They need to reflect on their career path, acknowledge the ups and downs and recognize when and why they were most happy or most frustrated. Participants also need to know what motivates them and how these motivators direct them to certain occupations. They also need to prioritize their motivators because the rule of thumb is that if an individual’s key motivators are not satisfied, they will not be happy in their job.
Additionally, program participants need to recognize that the only job security they will ever have is the security of current skill sets. Therefore, they need to project to what future potential skill requirements will be and how they will stay current. They need to learn how to assess their skills, and to determine if their skills are aligned to both their employer’s business needs as well as their own interests. They then need to learn how to leverage their skills and attributes to meet proposed future needs.
In spite of the fact that someone’s skills are current, I still often find that many individuals are often fearful of taking a risk to try something new. As a result, they will often stay in the same job until they are forced to change. As well, employees often are still saddled with the old fashioned myth that the only career path is upward. This is absolutely not true as there are many exciting opportunities in parallel career moves.
Participants should be asked to identify how they define their dream career and then identify the specific characteristics of that career. Typically, participants will identify elements such as making a contribution, solving problems, feeling a sense of satisfaction, and developing skills. Once this analysis is complete, many people realize that career satisfaction doesn’t necessarily mean moving upward As a result, in some cases, individuals have chosen to move to lower jobs with less responsibility because they know it is a better fit for their personality and/or desired lifestyle.
A good career development training program will also assist individuals to identify their personal barriers and challenges to career path planning and to explore different means of overcoming these obstacles. From here, the program needs to assist individuals to build an action plan starting with the first 30 days, then 60 and 90 days.
At the conclusion of an internal career development program, participants will be able to identify the key elements that affect their personal engagement and job satisfaction at work. They will recognize that self-accountability and personal responsibility for their career is not something they do when they encounter challenges but instead, it is something they need to be cognizant of every day.
As a result, the employer will have an energized team of high productivity members who are not afraid to seek out alternative opportunities within the workplace rather than looking externally. Finally, if the baby boomer syndrome does strike the employer, the career development program will have prepared a backup group of employees with the skills, attitude and readiness to continue moving the company forward.
Source: Create your Career GPS, Career Partners International, 2012.