The 5 Phases of Career Development

The 5 Phases of Career Development

Organizations need great leaders who not only deliver effective results and develop their teams. As we head into performance management season, it is important to balance that conversation between the review of goals and what it will take to achieve performance in the future. We know the conversation is different when the employee is self-directed, knows where they want to take their career and when the employee looks to you for that guidance. This is where leaders need tools to meet the challenge of aligning the self-directed employee and the employee who is looking to be directed so the result is a more engaged talent who is doing the work you need, and she can see supports her development.

I worked with a client who was thinking hard about aligning strategic business objectives within corporate functions like HR, Legal & Finance.  As we broke down the steps in developing a strategic plan, it occurred to me (eureka!), we can guide our talent through similar steps for career development:

As with strategic planning, you start with the landscape analysis:

  • Where am I now in my career?
  • Where do I want to get to? What is my vision for the future?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • What is my organization’s vision for the future? How will that impact my role/team?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • What is the alignment between what my organization needs and what I want?

The 5 Phases of Strategic Development Planning:

  1. Define the overall career goal (often a role like VP Sales and Marketing) and establish the strategic mission of the career/role (to lead organizational effectiveness through high performing sales and marketing teams)
  2. Set career development goals and performance targets (strategic projects to lead; be a mentor and a mentee; earn top performance rating; advanced management course on effective teams)
  3. Formulate a strategy to achieve the development goals and performance targets (how the career development and performance goals will be achieved)
  4. Implement and execute the strategy developed in step 3
  5. Evaluate performance on a quarterly review, reformulate as step 2 as changes, challenges and opportunities are presented

As always, I do recommend that leaders seek out their HR Business Partner and Learning Consultant to talk through specific development opportunities for your team. Having a highly self-directed talent is often as challenging as someone who still figuring it out. What I know for sure is the leaders who figure out how to facilitate learning, development and collaboration on their teams is who we want to work with. Consider the tools you have to help guide the career development conversations within your team.

Dyan Connolly, SPHR, CCP

Director Talent Management, The Woodshire Group



Zap the Tolerations!

Zap the Tolerations!

As we head into that reflection space between the years, one of the most beneficial exercises is to banish the tolerations in your personal and professional life!

Tolerations are those things that you put up with every day that distract you from other things.  Sometimes the underlying source of continued tolerations is to avoid taking full responsibility for particular circumstances in your life, but eventually you will recognize that this is in large part what may be holding you back from achieving your goals. In handling the things you are tolerating, you free up time and energy to devote to a higher quality of life.

Examples of tolerations:

  • Living in an apartment I don’t like, in a neighborhood or city I don’t like
  • Peeling wallpaper, a guest bedroom that has become a storage unit, excessive clutter, house walls that need painting
  • Negative attitudes of people whom I work
  • My lack of creative output
  • Spending 8 hours a day in a room with no windows
  • Throwing away money on things I don’t really need
  • Too much television, not enough time for anything else
  • The no-leadership style from my boss
  • Walking by the broken jewelry box knowing it is mine to fix
  • Seeing the scuffed stairs every day and knowing it is something I can fix
  • Knowing you have outgrown the job, the company, the town, the relationship

Humans tolerate a lot. Often, we’re taught not to complain, to accept that life is difficult, not to rock the boat, to go along with others, to be grateful for what we have, to be understanding. Not bad advice, but we can still stop tolerating what we know should change.

When people have stopped tolerating:

  • They are happier
  • They have extra energy and know the high of accomplishment
  • They have the edge: they step over nothing

When they continue tolerate?

  • The work becomes mediocre; they are tired
  • Natural creativity is squashed
  • They become less effective

How to Zap Tolerations:

  • Understand that putting up with the things is good for no one
  • Make a list of 5 things you are tolerating at home (write them out, track your progress)
  • Make the requests or take the actions to eliminate these items
  • Make a list of 5 things you are tolerating at work/school (write them out, track your progress)
  • Take the actions of eliminate these things
  • Notice the increase of positive energy and the decrease of negative energy
  • Notice that you stop complaining, you make strong requests or take the action

Look for Pivotal Tolerations: something you are putting with that, when handled, will resolve other tolerations.

Start today – be the person of action. Set up your project plan and know how you will move forward with starting, stopping, or changing those things you have been tolerating.

I am heading home to fix my stairs, I can going to clean them and determine if paint is required. I will give myself a Friday deadline to complete the project. I will know that self satisfaction every time I take those stairs I took the action that was mine to take. It will be the right investment.

If you are considering major change in your life, specifically your career, I encourage you to find a Coach. This is someone can help you create your plan and encourage the execution as you move to that person you want to be.

Dyan Connolly, Career Coach