How We Can Develop Our Own Career Faster

By Lori Dipprey – Director of Talent Development 
In the earlier post, we discussed the traps we can fall into around our own career development. Now let’s look at what we can do to help avoid traps and set ourselves up for success:
1. Know the capabilities you need to work on in order to develop your career
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know how to get there? Understand the career path you are on and what capabilities are expected in the role you are working towards. At Pariveda we use our Expectations Framework to outline capabilities at every level within our firm. These capabilities build on one another so that the end result is a collection of capabilities developed over time that we expect in an effective executive. If your career path isn’t formally documented, discover your roadmap to success by working with your manager and/or mentor to identify a potential career path. Then develop your own plan, setting milestones moving you toward career goals.
2. Find a coach/mentor that can provide you guidance along your way
If you’re serious about developing your career, you need to find someone that is willing to guide and coach you along the way. You are embarking on new areas of expertise; therefore, you don’t know what you don’t know. Find someone that can help you navigate this unknown area. If that person isn’t within your organization, then go outside of your organization (maybe hire a career coach). At Pariveda, we provide each employee a mentor who is really acting as a career coach. A coach is someone that provides direction when you lack the knowledge and provides support when you need the extra motivation to keep going. As you progress down the learning continuum, you will need a little of both but to varying degrees at each stage.
3. Break down your career development goals into manageable, repeatable practices that can be achieved during your daily work
The only way to truly master something and be your best is through repetition which is achieved through practice. K. Anders Ericcson has provided years of research around a methodology called “Deliberate Practice” which he also discusses in a 2007 HBR article. The easier it is to repeat a practice, the faster you will develop the capability – requiring capabilities to be developed in manageable chunks that can build on one another.
4. Get feedback early and often – from yourself and others
I mentioned it before but it can’t be stressed enough, just like testing out any system, a feedback loop is necessary. You need to know what is working, what isn’t and where you need to adapt or modify. Your coach will be able to provide some feedback but you will also want to elicit feedback from individuals that can observe the capability you are trying to develop and provide thoughtful, constructive feedback. Getting this feedback early and often gives you more time to adjust and less time to develop a bad habit.
During the next post we will take an in-depth look at feedback, the different types you need and how to collect it.

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Categories: Thought Leadership

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