Insights from the Career Advancement Tweetchat

Earlier this month, I hosted a tweetchat on the topic of “Career Advancement” where we covered tips for career growth, whose responsibility is it and why it should matter to an organization. Here are some insights from the discussion.

Tips to grow your career:

Tip 1: During the chat we were joined by Travis from, Online Business Degree, who advised, “You have to be proactive in asking for more challenging work so you can grow and learn on the job.” The key word here is: Proactive. As I mentioned in a previous post about taking control of your career, creating the career path that you want is up to you. So be proactive in taking on new responsibilities, seeking out mentors and providing added value to your organization.

Tip 2: Don’t be afraid… to speak up. Part of advancing in your career is knowing your plan and communicating it to others (your boss and beyond!). But in addition to that, you should communicate your opinions as well. If you have a great idea, don’t keep it to yourself. If you think something should be changed, create a plan to change it. It is the people who can effectively communicate their opinions (and subsequent actions) who will stand out from the crowd.

Who owns career advancement?

The short answers: You do. Your boss does. The organization does.

While it is easy to point fingers around the room and wait for someone to take responsibility for career advancement, ultimately it is a shared responsibility. It is up to the employee to create their personal goals, put in the work and seek the resources needed to achieve it. In my own career, I benefited from knowing where I wanted to go and asking questions about how to get there.

But it is also the responsibility of an employee’s boss and organization to foster that growth. As leaders we must provide our employees with the opportunities to learn new things – both through experience and education, to take on new responsibilities, and to become leaders themselves.

Why should an organization care?

It seemed to be an easy consensus in the tweetchat that career advancement is a shared responsibility, and while it is clear what stake an employee has in her own advancement, it may not be as obvious what’s in it for the organization. As consultant, Christine Cushwa, said, “Managers taking interest in career advancement motivates employees and increases performance.” And it is true; employees who feel invested in are more loyal to their organizations. Not only does it help employees along their personal career path, but as Eric Feigenbaum points out in his article on training and motivation, it will create a more talented and educated employee who can better execute his job.

And if improved performance, engagement and retention aren’t reason enough, the organization’s future is another reason why organizations should care about career advancement. The investment you put into your talent today will directly affect the success of your organization tomorrow. Succession planning shouldn’t be a nice to have; it should be an integral part of every organization.

If you enjoy reading about the tweetchat discussions, please join me next month for a tweetchat on Becoming a Leader.

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