How to speak with YOUR Manager about YOUR career aspirations and how YOU want your Manager to help
You’ve done the hard work. If you are a myNextory customer, you’ve invested the time and effort to complete the myNextory career advisory learning experience (congrats!), looked deep inside yourself and now have a much clearer understanding of your career motivations, behaviors and intentions/goals. You have discussed and debated with your peers, friends and family. Now how do you make this actionable and bring up the topic in a positive and productive way with the one person* (besides you) to help make this happen?
“Your career is too important to leave up to your Manager”
OwnershipWhile this may be true (and we ultimately OWN our careers), your Manager can be the catalyst OR the blocker holding you back from your short and long term career development goals. It’s often said that people don’t leave companies, they leave Managers and often it's because of a “lack of career growth”. While this may be true it also comes as a surprise to many Managers who feel betrayed or disappointed that with better communication around career goals and expectations things could have gone a different direction.
Preparing for the Conversation with your Manager
First, it will be important to frame this conversation in the right way and understand your Manager by asking yourself some important questions:
Hire: Did your Manager originally hire you or inherit you? This is important to understand how your Manager has experienced employee career development experiences on his/her teams at your current or at your Manager’s prior employers.
Tenure: How long have you worked for your Manager? Does he/she have opinions on how long someone needs to be in a current role (example 1 year, 2 years) before considering a new one? The average person has 12 jobs in their working lifetime.
Manager Philosophy: have you had a conversation with your Manager about how they think about career growth and development? What has been their own experience?
Career Mobility Expectations: have others on your team moved to different roles, teams or even different companies? Has your Manager expressed having his/her team “poached” by other teams at the company? Does the HR/People team provide you or your Manager with resources, training and/or tools around internal mobility programs at your company including rules of engagement, timelines and processes?
Your goal should be to create a healthy, collaborative partnership with your Manager that benefits everyone: the company, your Manager and YOU. What are additional best practices YOU can implement to make this a series of productive conversations?
Set aside time SPECIFIC to a career development conversation. Don’t use regular 1:1 meetings or performance review conversations. This should be maybe 2-3 times per year or quarterly.
Come prepared with your short and long term (and DEFINE those) career goals. This is about the KIND of work you want to impact, not the title or compensation goals and the SKILLS and COMPETENCIES you currently have and what you need to MASTER to support your future goals.
WIN-WIN-WINMake sure you relate your goals to how it helps you, the company and YOUR MANAGER and team achieve their mission, goals and objectives. Making your Manager look great should always be one of the outcomes of this process.
Ask for Feedback (It’s a gift if delivered correctly)Seek constructive feedback on your skills, behaviors and competencies and given your goals what would need to be learned or mastered to continue your career growth goals? Remember career growth should not be about promotions or titles, it’s about learning and stretching yourself. Be open to new responsibilities or projects that align to your career goals. (even laterally!)
Discuss Development OpportunitiesIdeas like cross functional team projects, formal or informal mentors, job shadowing, professional development training, self-guided learning or temporary assignments (acting roles, international assignments) are just a few examples.
Express Your Loyalty & CommitmentMake it clear to your Manager that you are committed to your current role and that your career goals are part of your long-term plan within the organization.
Be Open to New IdeasBe receptive to your Manager's advice and suggestions. They may have insights or opportunities you haven't considered.
Make your Plan ActionableWork with your Manager to develop an action plan that outlines steps you can take to achieve your goals, including realistic timelines for your objectives.
Follow UpSchedule regular check-ins (quarterly?) to discuss your progress and any adjustments needed to your plan.
Communication is EssentialApproaching the conversation with a positive and collaborative mindset can foster a more productive dialogue about your career goals.
Tip: Use Your myNextory Behavioral Assessment (accessed via your myNextory Backpack) to Drive the Conversation especially around how your current JOB aligns to your work habits, interaction style, attitude and temperament.
The Assessment Measures:
Here are some of our proven favorites at myNextory to use during your conversations with your Manager:
‘I’d love to share some of my career goals insights learned from myNextory with you to get this conversation started” “This is where I need your leadership” “What would you like me to start doing more of, stop doing less of and continue doing? “Can I count on your support and partnership to make this happen?” “Please help me manage my expectations so we can both benefit from this experience” “What else do you need to see from me to ensure we are aligned?”