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Career Progression. This section aims to help the learner develop an understanding of what is required to progress in a career that interests them. Career progression will broaden your skills, experience, provide job satisfaction and enable you to receive a higher salary, in most cases. You might be asked to take on a temporary secondment, to learn additional skills, or to cover another position i.e. if someone goes on maternity leave. These are all opportunities to expand your knowledge skills and experience. Some of these will be planned; some will be ad-hoc duties to cover sick leave or peak work periods. In all cases, you are learning valuable extensions to your skills. Taking that learning and applying it in your career is known as career progression. A career progression conversation will happen at some point within the first few years of employment. The conversation is about looking forward and planning. It should be an adult conversation, or series of conversations, where you, as an employee, will enter into a discussion with your manager or supervisor, about the following things: Where you are at, in terms of feelings about work: helping both parties to be clear about any career issues. Just talking (and you listening) can clarify matters and discharge any negative emotions which can get in the way of positive thought and action; Skills and performance: feedback about how you are doing, your strengths and weaknesses, how people see you generally at work; Values and drivers, work/life issues: helping to clarify what’s really important for them, and how you create space for life outside work; Potential and aspirations: views on how far you believe you can go in the current role / organisation, and in what kinds of directions; reflections on what your own aspirations really are; Options in the business (and possibly outside): discussing job and career options in very broad terms and getting a wider view of what you might do in the future – careers can be vertical, but they can also be lateral, exploratory (different directions), multi-discipline/ multi-function, and some people can have two or more very different careers in their lifetime; Processes and politics: how things are done “around here”, including processes and tactics; how you can raise their profile, who else you can speak to and how to be more visible to others in the organisation; The pros and cons of choices – direction: identifying or exploring career options quite carefully; looking at the pros and cons, making a decision, or at least being clearer about where you want to go and the development and work experiences required; Next steps, who to see: good career conversations usually lead to actions. These may be contacts to follow up, perhaps to help you network better, jobs/roles to apply for, or development to undertake. Your manager will have a Personal Development Plan and the questions around these areas will look something like the following: 1. Current situation – including a review of pre-work. Example Questions: Where are you at with your current role? How long do you see yourself staying in the role / when might you be ready for a change? Record your thoughts: Reflections on the pre-work – what trends did you notice by completing this exercise? Record your thoughts: What have you learnt about your career by completing this exercise? Record your thoughts: 2. Aspirations: what do they want to do/achieve in their career? This is about checking out your ambitions, mobility factors and timeframes. Example Questions: What do you see yourself doing in the future? (5 years/3 years/next year) What areas of the business interest you most? How far would you be prepared to travel for the right job? Would you relocate for the right job? If no, to any of the last two questions, might this change in the foreseeable future? Is so, when? 3.Strengths and Motivators: what type of role would best suit his/her talent? Probe to understand what type of work best suits your talent by looking at your strengths and what motivates you. Example Questions: What do you consider to be your strengths? (explore technical, behavioural, leadership capabilities and refer to previous performance conversations and any feedback or data from psychometrics) What kind of work really energises you in your current role? What kind of work really saps your energy? Are you looking to deepen or broaden your career? (i.e. specialist, generalist, leadership) What are your primary career drivers? e.g. money, status, the opportunity for personal growth etc. 4. Role Matching: what roles/areas have you or the individual identified as potential opportunities for this individual? If the individual has said that they would like to progress. Explore the possibilities and timeframes with the individual and narrow down options based on aspirations, strengths, career values and motivational needs. Remember, you are not looking for a perfect match – a 20% stretch is healthy for development. Don’t over-promise – it’s unlikely that any future role is guaranteed, but they can get ready so that they are in the best possible position to apply, should the role become available. 5. Development Plans: what development will help him/her reach their potential. The aim here is to start identifying areas of focus for development that will move them from where they are now to where they need to be to get to the next level / their next role. Example Questions: What are the demands of the types of roles discussed and what is the gap? (you may need to provide feedback here) What would other key stakeholders say the gap is? What areas do you feel you need to focus on to make the transition required to fulfil the types of roles we have discussed? What are the things that you are good at currently, but you would need to work on still further to meet the demands of those types of roles? (it is often best to focus on getting from good to great on something rather than tackling major weaknesses) What are the things that you are less good at about the demands of the role? What development have you had for these? How would you manage these? What strategies could you try out in your current role to learn to manage these? What other barriers might there be to you progressing into these types of roles? How can you overcome these barriers? Where can you find out more information about these roles? What are realistic timeframes for progressing into such a role? Are there any lateral steps or roles that you may need to consider to gain the experience / gain the development required in the meantime? 4. Next steps: what will he/she do now to start to progress his/her career and development plans
This is about gaining personal commitment to start work on developing his/her career. Start by summarising the conversation so far. Example Questions: So what areas will you work on? What development options do you have? E.g. mentoring, opportunities to develop your network, NED position, Board level volunteering, in-role opportunities, leadership development, technical development etc. (see Appendix 4 for Development Planning Tools) How could that make a difference? What are the key milestones? How ready are you to do this? What support do you need from me? Who else can help? Once this is recorded, you can work to plan out development activity, which will increase your knowledge and skills, to facilitate progression. It might be that you take a secondment into another department, or shadow someone else in their role. What other ideas can you think of? Record your answers below: The examples show that you can stay within a retail environment, or, as per the second path, perform a functional move whilst retaining retail environment knowledge. A Store Manager may move directly into a Regional Trainer role, or with development, into a Regional Training Manager role, reducing the length of career path. Another option could be a Store Supervisor moving into a Local Stores Trainer role, but the Supervisor would need to have enough store experience to handle the training. A Team Leader may also jump the Customer Services Manager role and move into a Local Stores Trainer directly. To explore roles which are not just vertical, but can take you across functions, you’ll need to explore what opportunities may exist which will bring out the best in your capabilities, and which meet any role preferences. Once you are in a company, you can start to find out about the following: What the different bits of the business do The kinds of job roles in these business streams and how they fit together - by function and by broad level The alternative routes for progression e.g. specialist/ managerial Where formal qualifications are needed to progress An idea of what it might feel like to do another kind of work and some of the skills you would need.