skills, duties, and experience for growing to where you want to go? Is your team/department/division a good fit for you and vice versa 2 years from now? 5 years from now? Where within your organization could both your wants and the organization’s needs possibly be met?
6. What duties, functions, teams, departments, divisions, or organizations do you need to be learning more about? 
7. What conversations do you need to have to move things forward towards your wants? With who?
8. What resources (people, groups, things, etc.) do you need to create this growth for yourself? 

Turning Your Career Development into Action

9. What three action items are you going to start with? 

  • Studies have shown that the human brain can get easily overwhelmed if you give it too many options, so just choose three. Any three will help you make progress! Don’t overthink this. You can always change the actions or take more action later. 

10. What one action item are you going to start with? 

  • Open your calendar for this week, then pick a day and time when you will move forward on the first action item!

Great job leader! What are you learning about yourself? What are you learning about what your organization needs in regard to career development? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and realizations for yourself and your organization in the comments.

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